3 Yoga Poses for the Worst Cramps (PMSing) of Your Life
If it’s that time of the month for you, you may just want to lie on the couch with a heating pad on your back, drink Skinnygirl margaritas and eat a box of bonbons. Cramps can be brutal and may feel debilitating, but with a few yoga poses you can help alleviate the pain and prevent packing on period pounds -- you can keep sipping the Skinnygirl margaritas, too!
Pose 1: Marichyasana (Mar-ee-chee-AHS-anna)
You can start with Marichyasana (pose dedicated to the sage) -- sit comfortably with legs forward, bend your right knee in and place your right foot on the floor a little to the outside of your right hip. Lift your right arm up then lean forward as far as you can, threading the right arm inside the right thigh and back behind you. Reach around behind you with your left hand and catch the left wrist with the right hand (use a towel or strap if you can’t reach the hand). Fold forward into a rounded forward bend. This feels great on the lower back and the pressure of the thigh up against the abdomen helps relieve cramping pains. It’s also great for tension in the shoulders and upper back. Hold each side about 5 to 8 breaths.
Pose 2: Straddle
Next, open your legs wide to Straddle. Make sure you’re sitting forward on your sits bones and keep your inner thighs rolling back as go in to the fold. Try and maintain a long spine to stretch out the back and inner thighs. If you can reach for your toes, grab them in yogi toe lock or just walk your hands forward. If you’re tight in the hamstrings and inner thighs, you can sit up on something (yoga block or folded towel). Straddle lets the pelvis open and make space for blood to flow to the cramped-up regions. It also feels good on the lower back, hips and waist.
Pose 3: Goddess
Finish by lying down on your back in Goddess pose. Bring the soles of your feet together and let your knees open to their own sides. Place your hands on your belly or let them fall out to the sides. Feel the belly rise and fall with the breath and imagine your deep breaths relieving any pain and discomfort. Hold for as long as you wish the roll to your side and gently come back up to sit. This is a great way to relieve cramping. You can also place the heating pad on your belly or behind your lower back as you lie in goddess pose.
Renowned celebrity trainer Kristin McGee is certified in yoga, Pilates and fitness, and is dedicated to a program of healthy eating for all. She has worked with a long list of celebrities such as Steve Martin, Tina Fey, LeAnn Rimes, and appeared in the DVD "Body by Bethenny." You may know Kristin from her many television appearances: CNN, "CBS This Morning," FOX, "Good Morning America" and "Tyra," to name a few. She is a frequent contributor to and has been profiled by many lifestyle and fitness titles, is a Contributing Editor to Health Magazine and leads retreats around the world. Kristin teaches at Reebok/Sports Club L.A., Clay Health and Fitness, Equinox Fitness, Yoga Works, and more. She is also a Fila Yoga Ambassador.
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