My moon cycle (or monsoon as I like to call it) is very painful and long. I tend to avoid doing inverted asanas, such as headstand and shoulderstand. But there are other asanas to do in order to decrease the discomfort & cramps.
In my experience, it’s helpful to prepare for the arrival of your monsoon by doing daily Pranayama and Asana practice.
During your moon cycle (especially the first days), practice Kapalabathi breathing exercises, followed by a series of slower Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutations) (at least 2 on each side) and adding a sequence of the following asanas:
- Paschimotanasana (sitting forward bend): during this painful time of the month, you might want to add a bolster on your legs to allow your body to rest on the bolster so you can surrender more easily to the asana. Do try to keep your back as straight as possible and your chest open (don’t allow it to collapse).
- Bhujangasana (cobra): come into the pose, but don’t force coming up too high, find your edge of the day and then allow your belly to remain on the mat, focus on your back muscles.
- Salabhasana (locust).
- Dhanurasana (bow): come up in the pose and stay for a couple of breaths before you perform the ‘rocking boat’: moving back and forth on your belly whilst keeping your back muscles engaged, hence massaging the front side of your upper body and your abdominal organs.
- Ardha Matsyendrasana (half spinal twist): by bringing your leg closer to your body you’ll give a nice massage to your abdominal organs.
These asanas all have a way of massaging and toning the abdominal organs helping to relief cramps.End with a nice long Savasana (relaxation) where you put your hands on your lower belly and breathe deeply and slowly, abdominal breathing through the nose. Allow your whole body to relax, to sink into the mat, you might want to put a bolster under your knees if your cramps are particularly painful (in your upper legs, lower back and belly).
>>> TIP: Make your Surya Namaskara during the actual moon cycle a lot slower than usual, you’ll feel probably more heavy so it’s good to be a bit easier on yourself but you can still perform then and get the benefits for your body and mind.
Yin yoga poses also offer tremendous benefits, I’ll write more on that in a later post 🙂