A lot of my clients ask me if they can still practice yoga whilst on their period. Yes, you absolutely can! A lot of asanas can help relieve tension and pain, and also increase endorphin levels when you are feeling run down.
There are of course some reasons why we should honour our bodies and avoid advanced versions of asanas if we are feeling run down or have cramps. As it could make them worse. It’s like when you have a headache and go to a Bikram class, the intense concentration and dehydration could make it worse.
Inversions can have the most effect on the body whilst bleeding because they cause the blood to flow the other way and put pressure on your abdomen, but there is no medical reason to say it will cause any long term problems and let’s face it, we only hold asanas for a few breathes.
Below is my quick guide to which types of yoga are good to optimise your TOTM yoga diary!
There are four stages to the cycle.
The body can feel tired and serotonin levels are low at this stage. Gentle flow and asanas or even stretches to tackle cramps and backache and core strength routines give you an endorphin boost. Deep long yoga breathing will help to relax any additional tension.
Which class? Meditation or restorative yoga
Which asanas? Half lord of the fish pose and reclining hero pose
2. After bleeding the body has high oestrogen and an increase in serotonin levels. This is a feel good week!
Which class? Power yoga
Which asanas? Try to push yourself a little further with some you find most challenging. You can do it!
3. An increase in progesterone and oestrogen levels can make the base temperature of the body increase slightly, so maybe a week to avoid hot yoga
Which class? Yin yoga to release physical tension
Which asanas? Half frog and lizard
4. Pre-menstrual week. Serotonin levels drop and your body can feel heavy. This can be the toughest week out of the four. Close your eyes and smile during flow, it works wonders for your inner warrior!
Which class? Vinyasa flow
Which asanas? Warrior 2 and child’s pose
By The London Yogi, Kelly Maslen @theldnyogi