Hygiene Products For Doing Yoga During Your Period
There are so many different options today for period products. There are tampons, pad, menstrual cups, and discs. The best advice is to use what is most comfortable for you. Some people swear by using a tampon while doing yoga during your period. However, if your flow is heavy on that day, you may need a little extra protection.
Clothing is important as well. The pants that you choose for your yoga session should be comfortable and not put too much pressure on the abdominal area.
One fortunate thing about yoga is that you can practice this form of exercise at just about any age. Studies have shown that it helps to alleviate symptoms related to changes in hormonal levels throughout your life.
Its very important to consult with your health care provider before beginning a yoga workout regimen so that any concerns or health risks can be discussed before you begin so that your practice may proceed safely.
It might be a good idea to start your yoga practice with an instructor who can ensure youre doing it correctly.
The Best Exercises To Do On Your Period
The first few days of your period may be the most uncomfortable, especially if you tend to bleed a lot during this time. Thats why a focus on gentle movements and exercises should top your list of activities.
John Thoppil, OB-GYN, said the best exercise during your period is the one you feel like doing. That said, he stressed the importance of varying your workouts during this week. He also pointed out that your period may be a good time to reduce your exercise intensity. With that in mind, here are a few ideas for exercise while on your period.
Easy Exercises You Can Do At Home
You might not feel like going to the gym during your period, but dont let that stop you from exercising. Youtube is full of easy 10-minute workout videos that will energize you, release tension and you can do them in the comfort of your living room. Even just a short workout will boost your mood and leave you feeling proud and happy that you managed to complete a workout session.
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Yes You Should Practicebut Take Care Of Yourself
While some teachers will disagree, the general medical consensus is that practicing yoga on your period is very safe and improves some of the symptoms that come with your period, such as cramping and moodiness. The main challenge for many womenespecially if they have very painful periodsis getting themselves to practice at all.
Still, it’s important to meet your body where it is. “Quick-paced, heated vinyasa practices, some with hand weights and other workout equipment have moved yoga away from a practice that responds and reacts to what our body and minds need,” says Beth Heller, M.S., R.Y.T. “We conflate the exhaustion that arises in savasana after an intense, heated class with the truly balanced nervous system that comes from a class that uses mindful movement and deep, intentional breath focus.”
Yoga Inversions Cause Retrograde Menstruation And Endometriosis Is It True
The myth that inversions might trigger the onset of endometriosis is common in the yoga community. The thinking goes that during inversions, gravity will pull the menstrual flow away from your vagina and towards the Fallopian tubes. This, in turn, is believed to increase the risk of retrograde menstruation, and therefore, endometriosis. So if you want to keep your menstrual blood flowing downwards and out of your body, you dont want to physically turn your uterus upside down, right?
Endometriosis is a medical condition in which the lining of the uterus called the endometrium grows in other places such as the Fallopian tubes, ovaries, or along the pelvis. When that lining breaks down like the regular lining in the uterus that produces the menstruation, it has nowhere to go. This causes cysts, heavy periods, severe cramps and can even lead to infertility. The cause of endometriosis is unknown so far, but it is generally believed to be caused by immune problems or a genetic disposition.
The thesis that an inverted uterus during the period causes endometriosis is not correct and has been discarded by the medical community on the basis of two reasons:
Similarly, the natural downward flow of menstruation will not reverse directions if you stand in a headstand. In fact, even in the zero gravity of space, where there is no up or down, the direction of menstrual flow for astronauts has remained unchanged.
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Yoga Position # : Adapted Childs Pose
Childs pose is one of the most familiar yoga poses, even to less experienced practitioners or those who are quite new to yoga practice. This pose targets menstrual pain that is found primarily in the back.
For childs pose, start with your knees on the floor. We call this an adapted childs pose because you may want to widen your knees farther apart than you typically would for this pose to aid in pain relief.
Fold forward, extend your arms, and bend down as far as you can comfortably go. If possible lean your forehead on the mat in front of you for five slow, diaphragmatic breaths, or breaths using your belly rather than your chest. You can also turn your head from one side to the other, slowly, counting five breaths before turning to the other side.
Youre going to want to relax your hips and slowly stretch those lower back muscles.
Fish Pose Or Matsyasana
This pose can help alleviate pain and aches due to menstrual cramps.4. Heres what you need to do:
- Lie on your back, keeping your legs straight and arms by your side, feet together.
- Place your hands palm down, beneath your thighs.
- Now press down onto your elbows, arching your back and inhaling as you do so.
