Yoga practice for Menstruation Q&A

Question 1: What kinds of asanas and pranayama one can do safely during menstruation?

During menstruation, the first to the last day, which is about four to seven days, you need to focus on the practice of those asanas that help women to maintain health and do not interfere with the menstrual period. Asanas should be selected in such a way as to avoid wasting energy or creating hormonal disorders.

Stretching forward standing poses such as Adho Mukha Svanasana, Prasarita Padottanasana, Parsvotanasana should be possible, especially with support under your head. To better relax your stomach, you first need to bend back and then enter into the pose.

However, those who suffer from pain in the body, low blood pressure, weakness, a sharp drop in blood sugar level should avoid these postures.

Ardha Chandrasana and Utthita Padangustasana 2 help with profuse discharge, back pain and abdominal cramps. These two asanas should be given special consideration for sciatica or failing vertebral discs.

Supine poses such as Supta Virasana and Supta Baddha Konasana, Supta Sukhasana, Matsyasana and Supta Padangusthasana 3 (using belts, blankets and bolster) promote relaxation of muscle and nerve fibres, which in this period may be stretched and irritated. These poses also retain vitality. Those who suffer from shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, fluid retention, severe abdominal pain, irritability and impulsiveness will find that these asanas very effective.

Simple stretching forward as the Adho Mukha Virasana, Adho Mukha sukhasana, Janu Sirsasana, Triang Mukhaikapada Pashchimottanasana, Ardha Padma Baddha Pashchimottanasana, Marichyasana 1, Parsva Upavishtakonasana, Adho Mukha Upavishtakonasana (all performed passively) will control the discharge of blood, soothe the stomach and give the rest of the brain cells. These asanas help those who suffer from headaches, back pain, heavy bleeding, abdominal cramps and fatigue.

Sitting postures such as Sukhasana, Virasana,Padmasana, Baddhakonasana, Upavishtakonasana, Gomukhasana, Mulabadhasana etc. help to eliminate tension and stress. By soothing the feet, these asanas also calm the brain.

During menstruation there is no need to rush to meet a daily training program, which you might be following in the remaining days of your cycle. Pay more attention to the knee, popliteal knee ligaments, ankles and toes.

Relaxation and stretching of the joints make them more elastic and less dry (released natural lubricant) and reduces pain. In addition, women with arthritis, can work with the shoulders, elbows, wrists, performing Parsva Baddha Hastasana, Pashchima Namaskarasanu, Gomukhasanu (for hands), the rope 1 for shoulders and those who cannot do Virasana or Padmasana, can concentrate on the knee bending poses.

Thus, although you will not deal with the usual intensity, time will not be wasted. You can achieve significant results in the emancipation of the joints, as the slow, gradual and non-aggressive impact is most profound and effective. The body and the nervous system will get much-needed rest. Viparita Dandasana and Setubandha Sarvangasana energize and stimulate the chest, lungs, heart and maintain hormonal balance in the endocrine system. You can do Savasana, Ujjayi pranayama and Viloma in Savasana.

If your period is painless, no headaches, irritability, stress, asthma attacks, depression, you can do Ujjayi Pranayama and Viloma sitting. If you just want to take care of your health during menstruation, you can limit regular practice poses to suptine poses, stretching forward, Viparita Dandasana, Setubandha Sarvangasana and pranayama in Savasana. It takes less time, while the full program requires one and a half to two hours.

Question 2: What kinds of asanas and pranayama should be avoided?

Avoid inverted postures such as Adho Mukha Vrksasana, hand balances such as Bakasana, backbends such as Urdhva Dhanurasana, Kapotasana, “tying the body in a knot”,  such as in Yoganidrasana, Eka Pada Sirsasana and abdominal compression in Navasana and Jathara Parivartanasana.

During this period it is better to abandon the practice of pranayama sitting, and if you do decide to do it that way, it should not take more than 15 minutes. Avoid Antara and Bahia Kumbaka, Uddiyana and Mula Bandha, Bhastrika, Kapalabhati and Maha Mudra.

Question 3: Which asanas can be done to women who are engaged by individual therapeutic programs?

This is a very broad topic, so only a few key points will be indicated here. If you have back problems, you can do standing poses, but stay in them less than usual, in order not to get tired. Care must be taken to ensure proper support of the back, chest, legs, etc., so as not to overload the particularly sensitive or damaged parts of the spine. If problems with the shoulders, neck and back is necessary to work with ropes, definitely needs support. You can do the twisting sideways like Bharadvajasana And  Marichyasana 1 as the stomach is not compressed. The remaining twists may cause excessive compression and exert pressure on the ovaries, uterus and vagina. In this regard, these asanas should be avoided.

The rest of the asanas prescribed for this time may be carry out, if they are not contraindicated for existing problems.

Question 4: Whyare inverted poses avoided during menstruation?

If you do inverted postures during menstruation, this will prevent the discharge of blood. Those who tried to do so from the enthusiasm or disdainful attitude toward themselves, noticed that the bleeding is stopped abruptly. This is definitely bad for your health and can lead to the appearance of fibroids, cysts, endometriosis. This practice has had a devastating effect on the body.

According to Ayurveda, all that needs to be derived from the body, should not linger inside. You cannot delay the menstrual blood as well as cannot hold urine, faeces or mucus. These substances are called low – waste that must be removed. Their delay within the body leads to all kinds of diseases. During menstruation should also limit physical activity, including walking, dancing, heavy housework. The body needs rest and relaxation.

Inversions have a number of features. As mentioned above, they delay menstrual bleeding. However, during pregnancy they are not only safe, but also useful for the health of the woman and the foetus. These asanas are a boon for women prone to miscarriages.

If your period continues for more than 15 days, after 12 days, you can start doing inverted poses, despite the continued bleeding. It is necessary to know the cause of prolonged and heavy bleeding and solve this problem with other asanas during the absence of menstruation. If bleeding occurs during ovulation, the inversions are shown as a medicine.

At the end of the menstrual cycle, start again with the practice of inverted postures. They have a strong health effects on the reproductive system and quickly restore hormonal balance.

In conclusion, once again it should be emphasized that on the basis of what we know today about the effects of inverted postures, they should not be performed during menstruation. If out of stubbornness or inflexibility, you still going to do it, sooner or later you will have to pay for it.

Question 5: Is it safe to do inversions after the third day of menstruation during their own practice or workshops?

A woman should not ask such silly questions. Bleeding must be stopped completely, and end naturally. It is not a matter of three or four days. Regardless of whether it’s a seminar or convention, you must first take care of their health. Once the bleeding has stopped, begin to practice inverted postures. Do not move sharply to the standing poses, backbends and balancing, etc. Remember that you have just given birth since menstruation is called the funeral of the unborn child.”

With gratitude and thanks to Geeta S Iyengar.