Yoga Exercises You Shouldn't Do During Your Period
During your period, you might not be up to do anything at all. With the bloating, pain and mood swings it can be a feat to go to your usual yoga class. But if you happen to be a yoga addict, there is most likely nothing on earth that could make you stop doing yoga, even when you’re on your period.
However, some yoga instructors may not agree with your decision to practice yoga while on your monthly menses. It’s quite possible that you have heard of yoga instructors asking menstruating women to avoid doing particular yoga poses. Even if you have not, we will set out to explain to you the reasons why some yoga instructors do not want you to do particular yoga poses while on your period.
The Reason Behind Avoiding Some Yoga Poses During Menstruation
There’s a really good reason why instructors advise their students not to perform certain poses. The belief is that doing the following poses during your period can restrict your menstrual blood flow. The inverted poses could potentially make the blood to go back to your Fallopian tubes, increasing your chances of developing endometriosis. This is what they call a "retrograde menstruation". Retrograde menstruation happens to about 90% of women, most of whom haven't developed endometriosis. So there is no definitive proof. There are just too many factors that contribute to endometriosis, so we really have no idea whether doing inverted poses can affect your chances of having endometriosis.
Another reason, which is a traditional one, is that Ayurvedic yoga instructors believe that women shouldn't do any yoga during the first three days of their period because menstruation is a time for resting and relaxation. These instructors believe that the female body, during menstruation, is working to renew, cleanse and detoxify the body. This has to do with what they call the apana, the downward pranic force that facilitates the body's menstruation, bowel movement and urination.
There's also the risk of leaking in public during your yoga class, which is a common cause of embarrassment for women. Your white, hot pink or blue yoga pants wouldn't thank you for leaking either. However, there are now several ways to mitigate that risk, like using absorbent period panties or leak-proof period leggings.
Whatever the reason may be to do or not do yoga on your period, the common consensus is that women should be gentle with their bodies during menstruation. Gentle, low impact yoga has been shown to be beneficial. But exerting yourself too much during your period while doing yoga could exacerbate period pains and prove to do more harm than good.
The Yoga Exercises You Shouldn't do on Your Period
So here are ten yoga poses that you absolutely should avoid on your period:
1. Handstand or headstand
2. Shoulder Stand
3. Supported Shoulder Stand
4. Upward Abdominal Lock
5. Plow Pose
6. Boat Pose
8. Bharadvaja's Twist
9. Heron Pose
10. Scorpion Pose
As you can see, most of these poses are inversion and twisting poses. You're free to choose which side of the debate you want to be on. Everybody’s body works differently. If doing yoga during your period makes you feel good, then do it! But make sure you wear period leggings so that you don’t have any accidents. Enjoy doing yoga!