Four expert-approved ways to pay less tax
Four expert-approved ways to pay less tax

Nick Charalambous

This Monkstown home is a serene dream, yet still perfectly suited to the demands of family life
This Monkstown home is a serene dream, yet still perfectly suited to the demands of...

IMAGE Interiors & Living

Crossing: Director Levan Akin on his new film, patriarchy and the importance of family
Crossing: Director Levan Akin on his new film, patriarchy and the importance of family

Sarah Finnan

Weekend Guide: Festivals, exhibitions, and more great events
Weekend Guide: Festivals, exhibitions, and more great events

Sarah Gill

IMAGE staff pick their top skincare products from French beauty brands
IMAGE staff pick their top skincare products from French beauty brands

Edaein OConnell

Inside the former tram ticketing office on the market for €680,000
Inside the former tram ticketing office on the market for €680,000

Sarah Finnan

The rise of teeth gems on the Irish scene
The rise of teeth gems on the Irish scene

Oyindamola Animashaun

Page Turners: ‘The Story Collector’ author Evie Woods
Page Turners: ‘The Story Collector’ author Evie Woods

Sarah Gill

5 foolproof summer ‘fits
5 foolproof summer ‘fits

Sarah Finnan

The massage I’ve spent the past month thinking about
The massage I’ve spent the past month thinking about

Sarah Gill

Image / Self / Health & Wellness
Sponsored

The best yoga poses to help alleviate period pain, from Liz Costigan Fleury

Sponsored By

By Sarah Gill
08th Jun 2023
Sponsored By
The best yoga poses to help alleviate period pain, from Liz Costigan Fleury

Here, we chat to yoga teacher, fitness trainer and wellness advocate Liz Costigan Fleury about the way our menstrual cycles influence our movement, relieving pain through yoga poses, and the importance of having a deeper awareness of your cycle.

Period pain yoga

How can our menstrual cycles influence our movement, whether we go for walks, runs, gym time or yoga?

Everybody is different and every body is different. So, it’s really important that we learn to truly listen to our bodies and do what feels right, not what we think we should be doing. Typically when we track our cycles our winter or menstruation time is one for quiet and calm so gentler practices like Yin Yoga can be helpful.

Ideally during menstruation, we would try to rest as much as possible because our bodies are going through a huge process of shedding and releasing. Our energy is very low so we try not to overdo it. If we look at our inner summer or ovulatory phase we typically have more energy and can do more high-intensity movement like walking, running or gym time. For each season we move differently depending on our energy levels.

As a yoga teacher and fitness trainer, you’re often on the move. What are a few things you always have on hand when it’s your time of the month?

I always have some lavender essential oil in my bag to rub on my temples and forehead to soothe my nervous system, as I tend to get a lot of headaches depending on what day of my menstrual cycle it is. Water is forever with me throughout my cycle, and of course, I never leave the house without Always pads. I don’t have a regular period so I always have a spare pad in my yoga bag just in case!

What are some ways we can start listening to our bodies? What do they often say to us during our periods?

Often we are told to keep going, to train through the pain. I cringe when I hear this because this is just not the right thing to do for our wonderful bodies! Exercise and movement will help during every season or phase of our cycle but it’s the intensity that is important. We must give ourselves sufficient rest even if we are following a training program.

Period pain yoga

I believe in the power of quiet time and meditation. It gives us the space to listen into our inner world, space to listen to the whispers of our souls. As women, we are very often juggling so many things and don’t get a chance to stop and listen but it is vital for our inner and outer well-being. If we can time daily to check in with how we are feeling it can really help us honour ourselves and our cycles.

Through Menstrual Cycle Awareness (MCA) we can learn so much about the power of our cycle and how to honour our energy during each week and month.

How can yoga help alleviate period pain? How does this relief affect our overall wellness?

Yoga is great for period pain. Usually, we experience pain from cramping in the belly, pelvis, hips, and lower back. These areas can be targeted for pain relief through certain yoga poses like child pose, cat-cow or legs-up-the-wall pose. (If you do try yoga during your period, I find Always pads are great to use, as their wings lock into place for added security.)

Period pain can be debilitating, so when we find something that alleviates the pain it can give us a sense of control over our well-being. Yoga also boosts energy levels and soothes the nervous system which is so important for our overall wellness.

always

What movements/positions do you recommend for this?
  • Child’s Pose helps to stretch the lower back and relax the hips
  • Inverted Leg Pose helps to soothe the nervous system. It’s also said to help you focus which is great for that stage in menstruation when you feel fuzzy and can’t focus.
  • Shavasana / Corps Pose helps to relax the abdominal and vaginal muscles as well as relieve cramps. This pose can bring a sense of wellness and restoration to the mind and body.
  • Trikonasana – doing this pose supports the tissue in your pelvic area which stimulates blood flow and relieves period cramps or pelvic discomfort.
  • Down Dog – if you crave an inversion when during your period, down dog is a good option as it isn’t intense and releases endorphins which are the body’s natural painkiller.

always

What else should we know about our cycle?

The greatest gift you can give yourself is a deeper awareness of your cycle. For too long we have been conditioned to think that periods are something to hide, to whisper about – when in fact our blood is sacred and powerful and holds so much wisdom.

Do yourself a humongous favour and start learning about your cycle, you will gain such a deeper knowledge about your body and your soul, you will not regret it!

In our partnership with Always, ‘Go With Your Flow’, we’re on a mission to empower women and people with periods to use the appropriate period products; understand how our moods might be affected; how our relationships might be impacted and ultimately allow us to give our bodies and minds a chance to thrive. Learn more at always.co.uk.