Not Christmas themed, but if you have periods this is my main advent gift to you. I actually meant to put this up a FULL YEAR AGO. Where does the time go, eh? Sorry guys.
Right. Obviously, suggesting that if you’re having period pains you should “do some nice yoga” is a smug and terrible idea. “I DON’T WANT TO DO SOME NICE YOGA,” you might say. “I want to sit in this bath and watch a pixar film and cry and you can’t stop me.” And this is fair enough.
However, if you CAN be arsed, this routine really does help, I am not bullshitting you. Something about gently stretching out the muscles in your lower back like this seems to soothe the angry fists of the patriarchy punching you in the womb. I use it in conjumnction with liberal doses of ibuprofen and wine.
Lie like this (face down and froglike) for a good 10 breaths. It’s meant to be comfortable – stick a pillow under yourself if needed.
Get your elbows under your shoulders and hang out here for five breaths.
Lie like this for 5 breaths each side (more if it’s nice).
Look, it really does look like a happy baby! Cute, though undignified. Five breaths.
This one can be a bit tricksy – skip it if so. Put one foot on top of the other knee, then scoop that knee towards you and hold it BUT keep your shoulders on the floor. Five breaths each side.
Lie like this, feet in close to bum, and then…
…push your hips triumphantly into the air! Clasp your hands underneath if you like. Hold for a few breaths and repeat a couple of times.
Knees to Chest
Hug your knees to your chest and stay for at least 10 breaths. A lot of people like to rock aroudn a bit like this and say it is like a lovely massage. I find it annoying and painful to do this – maybe I have a bony spine? Doesn’t everyone, though? Whatever, give it a go.
This is one of the two holy grail period pain yoga poses (the other is below) and it feels AMAZING. Scoot your feet to your bum and then let the knees flop apart and let all the little muscles in your back relaxxxxxx. My hands are nearly in “yoni mudra” here, which is exactly what it sounds like. Do this for extra goddess points. 20 breaths here, I’d say, at least.
Legs Up The Wall
I think I have mentioned before that this is the best of all the yoga poses. Absolute bloody bliss (if you’ll excuse the pun). Lie like this, bum to a wall and then legs straight up it, for five minutes or as long as you like.
Done! Hopefully you’ll feel loads better. But if you don’t, at least when some prick asks if you’ve tried doing some gentle exercise you can be like “YES, now chuck me another chocolate orange.” And that’s worth something.