Men's Articles

Ease Headache And Menstrual Cramps Yoga


Yoga can do more than build lean, sexy muscles. It can also help get rid of menstrual cramps, colds and stress. The yoga postures and movements (ie asanas) work on the physical body as well as the endocrine and lymphatic system.  For example, forward bends stimulate the reproductive and digestive systems because of how the internal organs are massaged and stimulated by the bending movement. Yoga also utilizes deep breaths which help to calm and focus the mind. Here are some moves that may help ease your pain. However, do note that these asanas should not be done as a diagnostic quick-fix as yoga is a way of life.

Headache

Relaxation Breathing

Deep, controlled rhythmic breathing helps to release anxiety and stress by shifting the body away from its instinctive fight-or-flight mode.

How To Do It?

  • Sit in a chair in a comfortable position.
  • Allow your shoulders to relax and drop downward.
  • Inhale, allowing each breath to be drawn in fully.
  • Focus on the length of the exhale. Incrementally lengthen the duration of each subsequent exhale. Contract the abdomen gently to assist with each exhale. Do this for a total of 12 breath cycles.

Arm Raises With Relaxation Breathing

These will help relieve tension in the neck, upper back and shoulders, which may be contributing to the headaches.

  • Inhale, raise and lengthen arms in front of you without shrugging your shoulders. Allow maximum distance between the ears and shoulders to avoid causing any tension, while lengthening the spine.
  • Exhale and lower arms back to your sides while drawing in the lower abdomen.

Menstrual Cramps

Apanasana

Relaxing the lower torso muscles helps to relieve cramps. Deep breathing also helps to relax the mind.

How To Do It?

  • Lie on your back with legs bent. Rest hands on knees.
  • Exhaling, lift feet off the floor while gently bringing the knees towards the chest.
  • Begin inhaling and allow legs to move away from the chest. Hands remain on the knees. Exhale and bring knees back to chest.
  • Repeat 8 times.
  • To end, release hands from the knees and gently place feet back onto the floor.

Viparita Karani Variation With A Chair

Additional lower torso strengthening asanas will help prevent cramps from recurring in the long run. They involve contracting the abdomen to strengthen the function of the reproductive system, which could help regulate the menstrual cycle. This asana should only be done when there is no pain.

How To Do It?

  • Place a chair facing squarely towards you.
  • Lie flat on the ground and place feet on the chair with calves resting on the seat.
  • Close your eyes and relax completely.
  • Breathe in and out 12 times through the nostrils, with emphasis on lengthening your exhalation, with the contraction of the abdomen when you're exhaling.
  • To come out of the position, roll onto your side and take your time to come back up to a sitting position.
 

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