If you suffer from pelvic pain, whether from endometriosis or something else, you could use yoga to help release some of that pain. Many positions rely heavily on core strength, which can be hard to manage when you’re dealing with pain in the same area. Here, a yoga teacher who herself has suffered from endometriosis, put together a basic program to help those suffering from pelvic pain, calm their bodies and ease some of the issue.
Six Yoga Exercises for You
Long, deep breathing. When you take deep breaths instead of shallow, a relax and rest mode of your nervous system is activated, calming both your muscles and your mind. You can practice by expanding your diaphragm deeply, expanding your chest to feel your collar bones lifting, and slowly counting to take a deep breath. Exhale equally slowly, then count a couple of beats before you breathe in again.
Sufi grind. Helpful to open your hips, aid with digestion, and stretch your lower spine. Sit on a chair or on the floor with your legs bent at the knees, feet pulled in to your center, ankles not stacked but placed one in front of the other. Place your hands on your knees, and slowly rotate your torso, not side to side, but moving your whole upper trunk in a circle. Inhale on the first half of the circle and exhale on the second half. After a few minutes, change direction. You should feel your core begin to relax.
Squatting pose. Many women say this helps immensely with pain. From a standing position with your legs shoulder-width apart, squat down, all the way down, until your rear is close to the floor. Keep your back straight, and your toes pointing forward. Pull your chin in to keep your spine straight through your neck. You can move your legs out if you need to. Wrap your arms around the outside of your legs, up by the knees, and take long, deep breaths. Feel the breath coming from your belly. Stay in the pose for up to three minutes, or longer if it’s comfortable.
Wind release pose. Especially if you can’t do the squatting pose, this might also help the pain. Lie down on your back on the floor, or on a bed if that’s more comfortable. Pull your knees to your chest, with some space between each knee, wrapping your arms around your legs. Breathe long and deep as in the previous poses, staying in the pose for as long as needed.
Rock pose. Particularly good for menstrual cramps. Start by kneeling on both legs, with the tops of your feet on the ground. Sit back on your heels. Keep your spine very straight, and breathe deeply for several minutes. If the position is too uncomfortable, tuck a pillow between your thighs and shins, or place a pillow under your knees on the floor or bed.
Cobra pose. This can help open up your pelvis and stretch your lower back. Lie on your belly, placing your hands under your shoulders. Take a deep breath in as you lift your head and shoulders while straightening your arms, pressing your hips into the floor. Arch your back, keeping your feet as close together as you can. Stretch your neck back, and breathe deeply for a couple of minutes. If this pose is too much, you can modify it by going up on your elbows instead of onto straight arms.
If you face pelvic pain in your daily life, know that you don’t have to. Whether through simple steps like this workout or by talking to a physician, you can find a way to help alleviate the pain. For information on endometriosis, pelvic pain, or to start a discussion on building a family, please contact us anytime at 717-747-3099 or click on the button below. If you’d prefer to find out more about our practice first, you can check out our free webinar here.
Dr. Melanie Ochalski