The wisdom of practicing yoga while on your period has long been a topic of discussion. Some people think that yoga’s renowned inversions and high-intensity poses interfere with your “natural flow of energy,” while others think that practicing the poses while menstruating might actually help you feel much better during your cycles. It all comes down to this: Can we practice yoga while having our period?
Well, there isn’t a flawless scientific standard that can either validate these assertions or conclusively disprove them. It’s been a contentious topic for a while now. Ladies, listen to your body! That is the only rational response to this argument. Isn’t that what yoga is really all about? It’s all about being aware of oneself, knowing when to push past your comfort zone and when to stop.
The key is balance
Menstruation affects and is endured differently by various women. We’ve all experienced the range of cramps, from minor to intolerable, bloating, tiredness, and high-flying emotions. The fluidity and smoothness of some months differ from those of others. However, there are months when heavy bleeding prevents us from leaving the warmth of our couch, and for the first couple of days, the hot water bottle is our best friend.
It’s also common knowledge that exercise (in any form) will benefit you when your “monthlies” arrive, improve blood flow to your lower body, release endorphins, or “feel good” hormones, and is, in general, a good way to divert your attention from the unpleasantness of the “crime-scene like” situation down there. Yoga as a kind of physical activity satisfies all the criteria and is renowned for its calming effects by stretching the sensitive and irritated pelvic and abdominal muscles and so providing relief.
However, here’s the catch! Menstruation is a time for rest and renewal, according to the traditional disciplines of yoga and other ancient schools. Additionally, there are some yoga postures that women should avoid doing when they are menstruating. If your yoga instructor practices one of these conventional disciplines, avoid inversions and challenging poses such as arm balances, full-body backbends, and powerful twists when you are on your period. Why might you ask? Yoga’s fundamental goal is to stimulate the flow of “prana,” or life force itself. While “Prana Vayu” controls the activities of ingestion, “Apana Vayu,” which is active in the pelvic and lower abdominal regions, controls the functions of excretion, urination, and menstruation. In essence, it is a downwardly travelling energy that eventually exits the body. Therefore, performing inversions like the headstand or shoulder stand during your period will interrupt the menstrual cycle and work against the normal flow of energy. Additionally, traditional yoga discourages this interruption.
Additionally, avoid placing additional strain on the abdominal muscles, which are already contracted, by avoiding powerful, violent twists and balances. Additionally, these yoga poses have a tendency to overheat your body, which may cause significant bleeding. Therefore, when practiced gently and mindfully, yoga can indeed aid in the relief of cramps and muscle tightness. When combined with meditative techniques, yoga also aids in coping with the emotional and mental turmoil that menstruation can occasionally bring.
The flip side of the tale about interrupting the downward flow of energy is that modern practitioners are refusing to adopt the idea since there isn’t any practical or empirical data to back it up. The menstrual blood does not flow back into the fallopian tubes as a result of inversions, and there is no conclusive scientific evidence that this results in endometriosis. Therefore, the modern yogis question, “Why hold back?” Some people have even branded these restriction techniques as sexist. That, however, is a whole different subject.
Let me talk about the problem from a personal standpoint- The last thing on your mind when your period starts is to go ahead and do a headstand for several minutes, according to my more than five years of yoga practice. I mean, NO! My practice is greatest when I incorporate light restorative yoga asanas that gently stretch my lower back, stomach muscles, and spine (at least on Days 1 and 2). Additionally, if I still have any energy, gentle Surya Namaskars are always satisfying. I don’t need the intensity for a few days, so why not? It is said that the greater part of velour is caution, and it is always better to be safe than sorry.
In conclusion, there is nothing stopping you from a killer yoga session if you feel as alive and energized on your period as you do on other days. In the end, you should follow your body’s cues, and if you work on your self-awareness, you’ll be able to recognize these signs. Do not believe the stereotype that says women should push themselves, take care of everyone around them, and not take breaks even when their bodies are in pain. Self-care comes first and foremost.
Message from bliss pads
Yes, you can feel like your best self when on your period.