6 Yoga Poses for Your Period

Three people stretching on yoga mats.

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Every person experiences their period differently. Though some would agree that it's not the most enjoyable time of the month, there are ways to help ease period cramping and discomfort.

The following poses are intended for use as a restorative home practice and may help relieve menstrual cramps. Choosing to do yoga may or may not feel good to you during different points in your menstrual cycle. Be sure to listen to your body and only opt to practice when it feels best for you.

This article explores different yoga poses for period cramps. It will also cover how to alter the poses so you can be as comfortable as possible.

Cobbler's Pose (Baddha Konasana)

Woman with eyes closed in Cobbler's Pose.
Cobbler's Pose.

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Since the lower half of the body may feel heavy during menstruation, seated poses can be especially helpful. You may stay in each pose for several minutes.

Baddha Konasana, the Cobbler's Pose, opens up the pelvic region. For a gentler version, come into a forward bend using a bolster or several folded blankets to support your torso. This may help you relax even more.

Head to Knee Pose (Janu Sirsasana)

Woman in Janu Sirsasana Pose.
Head to Knee Pose.

Verywell / Ann Pizer

To do the pose:

  1. Extend your right leg and place the bottom of your left foot on your right inner thigh.
  2. Center your torso over the right leg and fold forward.
  3. Come back through the Cobbler's Pose to set up for the other side.

The Head to Knee Pose, Janu Sirsasana, stretches the hamstrings. It's a simple stretch that allows you to focus on one leg at a time. It also helps you gently lengthen your hips and groin.

Seated Straddle (Upavistha Konasana)

Woman smiling in Upavistha Konasana Pose.
Seated Straddle.

Verywell / Ann Pizer

Open both your legs wide into Upavistha Konasana, the Seated Straddle. If you'd like, you can do a more supported forward fold by adding a bolster or blankets. This pose stretches the hamstrings and inner thighs while also lengthening the spine. 

You can go as deep as you'd like here or remain sitting upright. During menstruation, it may not feel comfortable to deeply bend forward. Know that this is totally fine and it's important to listen to your body.

Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)

Woman in Paschimottanasana Pose.
Seated Forward Bend.

Verywell / Ann Pizer

To do the pose:

  1. Bring both legs outstretched for a forward bend.
  2. Lengthen the spine in a seated position before coming forward. Imagine the pelvis as a bowl that is tipping forward as you come down.

The Seated Forward Bend, Paschimottanasana, goes deeper in opening the hamstrings and calves. It also gives your back a nice stretch.

Be sure to follow your breath as you ease into this bend. Because of your period, you may want to round your spine a little. However, your yoga instructor may advise against doing so.s

Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Two individuals doing the Supported Bridge Pose.
Supported Bridge Pose.

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To do the pose:

  1. Lie down on your back.
  2. Press into your feet to lift the hips slightly and slide a yoga block under them for support.
  3. To come out, press into the feet to lift the hips again and slide the block out.

This pose, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, is similar to a back bend.

This very gentle back-bend can help relieve back pain associated with menstruation. ​If you're in a lot of discomfort due to period cramps, it may be a good idea to stick with the shorter option on your yoga block.

Goddess Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

People doing Goddess Pose in yoga class.
Goddess Pose.

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To do the pose:

  1. Stay in a reclined position with your knees bent.
  2. Release your knees out to the sides and down to your mat.
  3. Bring the bottoms of your feet together. Placing a bolster under the length of your spine can feel great here.

You may notice that this is a reclined version of Cobbler's Pose. Supta Baddha Konasana, Goddess Pose, is all about opening your groin and hips while relaxing.

If you can stay in this pose for several minutes, it's a great way to end your session. Five to 10 minutes in a meditative state in Goddess Pose can help you relax.

Summary

Doing yoga may help relieve period cramp pain and discomfort. Some yoga poses you may consider trying include:

  • Cobbler's Pose
  • Head to Knee
  • Seated Straddle
  • Seated Forward Bend
  • Supported Bridge
  • Goddess Pose

Be sure to check in with yourself often as you practice these poses to make sure you are comfortable. Even if you don't typically use bolsters or blankets while doing yoga, you may want to use them during your period for a more gentle practice.

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  1. Yonglitthipagon P, Muansiangsai S, Wongkhumngern W, et al. Effect of yoga on the menstrual pain, physical fitness, and quality of life of young women with primary dysmenorrheaJournal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. 2017;21(4):840-846. doi:10.1016/j.jbmt.2017.01.014