Are you a yoga enthusiast – or did you at least buy the mat so you could become one? Congratulation! Yoga is a great form of exercise that improves muscle strength and flexibility, and can also give you a sense of spiritual centeredness.
However, there is a persistent myth about periods that seem to move in yoga circles so we thought we were addressing it here. So pull up a mat and put on your most comfortable leggings while we talk about practicing yoga during your period!
Is It Safe to Do Yoga During Menstruation?
You may have heard that you are doing yoga– In particular, inversion poses such as plow, dolphin, crow or headstand are unsafe or not recommended during your period.
Two reasons are given for this. The first is that menstruation is on Apanaor downward movement of energy and that inversions would disturb that flow. However, not all yoga teachers or styles agree that inversion would disrupt this flow, and some yoga styles actually recommend it.
If the spiritual component of yoga is very important to you, be sure to speak to your teacher about your concerns!
In regards to whether it is medically safe for you to practice inversions during your period, some suggest that you increase your risk of retrograde menstruation. That’s a very fancy way of saying that the blood will flow backwards. As scary as it sounds Studies, retrograde menstruation is quite common.
What’s more, the proposed link between retrograde menstruation and Endometriosis has not been definitively proven.
Can Yoga Help During Menstruation?
You now know that yoga poses no physical risk to your body. You may be wondering if there are reasons why you should be practicing yoga. The answer is yes!
We wrote about how different Yoga poses can help with your menstrual crampsand some practices involve reaching into your pelvic floor. (We love every opportunity to do a Kegel workout!).
Exercise in general gives us one natural high of happy chemicals that can combat some of the less than fabulous feelings during our periods. But of course, if you’re in too much pain or just feel too bloated and gross to work out, don’t feel compelled to tune in.
Just get a good book and a heating pad– If you make yourself comfortable and do something you love, the doctor can only be ordered!
Lane Baumeister is an international Canadian writer with years of experience creating educational and entertaining articles dealing with intimate health and sexual wellbeing. When she’s not into menstruation, she devotes herself to extremely good food and equally bad movies.