Yoga is undoubtedly one of the best exercises to lift your mood and to energize your body. While most of the exercises are demanding and tiring, yoga, on the other hand, can relax your muscles and lightens your mood; hence, it’s perfect even during the periods when cramps hit, and the mood is on a rollercoaster.
Listen to your body
Many practices discourage yoga during periods and suggest to take rest, but, if you want to continue yoga even in those days, it is entirely normal. It is your call to decide whether your body is ready for asana. Every woman experiences their periods differently. While some don’t feel bloating and pain at all and can do pretty much everything like regular days, others prefer taking rest due to extreme symptoms of cramping. Due to these differences, there cannot be any specific prescription if one should or shouldn’t do yoga during her periods.
So, If you feel energized enough, you should do it, and if you feel tired and wish to take rest, that is fine too. Yoga is all about the amalgamation of body and mind, and if your body is not healthy, your mind will be affected too.
Types of yoga
If you are a regular yoga practitioner and regularly practice intense and power yoga, you might want to switch to some more relaxed posture and asana that suits your comfort during those days. Intense yoga during your periods might make you feel negative about it, especially if it takes a lot of effort to maintain a specific posture due to discomfort and low energy. Less intense or mild yoga can soothe your body and muscles when you are feeling fatigued and mellow.
In a study of 40 women, where 20 practiced yoga once a week for 12 weeks, and 20 did not, the set of first 20 women reported that they experienced less pain and discomfort during their periods.
Another study published in an issue of the Industrial Psychiatry Journal in 2011 supported that Yoga Nidra helpful in the treatment of menstrual disorders. Yoga Nidra is a meditative form of yoga, where the practitioner is somewhere in between the sleeping and the conscious mind. It helps your body to relax. The study conducted over 150 women reveals that Nidra yoga helps in improving gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and pain symptoms of periods.
Poses to avoid
What postures or asanas you do is entirely your choice, but some yoga schools suggest to avoid certain extreme postures during your periods.
Inversion is a posture to shift your Apana energy from your navel to your cervix but doing it handstand or headstand, this is a very challenging and energy consuming exercise which you would want to avoid during those days and also the postures is against the flow of your body. This can lead to overstretching or more massive bleeding.
It is also advisable to avoid extreme postures especially those that stress your abdominal muscles. Asanas like wheel and peacock are challenging to perform especially if you have cramps.
There are exercises which can help to release tension from your muscles and make you feel better. Some of the poses that you can do during your periods are:
“This pose can be super restorative by spreading your hip bones out wide to relieve any pressure from your lower back,” says Brianna Petrauskas, a certified yoga instructor.
Supta Baddha Konasana
As the expert say this pose activates the groin and helps in relaxation while the gravity eases the symptoms of menstruation and discomfort.
PMS and headache are the common symptoms of menstruation. Cobra pose improves the blood circulation; hence helps in headaches and body pain.
Cow and cat pose
This pose helps in the relaxation of the muscles and soothes back and body pain.
Also, head to knee pose calms the mind and relieves stress.
Periods are the time when your body cleanses itself. It is an excellent time to release what you don’t want in life and adopt what you think is right for you.