There is an on-going debate about whether or not, as women, can we do yoga during menstruation? The short answer is to listen to your body.
A woman’s cycle is constantly changing and moving. When a woman enters menstruation, her energy level has decreased, and blood flow is being released from the body. For some women, it is a time of rest because of menstrual cramps, but for those who have always been active and athletic all their life, they can do yoga during periods easily.
We advise women not to push themselves when the body is saying that it needs to rest or that it is experiencing pain. But for those who want to continue with their yoga, there are a few recommended poses that help regulate menstruation and may relieve period cramps. Let’s have a look-see at some yoga poses here!
How To Do Yoga During Period Cramps
So is it safe, and can we do yoga during menstruation? Practicing yoga even when on your period can be beneficial, especially for those who experience menstrual cramps. Remember that although all women have menstruation, each woman can experience a period differently. It isn’t the best time of the month for a lot of us, that’s for sure. But these yoga poses are going to help alleviate menstrual cramps and give you the workout you need for the day. We will be focusing on seated poses:
- Cobbler’s Pose (Baddha Konasana) – Our womb feels heavy during menstruation. This pose opens the pelvis, and when you bend forward, you can use a pillow or a few blankets to help your torso.
- Goddess Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana) – Lie down with your knees bent and arms on the sides. Slowly release your knees to the sides while bringing the soles of your feet together.
- Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana) – Both of your legs are stretched forward and can be uncomfortable. It’s okay to take your time or stop if it’s too painful when you come forward. You are asking your pelvis to tip.
- Head to Knee Pose (Janu Sirsasana) – Take it easy with this pose. When you extend your left leg, place the sole of your right leg on your left thigh. When you center your torso over the left leg, fold forward, then come back. Do this pose on each leg, gently.
- Seated Straddle (Upavistha Konasana) – You can choose to remain sitting upright with this one if you like. Open your legs wide, add blankets for support if you feel like it.
If you experience pain, it’s okay to stop. If someone you know is unsure and asks if one can do yoga during periods, you can definitely suggest these poses if they want to try them out.
Are There Yoga Poses That Should Be Avoided During Menstruation?
Some poses help alleviate menstrual pain, and there are yoga poses that do not. So when thinking, can we do yoga during menstruation? Yes, there are recommended poses, while there are some that should be avoided. As mentioned before, not all women experience the same period. Some can prolong a pose for a few minutes, while others can have a hard time stretching outward or inward. The recommended poses in the list above are helpful, while the list below can make it difficult for your cycle.
These are advanced and very physical poses, and we suggest not doing these because the uterus is pulled toward the head and can disrupt the blood supply going to your womb. Here are five asanas to avoid when you’re on your period:
- Headstand Asana
- Shoulder Stand Pose
- Full Wheel Asana or Upward Bow Pose
- Boat Pose
- Plow Pose or Inversion Pose
Yoga can be done during menstruation but always proceed with caution, listen to your body, stop when you experience pain, and move slowly.
I Can’t Do Asanas But I Want To Do Yoga
Can we do yoga during menstruation without doing any physical poses? Yes! You can definitely practice meditation and breathing. Yoga is not just all about physical exercises. All yogi should practice the mental and spiritual aspects of yoga as well.
Yoga is well known for its asanas, but physical fitness is not the main goal. Yoga is all about creating harmony in the body and mind. You can meditate by expanding your energy through breathing and mental focus as well. You can perfectly sit upright on the floor (or yoga mat) and listen to your breathing. Focus on your breathing and acknowledge that you are alive and going through the normal process of woman-life. And the more oxygen you take in, the more you help the blood flow.
For some, it can be a stressful mental period, as well. Practicing inner silence is a good way to keep calm. Your body, mind, and even hormones, are very sensitive. By meditating, you are allowing yourself to go through the process in a less stressful manner.
Now, your body is not at its best right now, but it is going through a natural phase. You can teach your body to react to stress, like cramps, differently. In this manner, it also allows your body to rest some more.
We are excited to see you grow in your asanas! By reading this page, you are taking the right steps towards taking care of your mind and body during your cycle. Now that you know the poses you can use when on your period, and the poses to avoid, you can take the right steps when practicing yoga. Remember, when you experience pain, it is alright to stop! And as you begin to incorporate these tips, always remember to breathe and meditate. Yoga should be a relaxing activity that helps center the mind and align the body. So, can we do yoga during menstruation? The short answer will always be – listen to your body! Learn more tips on yoga routines.