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Yoga for Irregular Periods

Yoga for Irregular Periods

Stress contributes greatly to imbalances in the body. For women, irregular periods are often the results of stress caused by school exams, work deadlines, pressure at home and endless to-do lists. High levels of cortisol is not something that should be taken lightly as it can affect hormonal processes, physical fitness and mental wellness. This inevitably affects one key function in the female reproductive system, which is the monthly occurrence of periods.

Menstruation involves the elimination of the uterus lining i.e. endometrium through bleeding. The average gap between each period is usually 24-28 days, with minor variations for each individual. However, due to lifestyle changes and external stressors today, there is a sharp rise in women with complaints of irregular periods, which is a rather worrisome trend. Irregular menstrual cycles can be defined as those happening after a break of more than 35-38 days, or if the interval between cycles is very erratic each month. While this is an expected happening in teenagers during puberty and middle-aged women over 45 years undergoing menopause, it is quite detrimental to the health of young adults in their twenties and thirties. It could also be a sign of an underlying condition such as PCOS or Thyroid

Common causes for Irregular Periods 

Apart from mental stress, irregular menstruation is caused by several other factors. This includes body weight (sudden weight gain or loss), excessive strenuous physical workouts, emotional challenges, medication side-effects and underlying chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension. Taking birth control pills, pregnancy, perimenopause, obesity, uterine fibroids, eating disorders, anemia, excessive exercise, and anxiety are also a few causes.  

Treatment for Irregular Periods

Getting timely support and treatment is important as sporadic menstrual cycles can lead to complications and other conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), cervical cancer and endometriosis, to name a few. It also leads to uncomfortable symptoms such as heavy bleeding during periods, spotting between cycles, discharge of blood even in menopause, excruciating abdominal pain, stomach cramps and intense fatigue.

Getting a doctor’s opinion is important and can include prescription drugs and supplements to help to normalize hormonal mechanisms in the body. Other options include Yoga, the ancient natural physical exercise practice, which can complement potent medicines, improve reproductive wellbeing and regulate menstrual cycles. 

Benefits of yoga for irregular periods

Yoga for irregular periods balances the hormonal levels in the body. It reduces the levels of testosterone in your body and massages your reproductive organs. Practices like Sun Salutations help in strengthening and stretching the muscles. This reduces pain, stiffness, and swelling in the abdominal muscles. Yoga postures open up the muscles in your legs and pelvic floor. This helps reduce menstrual discomfort, pain, and cramps. They also help in improving blood circulation. This helps in helping your muscles relax and in reducing back pain and cramping. Breathing practices help relieve stress and anxiety, a factor cause of this irregularity. 

Yoga for Irregular Periods 

Yoga offers relief from stress, the main factor that affects the mind and body. Breathing practices, asanas and meditation all work towards a holistic and healthy state  of being. Regular practice calms the mind and harmonizes the organs and systems. Yoga asanas for irregular periods is a holistic way to treat this problem. Yoga poses improve flexibility, stamina, and benefit the digestive and hormonal systems. The practices should be done all through the month, and during one’s period practice should be light and relaxing. Yoga will also help one manage all the other symptoms and conditions that arise like weight fluctuations. 

Yoga also helps practitioners become more aware and mindful of what they are eating. Diet plays a big role in the symptoms mentioned above. Yoga also helps to reduce menstrual pain, cramps and emotional symptoms like depression, irritability, stress and anxiety. 

Yoga Postures for Irregular Periods

Bow pose

This is an excellent pose for women’s health. It stimulates the reproductive system and even relieves one of menstrual pain.

How to do bow pose: 

  • Lie on the floor on your stomach. 
  • Inhale and gently bend your legs backwards.
  • Stretch your arms backwards and hold your ankles so that your torso supports the weight of your body.  
  • Hold this pose for 20-30 seconds.
Bow pose

Garland pose

This is amongst the most effective yoga poses for irregular periods that also helps tackle hormonal imbalance and PCOS. It also reduces cramps and pain and keeps the reproductive organs healthy.

How to do garland pose: 

  • Stand straight and keep your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Slowly squat keeping your knees hip-width wide.
  • Bring your palms together in a Namaste position. 
  • Hold this pose for 40-50 seconds.
Garland pose

Cobbler’s pose  

This is also an effective asana for irregular periods. It improves blood circulation and stimulates the reproductive organs. It also helps in reducing and preventing menstrual pain.

How to do cobbler’s pose: 

  • Sit in a comfortable position on the floor. 
  • The soles of your feet should touch each other.
  • Hold your soles with your hands.
  • Flap your thighs up and down to mimic a butterfly fluttering her wings.
  • Do this motion for 50-60 minutes. 
Cobbler’s pose  

Cobra pose

This posture helps balance the hormones, and thus helps regulate periods. It also reduces menstrual pain and cramps.

How to do cobra pose: 

  • Lie down on your stomach while keeping your legs together. 
  • Place your palms near your shoulders.
  • Inhale and gently raise your upper body using your palms.
  • Stretch your neck as much as you can.
  • Hold the pose for 50-60 seconds.
Cobra pose

Downward facing dog pose

This posture makes the abdominal muscles stronger, relieves stress and improves blood circulation. It also helps relieve toxins from the body. 

How to do downward facing dog: 

  • Get into all fours while keeping your spine, arms, and legs straight.
  • Inhale and lift your hips towards the sky to get your body into an inverted 'V’ shape.
  • Press down your hands and stay in this pose for 40-50 seconds.
Downward facing dog pose

Other yoga practices for irregular periods

Apart from yoga postures, one should also try to adopt a healthy diet, and practice breathwork and meditation to release stress. Breathwork practices like Frontal Lobe Cleansing, Alternate Nostril breathing, Oceans breath and Humming Bee breathing are helpful in relieving stress and anxiety, as well as toxins and impurities. They improve blood circulation and oxygen in the body. Regular practice improves mindfulness and keeps the mind balanced.  

Many scenarios can trigger stress, wrecking havoc to one’s system. So practicing these breathing exercises, along with meditation and getting restful sleep will help calm the body and mind. One should ensure not to overdo the physical activity, but rather an optimal amount of 3-4 times a week. 

Final Thoughts

If you are struggling with irregular periods, it is important to get your doctor’s opinion. Yoga is a complementary practice which will support and help you correct these issues over time. It should not be treated as a replacement for medication. Furthermore, you must always practice with an experienced teacher to ensure you are doing every practice in a correct and injury-free manner.

Yoga for Irregular Periods
Shvasa Editorial Team

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