For 12 weeks, 20 participants attended a one hour-long class on Friday evenings. Each session was the same: 15 minutes of sun salutations, five minutes of savasana, 10 minutes of various yoga poses, and then a half-hour of yoga nidra (a.k.a. sleep meditation). A separate control group did no yoga. After the 12 weeks, the weekly yogis reported significantly less intense cramps compared to the control group and they also reported less “menstrual distress” overall.
The best part about the study is that the yoga routine performed by the participants is super easy to do yourself at home. Start with 10 cycles of these sun salutations (this should take about 15 minutes to complete) before taking a relaxing five-minute breather in savasana. Next, move into a 15-minute sequence of poses—specifically, cat to cobra to fish—and repeat 10 times. Finally (here’s the best part), spend 30 minutes perfecting your yoga nidra while chilling in savasana. With that kind of total relaxation, we can’t see how a pesky little cramp could get you down.