8 Poses to Relieve Pelvic Pain

Endometriosis is a chronic gynecological disorder that affects approximately 176 million women worldwide. Although it can occur at any age, it is most common in women of reproductive age, usually between the ages of 15 and 49 (1).

If you've ever experienced endometriosis, you know how painful it can be. Part of managing endometriosis is managing the pelvic pain that often accompanies the condition. Recent research suggests that yoga may be one way to do this (2, 3).

Yoga can ease symptoms of endometriosis and improve your overall health. It helps reduce pain, relieve tension, and encourage relaxation. Yoga can also help you manage stress and develop mindfulness.

Read on to learn more about how yoga can help you manage your endometriosis symptoms, the best poses to try, and practice tips.

Endometriosis causes tissue that resembles the lining of the uterus, endometrioid-like tissue, to grow outside the uterus.

Endometrioid tissue usually grows in the ovaries, bladder, and intestines, or in the tissues around the rectovaginal septum, fallopian tubes, and pelvis. This tissue does not usually grow outside the pelvic area, but it is possible.

Symptoms of endometriosis

Symptoms of endometriosis range from mild to severe. It is also possible to have endometriosis without any symptoms. Pain is the most common symptom.

Symptoms of endometriosis include:

  • painful time
  • intermenstrual bleeding
  • long or short time interval
  • Heavy menstrual flow (menorrhagia) with thick blood clots
  • pain during ovulation
  • pain during or after sex
  • back, pelvis, and leg pain
  • cramp
  • fatigue
  • infertility
  • uncomfortable bowel movements or urination
  • vomiting, nausea or bloating
  • menstrual headache


Endometriosis is a relatively common condition that can cause varying degrees of pain.

Having endometriosis can affect your physical, mental, and emotional health.

Yoga offers several therapeutic benefits and may help reduce endometriosis symptoms such as stress, tension, and pain (4).

It encourages relaxation, which helps relieve discomfort and calm your mind.

Research shows that yoga and breathing techniques can help relieve pelvic pain in women with endometriosis.

In a small 2018 study, women who practiced yoga twice a week for 8 weeks improved their introspection skills and mind-body connection, which had a positive impact on pain management.2).

In another small study, women with endometriosis who did yoga twice a week for 8 weeks reduced chronic pelvic pain and improved quality of life.3).

Yoga can help manage endometriosis in a number of ways, according to physical therapist and certified fitness specialist Kasia Gondek.

“Yoga and mindfulness practice can improve breathing patterns, improve posture, and reduce pain from daily activities,” she says. “It also helps reduce and manage flare-ups of symptoms.”

Gondek, who specializes in women's health and pelvic floor rehabilitation, recommends a yoga style that emphasizes mindfulness, slow, controlled movements, and longer hold times. This includes gentle yoga styles such as hatha, yin, and restorative yoga.

Gentle, restful poses help soften and relax the muscles around the pelvis, which helps create space and release tension.

To ease the pain and discomfort of endometriosis, Gondek recommends focusing on restorative postures to release tension and promote relaxation.

“Restoring helps soften the abdomen, lower back muscles, inner thighs, pelvic floor muscles, and chest wall. These are the areas of the body that are most likely to become tight and restricted,” she explains.


Research shows that yoga is an effective way to relieve pelvic pain.

In most cases, it is safe to practice yoga with endometriosis. Avoid strenuous yoga styles such as Ashtanga, Vinyasa, or hot yoga as they can make symptoms worse. Listen to your body and stay away from positions that cause or aggravate your symptoms.

If you've recently had abdominal surgery, Gondek recommends talking with your surgeon before starting your yoga practice.

“To protect the healing tissue, avoid locations that put pressure on the abdomen or the surgical site,” she says.

“This includes lying on your stomach in Sphinx, bringing your thighs to your belly in Child's Pose, or compressing your belly in Happy Baby Pose.”

Gondek recommends avoiding twisting the pose until your surgeon clears you.

“Once you're healed and able to move, these poses are great for improving scar tissue mobility, strength, flexibility, and posture,” she says.


Gentle yoga is generally safe for women with endometriosis. If you have recently had surgery or your symptoms have worsened, take time to rest before continuing your yoga practice.

Restoring Goddess Pose

This relaxing pose helps relieve pelvic pain, reduce abdominal tension and balance the nervous system.

Gondek recommends this pose, explaining, “Restorative Goddess Pose deeply relaxes and opens up the chest wall, buttocks, and inner thighs. It also calms the dorsal vagus nerve, which is responsible for our fight-or-flight response.”

  1. Place a cushion under your thighs, below your sit bones.
  2. Use a yoga block and mat to create an incline support.
  3. Lie down with your spine and head supported by cushions.
  4. Relax your arms to the sides, palms facing up.
  5. Focus on deep breathing.
  6. Hold this position for 3-10 minutes.

Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana)

This twist improves spinal flexibility and stretches your chest, back, and hips.

“Supine spinal torsion is a great way to release the lumbosacral and abdominal myofascial constraints that are common in endometriosis,” Gondek said.

“It also opens the chest, increasing awareness of breathing by focusing on activation of the diaphragm and lateral rib expansion. It can even help with digestive issues associated with endometriosis, such as constipation or bloating.”

