If you've had a period before, chances are you've had a bad case of cramps at least once. Now, instead of popping pain meds or just crying to ease the pain, there's a yoga move you can do to alleviate some of that awful discomfort (and it doesn't involve rolling around in bed trying to find the right cramp-easing position).
California-based yogi and photographer Stephanie Birch shared the way she helps relieve some of her period pain, telling Elle, she swears by one particular yoga move. "Oftentimes while I am going through mind-numbing cramps, I will lay flat out on my belly to get into Bow Pose," she said. "I used to curl up in a ball hoping for relief, but there is something so beneficial in lying face-down, adding weight to the cramping areas of the body."
Stephanie demonstrated the move for the mag, saying it strengthens the abs and lower back and relieves fatigue and stress too. So, this is a win-win.
Step 1: Lie on your stomach, with one cheek on your mat and your palms by our sides. Then, press your feet into the ground.
Step 2: Lift your arms up and back behind you, bend both knees and catch the outsides of your feet or ankles with a firm grip to prepare the lift.
Step 3: Lift your chest up by pressing your feet into your hands. Make sure your knees are hip-width apart. Look forward or down on the ground in front of you.
Step 4: Once you're in that position, rock back and forth on your stomach, from your rib cage to your pelvis.
Step 5: After 5 to 10 breaths, exhale and release your grip, lower your body all the way down and rest the opposite cheek on the mat.