- Let your head drop back, with the top of it touching the floor. Ensure the weight is supported not by your head but by your elbows.
- Hold the position exhaling.
- Breathe deeply in position. Your legs and lower torso should be relaxed.
- Exit the pose by first moving your head back so it returns to the original position and only then lower your elbows and release your arms.
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Pick The Right Period Product
Obviously, you cant use a pad if youre swimming laps. Tampons are the classic active option, though many folks find tampons irritating or uncomfortable. And pads are even more chafey during physical activity.
Consider a menstrual cup, disc, or period underwear. Period underwear is magical: You just bleed and go about your day. Experiment with different products and see what works best for you.
Do Exercise You Already Like
This is not the time to try CrossFit or other high-intensity, unfamiliar workouts. Do what already works for you, whether thats yoga, hiking, weightlifting, etc.
Though your hormones fluctuate throughout your cycle, you always inhabit the same body. You already know what feels good for your body and what doesnt.
Work with what you already know works. Plus, not having to endure CrossFit is always a bonus.
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Short Answer It Depends
We talk about listening to our body and honouring our body a lot, but what does that exactly mean? Menstruation for many women can mean feeling low on energy and having cravings for certain food. A good question to ask is, does honouring your body then means the same as going with your bodys cravings and feelings like eating rubbish, doing nothing and just feeling blue?
I personally dont think so. We all know that eating extra sugar or chocolate for example isnt really going to make you feel better. So not wanting to do any yoga, and just hiding on the couch, even if that is what you feel like, might also not make you feel better.
So How Should You Practice Yoga On Your Period Then
Just as the practice is a completely personal journey, so is yoga for menstruation. As mentioned, many women choose to continue with their rigorous flow practices even when they have their periods. Many others choose to slow things down and give their bodies some well-deserved rest and relaxation.
You have to choose what works best for you personally. And it will likely change every month!
In the end, whether you sweat through a Vinyasa flow for 90 minutes or sit for 10 minutes in silence on your meditation cushion, you will be doing a great service to both your body and your mind. However you choose to practice whether its yoga for menstruation or not is beneficial in countless ways. So, you really cant go wrong however you choose to swing it!
A happy body and a happy mind equals a less painful and less disruptive menstrual cycle.
Also, barring pathology, a happy body and a happy mind equals a less painful and less disruptive menstrual cycle. And yoga can help you to get just that. No woman is going to turn that down, so practicing yoga is an offer you simply cant refuse.
All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author. For medical questions, please consult your healthcare provider.
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Try Special Underwear Designed To Hold Your Pad In Place
As I mentioned, I really don’t like tampons. When you’re in tight yoga pants however, a pad can feel like wearing a diaper, and along with the anxiety that there’s a visible pad lump somewhere in your pants, it’s really damn uncomfortable and kind of awful to exercise in . If you really, really can’t stand the idea of a tampon or other insertable option, Panty Prop has underwear that holds in your pad, so you can slot a pad in and not worry about the discomfort or embarrassment of it moving around when you’re exercising.
Can You Practice Bikram While You Have Your Period
Bikram is the original form of hot yoga, a physically and emotionally intensive form of yoga. Depending upon the severity of your menstrual symptoms, practicing this form of yoga during your period could be beneficial or detrimental. Weigh the pros and cons before attending a session of Bikram yoga while on your period.
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Yoga Poses To Help Ease Period Pain
Yoga practice is well known to calm, center and strengthen both body and mind. So when it comes to yoga for menstruation, practising it can offer enormous benefits to balance your mood and ease menstrual cramps. You may not always feel like rushing to take part in physical activity on your time of the month, but exercise can really help with period pain. Yoga especially has been tried and tested to be beneficial for muscles and mentality. Here are some of the most effective yoga positions to do during your period.
We have carefully chosen poses that are not too strenuous so should work for all ability levels. These poses will help you relax, and are perfect to try if you arent able to find time for a full practise or yoga class. Try them the next time you have your period and let us know how helpful you found it.
Experiment With What Works For You
I find in my yoga practice, sometimes a more energising classcan be wonderful, exactly what I need to ground myself and to shift the blues and the sluggishness.
Other times a restorative practice is just what I need. Trying out what suits you, and keeping an eye on how you feel the rest of the day, is the best advice, I think. This is how you get to know your body and what works best during that time of the month.
If a particular pose or practice really drains you, dont do it. Having your period means going inward listen to and respect your body and energy. Remembering that youre not sick, you are perhaps just more sensitive, can be helpful at times as well.
