Menstruation can be a tough time for the body. When your period comes, it often brings with it pain, cramps, and general feelings of discomfort. Sometimes, all you want to do is curl up under a blanket.
However, engaging in yoga can actually be beneficial during your period. Yoga can alleviate the painful side effects of menstruation while boosting your mood and helping you connect with your body.
In this guide, we’ll explore how yoga can be beneficial during your period, and what poses to try if you’re just starting out.
Can You Do Yoga When Menstruating?
Yes, it is safe to do yoga while on your period. In fact, you might find engaging in yoga can help relieve some of the pain and cramps. With that said menstruation can be tough on the body. You might prefer to take it a little easier during your yoga session.
An important aspect of yoga is finding a connection with your body. We’re encouraged to consider each movement and position carefully, staying in tune with what we can do.
This component feels extra important during menstruation. At a potentially uncomfortable time for the body, we need to stay aware of its needs.
If yoga is a regular part of your routine, you can continue to practice it throughout your period. Simply adjust any poses you don’t feel comfortable with.
If you rarely attempt yoga, try picking it up during your period! It can have physical and spiritual benefits.
Benefits Of Doing Yoga On Your Period
Far from avoiding yoga on your period, we think you should embrace it! Even if you don’t feel up to your usual routines, a few minutes spent practicing yoga can potentially be a benefit during menstruation.
- Exercise such as yoga can help reduce pain and cramps during menstruation. If you suffer from painful periods, moving your body can make you feel better. The increased circulation from exercise can alleviate aches across the body.
- Yoga, and other forms of exercise, elevate endorphin levels, improving your mood. It’s normal to feel low during your period, but yoga can help boost your outlook.
- Yoga is an adaptable form of exercise. It’s easy to switch up the routine to encompass only the poses you feel comfortable with. And as yoga encourages listening to your body, you can respond quickly to what you need.
- Engaging in yoga in the days leading up to your period can help you to relax your body. In turn, this can potentially reduce cramps and tenderness. If you find some simple poses that help relieve cramps during your period, try to keep up the routine throughout your cycle. You might feel the benefits when your next period comes along.
- Beyond the physical benefits of practicing yoga while menstruating, you might find it has emotional benefits. Periods can lead to strong emotions and negative feelings. Light yoga with a focus on the connection between body and soul can help you feel centered. Combined with the endorphin release from exercise, you might find it lifts your mood.
Yoga Poses To Try While Menstruating
Yoga is all about listening to your body, and when you’re on your period, this is vitally important. The poses we’ve covered below should be gentle for a sensitive body.
Legs Against The Wall
An easy and comfortable pose that is easy to achieve on your period, legs against the wall allows you to relax in a comfortable position.
To get into this pose, sit close to your chosen wall. Gently lower your back downward, so your head and shoulders rest against the floor. Bring your knees over your torso and scoot forward until your tailbone is against the wall. Walk your feet up the wall until your legs are straight.
Relax in this position for as long as you feel comfortable — you might be there for a while! When you’re ready to come out of the position, bend your knees back towards your body, scoot away from the wall, and bring your feet to the ground. Gently sit up.
Half Moon Pose
Stand forward with your feet together and your shoulders back. Clasp your hands in front of you and raise them above your head, straight up in the air.
Gently bend to one side, with the movement starting at the obliques. Keep your legs together as you move. When your body forms a half-moon shape, hold the position for several beats. Move back to the center and repeat on the other side.
The camel pose starts on the floor and bends backward, stretching out the torso and the pelvis.
Stand on your knees with your calves behind you and your toes tucked. Hold the body straight.
Lean backward slowly, with the movement coming from the upper back. Reach your arms out straight from your shoulders, stretching for your heels. When you touch your heels, push the pelvis forward.
Alternatives To Yoga During Menstruation
If you aren’t feeling up to a yoga session on your period, there are low-impact options to try instead. By shifting the focus from the physical to the spiritual, you can find the calm and connection yoga provides, while staying comfortable in your body.
Try setting aside the time when you’d normally be doing yoga for meditation.
Are There Yoga Positions You Need To Avoid When Menstruating?
There are no specific poses that you need to avoid when menstruating. Even inversions are safe to engage in, and we’ve covered them in more detail below.
However, menstruation can be an uncomfortable and painful time. It’s important to pick poses that you can engage in safely.
You might want to avoid positions that put pressure on the stomach and abdomen if you have cramps and heavy bleeding. If you feel lightheaded, stay away from inversions. It’s all about listening to what your body wants and needs.
Inversion And Menstruation
Inversions — poses that place the head closer to the ground than the heart — are common moves in yoga. Some, such as handstands and headstands, are difficult to achieve. However, even common poses such as the downward dog are inversions.
There is no medical reason to avoid inversions on your period. The upside-down positions won’t affect how menstrual blood is released. Safely engaging in inversion poses is perfectly fine when you’re menstruating.
However, while there may not be a medical reason to avoid inversions on your period, some stay away for spiritual reasons. The ancient medicine of Ayurveda teaches that inversions upset the natural “flow” of menstrual blood.
If you engage in yoga for the connection between the spiritual and the body, you might want to avoid inversions to maintain this natural “flow”. But if you do try an inversion pose safely, it shouldn’t cause medical issues.
One final note on inversions and yoga: only complete inversions if you feel up to it. Menstruation can lead to feelings of lightheadedness, dizziness, and fatigue. If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it’s best to steer clear of difficult poses.
The menstrual cycle is tough on the body. Light yoga during your period can help alleviate symptoms and boost your mood. However, it’s important to pay attention to your body. Only engage in poses you feel comfortable doing.
What yoga positions do you find beneficial during menstruation?
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Yoga Help Alleviate Menstrual Cramps?
Yes, practicing yoga can help alleviate menstrual aches and cramps. The endorphin rush you receive from exercise can also boost your mood during your period.
Do You Need To Avoid Inversions When Menstruating?
There’s no medical reason to avoid inversions when on your period if you feel comfortable doing them. However, if you feel lightheaded or fatigued, it’s better to steer clear of any challenging poses.