Yoga practitioners often lead their students into forward bends for the benefit of grounding and calming the body. Grounding poses like this standing forward bend may be just what you need to mentally get through tough moments of pain and cramping. It is naturally calming to the parasympathetic nervous system, according to Heartmanity.
Breathing deeply and establishing a mindful, solid connection with the ground (i.e., experiencing the rooted sensation in your feet on the ground or the weight of your sit bones if seated) helps to mitigate the stress and strain associated with the cycle of pain, according to North Shore Myofacial Release. It may even release trapped emotions that contributes to your pain. What's more, a standing forward bend lengthens the spine and stretches the hips, which can reduce lower back pain often associated with period distress. It also promotes healthy circulation.
Deeply inhale as you stand upright with your shoulders back, your neck long, and the crown of your head to the ceiling. Exhale deeply as you bend your knees and gently hinge at your hips to fold your torso over your legs, reaching your fingers toward the ground. If your hamstrings are tight, bend your knees as deeply as necessary so as not to stress your lower back. Continue to breathe deeply as you lengthen through this stretch and allow the crown of your head to relax toward the floor.