5 Yoga Postures to deal with Menstrual Discomfort

Ladies, that time of the month comes around and for some of us we feel ok and can function fairly normal but for others you might need to take a day off, have a hot water bottle and generally just want to pull the covers over your head and not move.

It is important that we listen to signals, often pain is a sign that there is something deeper going on. We do need to take some time to balance out our emotions and release any tension.

I tend to feel a bit tired around this time and I never really used to honour what was going on with my body and just carry on as normal. I used to get really bad cramps as a teenager but they've settled down as I’ve practiced yoga and changed my diet and lifestyle.

Some styles of yoga advise against practicing yoga during your menstrual period. You may practice a more restorative or slower flow during your practice but nothing too vigorous.

Some advice out there is also not to practice inversion during this time. Inversion go against the natural flow in Ayurveda it’s called Apana Vata which is the downward action on urination, elimination, menstruation and childbirth.

Inversion go against the natural flow of Apana Vata, so we are best working on postures that support this natural process of our body rather than working against it.

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Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend - UptaviSta Konasana

Sit with your legs wide, flex your feet, and keep your knees and toes pointed up towards the ceiling.  

  • Feel your pelvis tilting forward slightly to help allow your spine to remain long and straight (you may need to sit on a  blanket or block, adjust height to feel comfortable)

  • Press your legs and sitting bones down, and lengthen up through your spine.

  • Place your hands in front of you on the floor, connect with your breath and as you exhale exhale slowly start to walk your hands forwards.

  • Keep a nice length along the front of your body as you use your breath to guide you deeper into the forward bend.

  • When you feel you are starting to arch your back, don’t lower any further.

  • Lift your chest up, draw your shoulder blades down your back, and together slightly. Relax your shoulders away from your ears.

  • Avoid creating unnecessary tension in your upper back and neck and jaw.

  • When you’ve reached your edge, you will feel a stretch along the back of the legs.

  • Hold this pose for at least 1min.

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Bound Angle Pose / Butterfly Pose - Baddha Konasana

Place the soles of the feet together.

  • Let the knees fall out to the sides.

  • Focus on relaxing all around the hips. Hold on around the feet or ankles and fold forward letting the head lower.

  • For Baddha Konasana, bring your heels in as close towards your pelvis to target the hips and groin areas.

    • Hold for 5-10  breaths

  • For Butterfly pose (Yin yoga variation) your heels move further away creating a diamond shape.

    • Hold the pose for 1-5 mins


Head to Knee Pose - Janu Sirsasana

Sit with the legs outstretched in front of you

  • Inhale bend your right knee, place the sole of the foot on the floor and then as you exhale lower the knee towards the floor placing the sole of the foot to the inside of the thigh.  

  • The leg that’s extended, flex the left foot, press the top of the thigh down

  • Inhale and lengthen the spine, as you exhale fold forward from the hips and fold over the extended leg.

  • Keep your spine long, chest open and shoulder blades drawn down. Relax your face and jaw.

  • Take hold of your foot, ankle or wherever your hands reach on your leg.

  • Stay in the pose for 5 to 10 breaths.

  • Inhale to come out of the pose and switch sides.

  • Sit up on a folded blanket if you find it difficult to sit up straight, it’s helps with the tilt of the pelvis

  • Do Not force the pose, be careful if you have a lower back injury.

  • Always listen to your body


  • Calms the mind.

  • Stimulates digestion.

  • Stretches the hips, back of the body and groins.

  • Relieves menstrual discomfort.

  • Stimulates the kidneys and liver


Seated Forward Bend - Paschimottanasana

Sit with your legs outstretched in front of you, flex your feet.

  • Sit up on a folded blanket if you find it difficult to sit up straight, it’s helps with the tilt of the pelvis

  • Inhale and lengthen the spine, gently press your sitting bones down and slightly back, feel your lower back arch as you move your belly towards your thighs.

  • As you fold forward keep the ribs moving away from the pelvis to help create space and length in the spine.

  • Press the thighs towards the floor

  • Keep the chest open and spine long.

  • With ach exhale keep fold forward hinging from the hips, not rounding from the back.

  • Let your arms slide down along the floor, they may reach your calves, ankles or feet.

  • Be careful not to force or overstretch, if you have an injury use a blanket under hips and you might need to start with your knees bent.

  • For any spinal injuries such as herniated discs,  this pose might not be suitable, ask advice from your GP or medical practitioner.

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Reclined Bound Angle Pose - Supta Baddha Konasana

Similar to bound angle pose, Supta mean reclines,

  • Start the same way as baddha konasana, or if it helps lie down first and then move the legs into baddha konasana

  • For a restorative version of this pose, use blocks or cushions under the knees and a bolster or blankets under the spine.

  • Stay for at least 3 min and up to 10 mins

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You can find details of our yoga classes based in Central Scotland - West Lothian / North Lanarkshire HERE.

If you feel you would like to Book an Ayurvedic Consultation to help with any symptoms you can find out more here or book a consultation. The Barn,ML7 5TT, Central Scotland, UK, consultations are also available via Skype.



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Hello, I’m obsessed with my new puppy Riley, I could eat pancakes for breakfast everyday and I’m obsessed with helping others feel their best by alleviating pain through yoga, hands on treatments and Ayurveda.