Menstruation entails hormonal changes that majorly affect your energy, stamina, and mood. Some consider that time of the month to be apt for resting. However, the experience of menstruation is different for everyone. For some, periods are pretty similar to the other dry days of the month while for others, the cramps are intense enough to make them spend a couple of days in bed. So, the idea of practicing yoga during the menstrual cycle is controversial.
Due to differences in menstrual symptoms, there is no standard recommendation as to whether a woman ought to do yoga exercises during her periods or not.
If you are bleeding heavily and feeling miserable, you should skip it. Otherwise, just go for it and give it a try.
Benefits of Yoga During Periods
According to studies, light exercises, especially yoga is very helpful in relieving cramps and boosting the mood during menstruation. Yoga asanas are all about practicing and holding onto different postures. Due to the inversion positions of a lot of yoga postures, yoga has become very controversial during the menstrual cycle.
The view and experience of menstruation differ from woman to woman, some of which are as follows:
- Some women do not feel any pain.
- Others get highly upset.
- Many suffer from cramps and mood swings, thus lie in bed, curling up in a shell.
- A few find this cycle unclean and associate it with negative emotions.
Whatever your experience is with your menstruation, yoga can help in overcoming all the negativity effectively. If you genuinely feel uncomfortable making different yoga postures during the time of the month, you can try out gentle stretches, deep breathing, and Om chanting.
Practicing yoga mindfully during periods can help produce the following effects:
- Alleviate back pain and cramps
- Reduce congestion
- Balance hormones that control emotions and thus reduce depression, anxiety, and mood swings
- Reduce abdominal swelling and pain
- Minimize breast tenderness during the menstrual cycle
According to experts, women who practice yoga daily or at least twice a week not only enjoy optimum physical fitness and a better life but also experience a significant improvement in menstrual suffering.
A Drawback of Practicing Yoga During Periods
During periods, your body energy naturally flows downward. Due to this fact, practicing inversions during this time can lead to pain and discomfort. Though there is no scientific evidence, some experts believe that yoga during menstruation might lead to endometriosis and fertility issues. If you are experiencing heavy menstrual flow and wearing pads, prolonged inversion can make things messy too.
As there are no hard-and-fast rules of avoiding yoga practice during menstruation, it’s always better to discover the poses that serve you the best.
How to Practice Yoga During Menstruation
Consider following these steps to do yoga exercises during periods.
Don’t Miss Class
Though there are many myths regarding doing yoga during the time of the month, there’s no rule that can stop you from attending class. If you are uncomfortable with practicing during this time of the month, talk to your instructor who can guide you accordingly or just rest in Child’s pose if a pose doesn’t feel right at the moment.
Don’t Force It
If you are truly in pain, don’t force yourself to go to do yoga. During the cycle, if you find it difficult to bear the cramps, take a rest. Yoga is all about feeling better physically and mentally. Forcing yourself to practice will do no good to you.
Gauge Your Strength
Listen to your body. Some women feel low during their periods. Gauge yourself both physically and mentally before going for a yoga session. It is alright to give yoga a miss if you do not feel strong enough.
Practice Relaxing Poses
If you have decided to practice yoga during periods, embrace relaxing and restorative poses. Don’t invert as it might cause abdominal discomfort. Poses like child’s pose, triangle pose, and garland pose can help to reduce cramps and improve blood circulation.
When you are menstruating, try to pick outfits that are comfortable. Don’t worry about fashion. The more comfortable you feel, the less challenging the yoga session.
Which Poses to Avoid during menstruation
As mentioned earlier, inversion poses go against the natural flow of energy during the menstrual cycle and thus, should be avoided. Here are some of the asanas to stay away from during this time of the month:
- Adho Mukha Vrksasana or Handstand
- Salamba Sirsana or Headstand
- Salamba Sarvangasana or Shoulder Stand
- Urdhva Dhanurasana or Full Wheel
- Navasana or Boat Pose
- Halasana or Plow Pose
- Breath of Fire
- Seated Spinal Twist
Which Poses are Good during menstruation
The contemporary yoga techniques allow you to make your own decision regarding whether or not to do yoga during menstruation. Though there is no one yoga pose that can ease your heavy flow or painful cramps, there are some postures that can soothe and relax you considerably. If you are looking for restorative exercises that can alleviate your discomfort, consider the following yoga poses:
- Baddha Konasana or Cobbler’s Pose
- Janu Sirsasana or Head-to-Knee Pose
- Upavista Konasana or Seated Straddle
- Paschimottanasana or Seated Forward Bend
- Supported Bridge Pose
- Supta Baddha Konasana or Reclined Cobbler’s Pose
- Supine Twist
- Child’s Pose
- Forward Bends
Menstruation can cause discomfort and inconvenience, but try to embrace your period. It is a little health check-in every month.
As it is an individual experience, every person has the freedom to decide whether to practice yoga during that time. So, it’s wise to listen to your own body and do whatever feels best for you.