Sometimes called the “inner winter,” your period is a time of deep intuition, low energy, and softer capabilities. Though there’s so much magic during this time, it’s not always the most comfortable. If you experience PMS symptoms like cramps, mood swings, or low-back pain, try these restorative yoga poses for period pain.
Restorative yoga is much slower and quieter than traditional Vinyasa yoga. In this sense, it’s closely aligned to your natural energy levels when you’re on our period. With this practice, we’re going to lean into that meditative, quiet energy.
In these yoga poses for period pain, we’re bringing some TLC to your abdomen and relieving tension in the low back. Additionally, restorative yoga is the perfect way to balance mood swings and reduce anxiety.
Through practices like these, you’ll develop a more intimate and reverent connection with your menstrual cycle. There’s so much magic and wisdom to tap into through your body. Let’s honour that.
For this practice, you’ll need a bolster, two blankets, and a yoga strap.
Supported Child’s Pose
Take one of your blankets and open it up across your mat. This gives your knees and shins a bit of cushion. Take a seat on your knees and bring your bolster out in front of you lengthwise. Take your knees as wide as the mat and bring your big toes together. Snuggle the bolster between your thighs and bring it as close to you as you can. Walk your hands down the length of the bolster until you can rest your belly down. You can rest your arms alongside the bolster, or place them underneath your forehead for more support. Go wherever it feels the most comfortable for you. Once you’re comfortable, find stillness. Close your eyes and deepen your breath. Rest here for 2 to 5 minutes.
Restorative Butterfly Variation
Come to a seat with your legs out in front of you. Bring the soles of your feet together and let your knees open out to the sides. Grab your two blankets and roll them up across the short edge. Place them underneath your thighs for deeper support. Bring your bolster in between your legs and rest it on your feet. Begin to walk your hands down the bolster gently, folding from your hips. Find a depth of fold that works for you and your low back. Be sure not to strain or push yourself. As you breathe here, notice the expansion of your back body with your breath. Breathe and rest here for 3 to 5 minutes.
Supported Bound-Angle Pose
Come to a seat and set your bolster up lengthwise behind you. Grab your two blanket rolls and place them on either side of your mat. Now take your strap and create a loop. Place your arms and torso through the loop, letting the strap rest flat against the base of your hips. Come to sit flush against the short edge of your bolster and bring the soles of your feet together. Take the other end of your strap and loop it around your feet. Tighten it so that you feel supported but still comfortable. Bring your two blankets underneath your thighs. In this version of the pose, we’re not really trying to stretch the inner thighs as much as we’re trying to open the front body. So, bring your blankets as close to you as you can so that you can fully be supported. When you’re ready, lay back on the bolster. Stretch your arms out to the sides and let your palms relax open. Close your eyes and take deep breaths. Rest here anywhere from 5 - 15 minutes.
Transitioning Back to Your Day
After you’ve finished the poses, let yourself rest flat on your back for a few moments. Place one hand on your belly and feel the movement of your breath. When you’re ready, you can slowly transition into the rest of your day.
As you move forward with your day, maybe take things a bit slower than you usually would. Be patient with yourself and others. If you feel inspired, maybe take some time to journal about how you can practice more softness in your daily life.
Enjoy your inner winter, and always honour yourself.