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You know that feeling when you are on your period or just on the cusp of it? When you are suffering from cramps, bloating, and overall low energy levels? Where you don’t quite think you can get moving on your mat?
This is a soothing practice for that time, that will help you to ease the aches and pains in the pelvis, hips, and low back.
For this gentle series of Yin poses you won’t need any props but you can keep some items such as blocks, cushions or bolsters close by if you want to find even more comfort.
The following is a mixture of compressing the belly, and then opening and extending. Moving between these should bring an ease in to your monthly flow, reducing aches and pains.
As this is a Yin practice, find your edge in each pose, find some stillness and comfort, and then hold each pose for between 2 and 5 minutes.
1. Easy Child’s Pose – From kneeling, bring the big toes together. Keep the knees at just about hip width apart. You may take them wider if you wish, but I find this doesn’t feel great for me at this time of the month. Fold forward, letting the belly rest over the thighs. Bring the forehead to rest on the mat, or bring a prop under the forehead/chest if you prefer. Reach your arms back at your sides. As you rest here you may choose to rock back and forth gently from side to side. As you hold the pose, feel the breath moving down to the belly and filling it up with every inhale.
2. Baby Dragon – Step your right foot forward to the front of your mat. Since we will hold this pose for a while, you may want to roll in the side of your mat to double it up under the back knee or slide a blanket underneath it. You may choose to keep your hands down here, facing forward. Alternatively, you can integrate a simple twist into the pose. Bring your right hand to the right thigh, leaving the left hand down on the mat. Opening the chest, slightly to the right. Let you head and neck relax. Keep the shoulders down away from the ears. Melt the pelvis forward and down into the lunge. As you hold the pose, send the breath down in to the womb space. When you’re ready to switch sides, push down in to the right heel, step the foot back and drop the right knee down. Then step the left foot forward, and repeat on this side.
3. Malasana – Also known as yogi squat. Bring your feet flat on the mat slightly wider than your hips, turn the heels in and toes out slightly. Drop the hips down, letting them be heavy. If this doesn’t feel great for your body, prop a block or cushion under the hips for support. Bring your hands together at your heart, and use the elbows to open the knees wider. Lift the chest, and find length between the tailbone and the crown of the head. Keep the shoulders away from your ears.
4. Dangling Forward Fold – Coming to stand on your mat, take the feet towards the edges and parallel to the long sides. Bend your knees deeply as you hinge forward. Let the belly soften over the thighs. Leave the arms reaching down, or clasp hold of opposite elbows. Breathe deeply in to the belly. Relax the head and neck. Allow gravity to decompress your spine here for a couple of moments. This is a great stretch to work all the way through the posterior chain.
5. Laying Spinal Twist – Come down on to your back. Straighten your left leg and pull the right knee in to the belly. Gently ease the right knee over to the left side to start the twist. Use the left hand to guide the knee down as you relax the right arm out to the side. Keep the right shoulder pinned to the mat. Option to increase the twist by looking towards the right fingers. Aim to find as much room between the right hip and the right shoulder as possible. Since this pose is compressing the low belly, while also opening through the back, this is the one pose I would always pick to do while on my cycle. After holding for some time, roll on to your back, and then switch sides.
6. Savasana – I find sometimes during my cycle that a standard savasana is not that comfortable for my body. Instead, you may opt to take savasana with the knees bent, feet wide, and dropping the knees together. Bring the hands to rest on your womb space, sending energy and love here. However you choose to take your savasana, give yourself these moments to relax the entire body from head to toe.
If you find yourself constantly thinking of timing in self led yin practices, you can practice along with me in the video below.
Yoga with Kassandra – Disclaimer
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