To support your lower back and sacrum, place a pillow or yoga block between your knees. If they don't reach the floor, put a pillow under your knees.

  1. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Extend your arms out to the sides, palms down against the floor.
  3. As you inhale, breathe into your abdomen and lower ribs.
  4. As you exhale, lower your knee to the left.
  5. Take 5 deep breaths.
  6. Notice the stretch and elongation on both sides of the ribs.
  7. Return the knee to the starting position.
  8. Repeat on the right.

Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)

Happy Baby is a gentle hip opener that improves flexibility, reduces anxiety and encourages inner peace.

“This pose is great for releasing pelvic floor muscles, lower back muscles, inner thighs, and hamstrings,” Gondek said. “Endometriosis can cause these muscles to become soft and restricted due to pain-related motion or postural compensation.”

If your hands don't reach your feet, place them on your thighs or calves, or use straps on the arches of your feet.

  1. Lie on your back.
  2. Bend your knees toward the outside of your chest.
  3. Turn the soles of your feet toward the ceiling.
  4. Put your hands on the outside of your feet.
  5. To create resistance, press your foot down with your hands.
  6. At the same time, press your feet up into your hands.
  7. Focus on releasing tension in your hips and pelvic floor.
  8. Hold this position for up to 1 minute.

Children's Style (Barasana)

This gentle front fold promotes relaxation and inner awareness. It gently stretches your spine, hips and glutes to help relieve tension, cramps and stress.

For more support, place a cushion under your forehead, torso, or legs.

  1. Start with your hands and knees.
  2. Lower your hips and place them on your heels.
  3. Knees together or slightly wider than hips.
  4. The hinges fold forward at your hips.
  5. Extend your arms in front of or beside your body.
  6. Hold this position for up to 5 minutes.

Two Legs Over the Wall (Viparita Karani)

This pose has a calming effect, improves blood circulation, softens the pelvic muscles, and relieves cramps.

  1. Sit on the floor with your right side against the wall.
  2. Raise your legs and lean them against the wall while lying on your back.
  3. Move your hips closer to the wall or slightly away from the wall.
  4. Place your arms next to your body or place your hands on your belly.
  5. Hold this position for up to 15 minutes.

Tilt Hero Pose (Supta Virasana)

This pose gently stretches your abdomen and pelvis to help relieve pain, bloating, and discomfort.

To lower the intensity, do only one leg at a time. To support your head and neck, use blocks and cushions to create angled supports.

  1. From a kneeling position, bring the inside of the knees together.
  2. Feet wider than hips, toes touching the floor, big toes flexed in the middle.
  3. Put your hips on the floor between your feet.
  4. Lean back, using your forearms and elbows for support.
  5. Lean lightly on your back.
  6. Bring your arms close to your body at a slight angle.
  7. Hold this position for up to 1 minute.
  8. Return to sitting position.

Inclined Bondage Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

This relaxing pose calms your nervous system and reduces stress. It relieves tightness in the hips, pelvis and inner thighs. It also gently stretches your stomach, reducing pelvic discomfort.

For more support, use blocks or cushions under your knees. You can also use blocks or cushions under your chest.

  1. As you sit, press the soles of your feet together with your knees to the sides.
  2. Lie down on your back.
  3. Place your arms next to your body or place your hands on your belly.
  4. Hold this position for up to 5 minutes.

Garland (Malasana)

This squat strengthens the pelvic muscles and helps relieve pain, cramps, and digestive issues. It gently stretches your waist, hips and thighs to increase flexibility and blood circulation.

For support, you can place a block or cushion under your heels or hips, or do this pose with your back against a wall.

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips.
  2. Press palms together.
  3. Turn your toes slightly to the sides.
  4. Bend your knees and slowly lower your hips into a low squat.
  5. Press your heels into the floor.
  6. Lift your pelvic floor and lengthen your spine.
  7. To deepen the pose, press your elbows into your thighs.
  8. Hold this position for up to 1 minute.

Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation that you do while lying down. This relaxation exercise can relieve anxiety, depression, and stress (5).

It can also help manage chronic pain, release tension and improve sleep patterns.

You can download Yoga Nidra recordings here.

To get the most out of your yoga practice, pay attention and respect how you feel every day.

Pay attention to your physical, mental, and emotional responses to each pose. Use your breath to focus your awareness on any area of ​​discomfort or feeling. Avoid positions that put too much pressure on the abdomen, cause pain, or worsen symptoms.

Gondek recommends using props like mats, blankets, and yoga blocks to modify posture and provide support.

“This helps reduce muscle protection, which can occur when we experience pain. It gently supports the joints and muscles, allowing us to fully relax and release into a pose,” she explained.


Be sure to listen to your body and modify the posture as needed.

If you have endometriosis, you can develop a plan to manage your symptoms and prevent complications.

Yoga provides a range of physical, mental and emotional benefits and is an effective tool for managing and reducing the severity of endometriosis symptoms. In addition to gentle yoga poses, you can learn breathing, meditation, and relaxation techniques.

Talk to your doctor before starting a new yoga class, especially if you have severe symptoms. If possible, practice under the guidance of a yoga instructor.

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