Yoga Asana Sequence For Relieving Menstrual Discomfort

Please look for some general tips here before you start .

Below is the suggested basic asana sequence, developed by Mark Stephens, which you can safely do at home. This practise is quite relaxing and can help reducing pressure in the uterus and abdomen.  

Use candles, soft music and dimmed light to create a relaxing atmosphere.

1.       Supta Baddha Konasana (reclining bound angle pose):

Use the bolster, cushions or folded blankets to lift up the back and head starting from your lower back. Allow the thighs and arms to release toward the floor. You can place cushions under the knees if you wish to ease the strain. Stay in this position for 5-10 min.

2.       Apanasana  (knees-to-chest):

Gently draw the knees toward the chest and move them around in increasingly large circles for 1-2 min.

3.       Ananda Balasana (happy baby pose – if you have children, you will probably remember a short period of time when your baby was doing this pose at about 5-6 months old):

Clasp the feet to draw the knees into your armpits or toward the floor. The feet shall be parallel to the ceiling. Gently rock from side to side on your sacrum for 1-2 min.

4.       Supta Padangushtasana (reclining hand to big toe pose):

Extend one leg out to the side, making sure both hips are on the floor. You can use a folded blanket or a bolster putting it under the leg, and a strap to wrap around the foot, if you can’t clasp the toe. 1 min on each side.

5.       Supta Virasana (recined hero pose):

Use similar props as for pose 1. You can place a strap around the thighs to reduce the pressure on the lower back. If a reclined pose is too much for you, you can stay in Virasana (seated hero pose) and place a cushion under your hips. 2-5 min.

6.       Bidilasana (cow pose):

Wrists are under your shoulders, shoulder-distance apart. Knees are under your hips, hip-distance apart. Press into the ground, arch your spine, head and tailbone down. Hold for 1 min and come to the baby pose.

7.       Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog): hold for 1 min and rest in the Baby pose for 5 breaths.

8.       Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (bridge pose): If you wish, you can place a block under the hip area. Otherwise, keep the tailbone slightly tucked to reduce the pressure in the lower back. Repeat twice.

9.       Supta Parivartanasana (reclined spinal twist): only do if it feels right for you. Press the upper hip away from the shoulder and press the lower leg back to reduce the pressure in the lower back. Hold for 1 min on each side.

10.   Gomukhasana (cow face pose): hold for 1 to 3 min. to be able to stack the knees and seat between the feet, you might need to place a cushion under your hips.

11.   Upavista Konasana (seated wide legged forward bend): straighten both legs and hold for 2 to 5 min. If folding forward creates too much strain, keep your spine straight.

12.   Paschimottanasana (seated forward bend): hold for 1 to 3 min. Consider placing a stack of bolsters of folded blankets under your torso and head.

13.   Viparita Karani (legs up the wall): elevate the pelvis on a cushion, release the arms by your side palms facing up, stay for 5 to 10 min.

Sources: Mark Stephens “Yoga Therapy”

Special thanks to Kelly and Sherryl for demonstrating the asanas.

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