Yoga can offer many body benefits. Some of the most simple poses (asanas) can have the most benefits. One great example of this is Uttanasana known as the standing forward bend. If you have a tendency to suffer from frequent headaches this is a must to be added into your regular yoga practice. This pose increases blood to the brain which intern increases oxygen decreasing the sometimes oxygen deprived brain. Secondly this pose stretches the back, neck and shoulders which are sometimes key factors in many common tension headaches. With the increase in oxygen to the brain this pose also has a natural calming effect with will decrease anxiety and therefore also depression. If you suffer from menstrual cramps or discomfort the seated or standing forward fold gently massages the internal organs and uterus decreasing discomfort related to uterine contractions with the sometimes passing of blood clots. This position facilitates natural flow of the blood and clots decreasing the body’s natural response to cause increased intense contractions to move blood and blood clots out of the uterus. During your menstruation it is a good idea to avoid complete inversions such as a full headstand or handstand secondary to the fact that your hormone levels are off and secondly you could have slight anemia related to the menstrual blood loss which can increase your risk of syncope (passing out). Lastly the forward bend will allow complete stretching of the back muscles if done properly. Never roll up from a forward bend rather hinge from the hips with a straight spine. Rolling up through the spine has been thought to be safer and easier however in rolling up this is causing compression within the spinal column putting you at an increase for disc issues such as bulging disc. Remember listen to your body it always knows best and knows your limits.
Happy practicing and stay informed to stay safe.