Which Yoga Poses Help in Alleviating Menstrual Cramps Effectively?

In today's world, yoga has been heralded as a holistic path to physical and mental wellbeing. For centuries, its practitioners have used it as a tool for both preventive and therapeutic purposes. Among its numerous health benefits, one of the more immediate and practical applications of yoga lies in addressing women's health issues, particularly menstrual pain and dysmenorrhea. It's not unusual for women to experience varying degrees of discomfort during their period. However, certain yoga poses may help mitigate these symptoms. But which ones are they, and how do they work?

Understanding Menstrual Pain

Menstrual pain, or dysmenorrhea, is caused by contractions in the uterus, which is a muscle. These contractions can cause a feeling of pressure in the abdomen, resulting in pain in the lower back and thighs. There are two types of menstrual pain – primary and secondary dysmenorrhea. Primary dysmenorrhea is common menstrual cramps that are not due to any underlying health conditions, while secondary dysmenorrhea is caused by a disorder in the woman's reproductive organs.

Yoga, with its focus on stretching, deep breathing, and relaxation, can be particularly beneficial in managing menstrual discomfort. Certain poses can help relax the pelvic muscles, improve blood flow, and alleviate both physical and mental discomfort. The following sections will detail some effective yoga poses for menstrual pain relief.

Child's Pose (Balasana)

Child's pose, also known as Balasana, is a restful pose that can help alleviate menstrual pain. This pose relaxes the lower back and abdominal muscles, reducing the tension and pain caused by uterine contractions.

To do this pose, start by kneeling on the floor, with your big toes touching each other. Sit back on your heels, then slowly bend forward, extending your arms in front of you and resting your head on the floor. It's perfectly okay if your buttocks don't touch your heels - just go as far as your body comfortably allows. Breathe deeply and hold the position for about a minute, or as long as it feels good.

Supine Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)

The Supine Twist, also known as Supta Matsyendrasana, is another yoga pose that can help alleviate menstrual cramps. This pose stretches the lower back and hips, areas where many women experience discomfort during their period.

To do the Supine Twist, lie on your back with your arms outstretched in a T position. Bend your knees and bring them towards your chest. Slowly lower both knees to one side, keeping your shoulders firmly on the ground. Turn your head to the opposite side for a complete spinal twist. Hold this position for a few breaths, then return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

Butterfly Pose (Baddha Konasana)

The Butterfly pose, also known as Baddha Konasana, is a seated yoga pose that can help relieve menstrual discomfort. It stimulates the abdominal organs, ovaries, and prostate gland, promoting overall women's health and wellbeing.

To do the Butterfly pose, sit on the floor with your spine straight. Bend your knees, bringing the soles of your feet together, and draw your heels as close to your body as you can. Hold your feet or ankles with your hands, inhale deeply, and as you exhale, press your knees towards the floor. Stay in this position for a few deep breaths.

Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)

The Forward Bend, or Paschimottanasana, is a seated pose that calms the mind and helps relieve menstrual discomfort. This pose stretches the spine, shoulders, and hamstrings. It also stimulates the liver, kidneys, ovaries, and uterus.

To do the Forward Bend, sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Inhale deeply, and as you exhale, bend your body from the hip joints. Try to reach the toes with your hands, but don't strain yourself. Concentrate on moving your torso towards your legs, instead of simply reaching your hands to your toes. Stay in this position for a few breaths.

Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

The Reclining Bound Angle Pose, also known as Supta Baddha Konasana, is a restorative pose that can help alleviate menstrual cramps. This pose stimulates the abdominal organs, like the ovaries and prostate gland, which can provide menstrual cramp relief.

To do this pose, start by sitting on the floor with your legs stretched in front of you. Bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet together, letting your knees fall out to the sides. Slowly lean backward, supporting your body with your hands and forearms until you're lying down. Breathe deeply and relax in this position for a few minutes.

While yoga poses may not completely eliminate menstrual pain for all women, they can certainly play an instrumental part in managing the discomfort. As you navigate your personal health journey, remember to always listen to your body and practice yoga poses that feel comfortable and beneficial to you.

Savasana (Corpse Pose)

Savasana, also known as the Corpse Pose, is a widely practiced yoga position for relaxation and stress relief. In the context of menstrual cramps, this pose can be particularly effective in calming the mind and body, contributing to pain relief.

Start by lying flat on your back with your legs slightly apart. Place your hands slightly away from your body, with the palms facing upwards. Close your eyes, breathe naturally, and try to relax your body completely. As you lie still, bring your awareness to each part of your body, starting from the toes and moving upwards. Allow any tension or discomfort in these areas to release as you exhale.

Savasana may seem like a simple pose, but its impact on a woman's well-being during her menstrual cycle can be significant. By promoting overall relaxation, it allows the body to divert more energy towards healing and recuperation, reducing the severity of menstrual cramps.

Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

The Triangle pose, or Trikonasana, is another beneficial yoga position for women dealing with menstrual discomfort. This pose stretches the entire body, improving blood flow and reducing muscle tension, which can help alleviate menstrual pain.

To perform the Triangle pose, stand straight and spread your feet about 3.5 to 4 feet apart. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and your left foot slightly inwards. Inhale deeply, and as you exhale, bend your body to the right, downward from the hips, keeping the waist straight. Raise your left hand up in the air while your right hand comes down towards the floor. Keep both arms in a straight line. Rest your right hand on your ankle, shin, or outside of the right foot on the floor, depending on your comfort. Turn your head to look up at your left palm. Hold the pose for a few breaths and then repeat on the other side.

Its effectiveness can be attributed to the way it stretches and opens up the pelvic area, promoting better functioning of the reproductive organs. This, combined with the improved blood circulation, can contribute to relieving menstrual pain.


Menstrual cramps can significantly affect a woman's quality of life. Yoga, with its multitude of poses, provides an effective, natural method to alleviate menstrual pain. The poses mentioned above – Child's Pose, Supine Twist, Butterfly Pose, Forward Bend, Reclining Bound Angle Pose, Savasana, and Triangle Pose - have been medically reviewed and found to be beneficial in controlling menstrual pain.

Remember, it's crucial to practice these poses under the guidance of a trained professional, especially if you're new to yoga. Always listen to your body and adapt poses as needed. While yoga may not completely eliminate period cramps for all women, it has been shown to significantly reduce discomfort and improve overall well-being during the menstrual cycle. With consistent practice, yoga could prove to be a reliable companion in your journey towards pain-free periods.