Endometriosis is no walk in the park. It’s no wonder folks with this condition spend hours Googling solutions for everything from lower back tension to excruciating pelvic pain.

Fortunately, yoga may be able to help dial down that daily pain!

How can yoga help ease pain from endometriosis?

Researchers are still exploring how certain yoga poses can soothe symptoms of endometriosis. But results are promising.

One 2017 study of 60 women with chronic pelvic pain found that a combo of yoga poses, breathing exercises, and pain-relieving meds soothed pain more than the pain relievers alone.

A 2019 research review suggests a positive association between yoga and quality of life for folks with endo. But researchers also said that forced lifestyle changes like exercise could result in less overall enjoyment of the activity.

Self-care is personal, after all, so what soothes one person might = dreaded obligation for another.

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With that in mind, grab your mat (or a towel will do!) and get ready for some sweet relief.

Endometriosis, sometimes called “endo,” is a chronic condition in which the tissue that’s *supposed* to line your uterus starts growing in other areas. That rebel tissue can pop up everywhere from your ovaries to your lower intestines.

The results:

  • heaps of pain
  • internal scarring
  • adhesions (misplaced tissue that binds organs together)
  • possible infertility

Let’s emphasize here that yoga can only help manage the pain caused by endo — not eliminate endo itself. There’s no known cure for the condition, but there *are* helpful treatments in addition to yoga, such as pain meds, hormone therapy, and laparoscopic surgery.

Ready to give yoga for endometriosis a whirl? Here are some gentle poses that could soothe what ails you.

1. Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)

Whether you’re warming up for the gym or curled up on the couch with period cramps, you can benefit from a supine twist.

This pose is the best for releasing a stiff spine or loosening up your knotted lower belly (buh-bye, constipation and bloating!). A little chest stretch makes this a heart opener too. #winning

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Lie faceup with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. (You can also do this pose with your feet raised.)
  2. Stretch your arms wide, palms flat on the floor.
  3. Breathe in deeply — down into your belly!
  4. As you breathe out, keep knees together as you lower them all the way down on one side.
  5. Hold while taking a few deep breaths.
  6. Bring your knees up, then repeat on the other side.

Modification notes: If this twist feels painful or uncomfortable, try it with just one leg at a time. Keep one leg straight on the floor while bending the other.

2. Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)

This one’s known as Happy Baby Pose for a reason. Fair warning: Getting into this pelvis-loosening position might feel a little awkward and silly. Good thing laughter is the best medicine!

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Lie flat on your back.
  2. Bend your knees to bring thighs close to chest.
  3. Separate knees as wide as you can while grabbing the outside edges of your feet.
  4. Gently sway from side to side, keeping spine flat on the floor. Think of the motion as a massage for your endo-pained lower back.

3. Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Child’s Pose is one of the easiest ways to relieve tension in your torso — lower back included! If you’re in serious pain, start off easy with a pillow or cushion for support. Place it under your chest, your thighs, or wherever you need it most.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start on all fours, with a relaxed, straight back.
  2. Slowly shift hips back onto heels while bringing your feet closer together.
  3. Either tuck your arms straight along your sides (fingers pointing to toes) *or* stretch them waaaay out straight in front of you. Whatever feels best is best.
  4. Hold and breathe deeply. Focus on relaxing all your muscles by imagining your body melting into the floor. Stay here for 2–5 minutes. #ahhhhh

4. Legs-up-the-Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

Get ready for a major boost in tension-melting circulation.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Facing a wall, lie on your back, extend your legs upward, and rest them on the wall.
  2. Scooch really close to the wall so your hips are also against it, or as close as you can get.
  3. Rest hands on your belly or let arms fall open with hands at your sides.
  4. Pretend your body is sinking lower into the floor — kinda like it’s the comfiest mattress you’ve ever slept on.
  5. Breathe and rest here for as long as you like. Some people stay in this pose for up to 20 minutes.

Modification notes: If your pelvis is too tight and painful to do this pose comfortably, add a pillow under your hips. You’ll be amazed at the difference.

5. Reclined Hero Pose (Supta Virasana)

Hero Pose can be super intense on your knees, but it helps slowly stretch out your torso to relieve bloating and pelvic pain.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Kneel on the floor with your knees pressed together.
  2. With the tops of your feet touching the floor, separate feet wider than hip-width apart.
  3. Rest your butt on the floor between your feet.
  4. Slowly lean back (use your arms for support!).
  5. Now gently set arms down against your body.
  6. Hold for up to 1 minute. (Don’t forget to breathe!)
  7. Sit up and enjoy that sweet relief.

Modification notes: If you can’t lie all the way back, rest on your elbows. This reclined version is already more relaxing than the standard hero. If you have joint probs, you should do this stretch on just one side at a time.

6. Reclined Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Reclined Bound Angle = one of those easy yoga poses with surprising muscle-relaxing power. It’s good for stretching out your knotted-up lower back and groin.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Lie flat on your back.
  2. Bend knees and bring the soles of your feet together.
  3. Draw heels toward your butt until you feel a niiice stretch.
  4. Hold for several seconds, then start again.

Modification notes: Feeling discomfort in your neck or back? Grab a pillow! A cushion or rolled-up towel under your head or tailbone can work wonders.

7. Garland Pose (Malasana)

Oh, Garland Pose. Sounds so festive, feels like fire in your hips and thighs (in the best way). This deep squat-like stretch will help strengthen your pelvic muscles and relieve endo-related cramps.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Stand with feet wider than your hips.
  2. Shift your feet so heels point in and toes point out.
  3. Sink into a low squat.
  4. Press elbows toward the inner part of your knees and bring palms together.
  5. Bring chest forward to touch your thumbs. You should feel the stretch in your groin/pelvis.

Modification notes: Garland Pose is one of those yoga poses that often requires comfort tweaks. If your ankles are tight, slide a rolled blanket or towel under your heels. If your hips are tight (we see you), use a block under your butt for support.

Of course! These moves are just options to add to your arsenal, not requirements. It’s best to avoid *any* pose (or treatment method) that feels painful or super shaky.

When you’re experiencing an endo flare-up, it’s a good idea to avoid any poses that:

  • put pressure on your belly
  • cause back pain
  • seem to make your symptoms worse

Basically, listen to your body and lean on yoga props for support. Sometimes a pillow behind your neck or a cushion under your knees makes all the difference.

Wanna put an end to your endo pain? (Who doesn’t?) Yoga could be your new BFF.

No matter which of these poses you try, be gentle with your body. Move into each pose slowly and steadily. Forcing your body into a pretzel is a great way to pull a muscle, not soothe existing pain.

New to yoga? First, welcome to the fam! Second, check out some free online classes or step-by-step tutorials to nail the correct postures. And if yoga ever makes your endo symptoms worse, stop. You might need to rest easy for a few days or brush up on proper form.