Yoga with Leo Mowry - Village Yoga, Forest Hill, Toronoto ON

Back Pain Yoga Asanas

Asanas / October 22, 2015

Aching back? Menstrual cramps? Next time you're hurting, grab a yoga mat. That's right your favorite fitness class might also help heal you.

For example, a new study in the Journal of Rheumatology found that among sedentary adults suffering from arthritis, 8 weeks of yoga helped improve their pain levels and general health and well-being. This adds to other research showing it might also ease annoying body problems like headaches and menstrual cramps.

RELATED: 9 Best Workouts to Do When You Have Your Period

Menstrual cramps

Often treated with over-the-counter painkillers and birth control pills, monthly menstrual cramps are a real bummer. Performing these poses at the height of your pain may be helpful.

Janu Sirsasana

Sitting, extend your left leg out straight and bend your right leg, with your right foot pressing into the inside of your thigh. Fold forward over your extended leg hinging from the hips, elongating your spine and breathing.

How it helps: This move not only works to reduce anxiety and stress levels to help you relax, but also bending from your groin stretches muscles that are tense from cramping.


Start in standing position with feet hip width, toes turned out. Squat down deeply. Bring your hands together at heat center in prayer position as you press your elbows into the inner thighs. Option to open twist to each side. For support, a balancing block can be placed under the butt.

How it helps: The malasana will stretch your body through the thighs, groin and lower back. Additionally, this move helps to supports digestion, and the ascending and descending colon to help ease any discomfort in your lower abdomen.

Stress-related teeth grinding

So stressed your jaw hurts? You might be suffering from "bruxism, " aka teeth grinding. In severe cases this can lead to jaw disorders, headaches, on top of dental problems, but for many people teeth grinding is an unconscious habit brought on by stress or anxiety. (It can also happen while you sleep; seeing a dentist for chronic teeth-grinding is recommended.)

To ease the after-effects of a (literally) grinding day, you can use these poses to relieve stress and tension in the neck, upper shoulders, and trapezius, Brauer says.

Eagle Arms

Sitting up straight, put both arms out in front of you. Wrap your right arm under the left and catch your wrist or palms. Then, lift your fingertips straight into the air, whilst pressing pinky fingers forward in space. Take several breaths, repeat, wrapping your left arm under right.