Traditionally it is advised for women to avoid practising Yoga while on their period, here I shed some light on why this is and also provide some options for what you can do if you really feel called to stretch out your body on your cycle. Sidenote: If you have any questions or comments be sure to leave them below and I shall do my best to get back to you as soon as able.
So why is Yoga said to be avoided while on your period?
1) Inversions and some other poses work on drawing energy and blood flow upwards from the spine. While these postures are great to help raise the Kundalini and energise the body, they are not so great for menstruating women as this seeks to disrupt our natural downward menstruation flow - Historically inversions while on our moon are said to not be so good for our reproductive system with scepticism around Endometriosis; where the cycle happens backwards. So women are called to take this time to rest.
2) Core work, twists or any exercises which put extra pressure on a now tender place in our body - think tummy and hip region are a bit of a no go too. This also includes certain Pranayama breathing techniques, especially when sending breath to the tummy and exhaling with force or holding locks. So if your a Vinyasa queen or Kundalini Yoga lover maybe take this space to hold a place for a more relaxational flow. Our yonis are amazing and it is so important to honour our yoni and our body in all the magic it is with listening to and feeling into that space mindfully.
So what can you do?
1) When on your period it is a perfect time to slow down as your body naturally is doing a lot of work, it's truly amazing what our vagina can do and often times our period comes as a blessing in disguise; a reminder if you will, take a little you time - away from your mat. Especially on the first couple of heavier days where the body is working extra hard already. So if your craving no movement just curling up in bed with a heat pack, tea, and movies - let that be your practise today.
2) However, if you still wish to do Yoga you absolutely can - just be extra careful to not put more pressure on the tummy, and leave the upside downies, breathwork, core strength, and twists until after your cycle.
Like I say in class ultimately it is not a one way goes, rather tuning inward and listening to your body, let it speak to you - if a restorative, gentle Yoga practise is what your body craves then feel into it and find what feels good. If practising in the comfort of your home, make it extra cosy and follow some relaxation postures in bed maybe even add some music, candles, cushions and a blankie and get snug and really treat yourself!
If attending a public class please don't be shy and have a little word with your Yoga teacher beforehand to let her know if you're on your moon, so she can give you some variations to keep you comfy!
- Namastè, Charlotte
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