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Exercising During Your Period: Benefits And Things To Avoid
Exercising while on your period might seem like a counterintuitive thing to do, but it can help alleviate menstrual symptoms. There are, however, some limitations to be aware of.
Exercise can help promote a healthy lifestyle for most people. This can be especially important when it comes to hormonal balance. Some exercises and techniques can be beneficial during your period, and others should be avoided during this time. The following article provides information about the dos and donts of exercising during your period.
Cobra Pose Or Bhujangasana
The cobra pose or bhujangasana improves the flexibility of your spine while also strengthening back muscles. This equips your body to better cope with a backache and pain associated with a period.8 Heres what you need to do:
- Lie on your stomach with your feet together. Put your palms down near your shoulders, just below them. Keep your forehead gently resting on the ground.
- Slowly lift your head up off the floor as you inhale, grazing the floor with your nose and then chin.
- Lift up your palms up and lift your chest up as high as you can, using the strength of your back muscles.
- Hold this position, taking a few deep breaths as you do.
- Now exhale, slowly returning to your original position. Take care that your chin is held raised until the very end.
- Repeat the inhalation and raising, but lift not just your chest but your entire trunk up. You should feel the bend happening at the middle section of your spine.
- Hold, taking some deep breaths.
- Exhale as you return
- Lastly, inhale as you lift this time, letting the trunk lift. This causes your back to stretch to its base from your neck. Hold if you can for a breath or two and then return to the original position.
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Are There Any Health Risks Of Exercising On Your Period
No study has ever found negative effects or health risks from working out during your period. In fact, a study done at the Umeå University, Sweden, has shown that training the first two weeks of your menstrual cycle actually optimizes your results: Training during the first two weeks of the cycle is more beneficial to optimize resistance training, than the last two weeks.
Now that that doubt is off the table, lets take a closer look at the four biggest benefits of exercising during your period:
Should You Avoid Yoga Inversions During Your Period A Doc Weighs In
After countless yoga classes of all styles at studios far and wide, one question continues to bug me: Why do some yoga instructors tell women not to do inverted poses during their period?
Dont get me wrong Im happy to lay on my mat in Childs Pose while the rest of the class contorts their bodies into upside down pretzels . But is there any legitimate medical risk involved in doing certain poses during your period? Or is it as outdated an idea as female hysteria?
To invert or not to invert that is the question.
The reasons some yoga teachers suggest avoiding inversions such as handstands, headstands, and shoulder stands are based on both yogic tradition and a potentially increased risk of endometriosis.
Philosophically, in yoga, menstruation is considered to be apana, meaning your bodys energy is downward-flowing. Those against inversions say that the poses will disturb the natural energetic flow, so its better to avoid putting your uterus in the air or upside down.
Energy flow, though, isnt a medical condition endometriosis is.
According to Dr. Kecia Gaither, OB/GYN, endometriosis is a condition in which cells like those that line the uterus implant themselves outside the uterus, causing inflammation, scarring, infertility, and pain.
No definitive cause for endometriosis has been found, Gaither says. There are a number of hypotheses or associations, including retrograde menstruation, genetics, hormonal imbalance, or a relation to a uterine anomaly.
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Inversions And Apana Energy
Inversions, such as handstand, headstand and shoulderstand, shift your apana energy, which is believed to flow from your naval to your cervix, in a direction that you don’t want during menstruation. Normally, reversing this flow in an inversion can increase your energy, but during your period, it’s considered to be going against the natural flow of your body.
Even if you don’t subscribe to this yogic philosophy, inversions do cause the uterus to shift toward the head, which can lead to overstretching and increased flow of blood meaning a possibly heavier cycle.
Ghosts Of Periods Past
My mothers generation referred to this monthly visitor asthe curse, never to be discussed even with your best friend and considered as something dirty and shameful. Period blood was a waste product of the body and the menstrual cycle was just the female side of procreation.
The menstrual cycle has its own rhythm and flow. These days a period is seen more broadly in the full spectrum and wonder that is the marvellous human body. Society no longer recoils like it used to at the mention of a sanitary towel or tampon. Ladies are opening up more about their relationship with their monthly cycle and there are even workshops dedicated to understanding and working with rather than fighting against or ignoring the bodys response to the monthly hormonal changes. Surely we can all agree that working in harmony with our body is better than working against it?
Since yoga means union, what better place to get to know your monthly cycle than on the yoga mat? You may have already noticed some days are more yoga-friendly than others. You may have found yourself groaning when the teacher calls out for the class to perform an advanced pose because youre lacking in energy that day. Now yesterday, you could have held that pose all day but today not so much. Aunt Flo has come to visit.
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