Studies show that one in every three women suffers from menstrual cramps, according to Karin Björkegren’s new book: “Yoga for Women.” And, while exercise might be the last thing you feel like doing when you’re on your period, studies have also proven that physical activity can lessen pain and cramping; it’s worth getting yourself to yoga class.

According to Björkegren, relieving menstrual pain is all about loosening the pelvis, which means a) resting during the first few days of menstruation and b) minimizing stress, both of which can be helped a long way by regular yoga practice. She recommends backing off of a full yoga practice during your period to give yourself a rest and incorporating the following combination of relaxing, pelvis opening moves four to five times per week before or during your period:

Björkegren says: “This is a great preventive pose for menstruation issues. It opens up the groin and allows the lumbar to rest, the areas that usually hurt during menstruation pains.”

1) Lie on the floor or a yoga mat and place a bolster or pillow under your back for support.

2) Bring the soles of your feet together so your knees point out to the sides (as shown above).

3) Stay in pose for three to 10 minutes and breathe deeply.

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