Hey ladies! Tips for your yoga practice during your “M” days

Ladies out there, if you are having period but at the same time do not want to take a break from your regular yoga practice, here is a quick reference for you. I have summarized some of the asanas which are safe to do during your menstrual period. At the same time, I will share with you what are the practices that you should avoid.
Let’s get started~
Asana during menstruation:
Each pose you can stay for 2 to 3 minutes. For those poses which you need to bend your knees, place a block under each knee for support if you feel over strained. To have more comfort you may use yoga block or folded blanket as support on your back too. It helps to alleviate back pain and pelvic discomfort. One of the recommendations is gentle forward bend asana as it gives a light massage to the abdominal and pelvic region, helping to relieve tension and also bring calmness to the mind. On top of that we are going to explore other poses as well.
Let’s get started!
1. Baddha Konasana (Cobbler’s Pose)
2. Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose)
3. Janu Sirsasana (Head to Knee Pose)
4. Upavistha Konasana (Seated Straddle)
5. Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
6. Supta Baddha Konasana (Goddess Pose)
7. Triang Mukha Ekapada Paschiottanasana (3 Limb Facing 1 Leg Posterior Stretch Pose)
8. Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana (Half Bound Lotus Posterior Stretch Pose)
9. Matsyasana (Fish pose)
10. Savasana (Corpse Pose)  My favourite yoga pose all the time!
Practices to avoid during menstruation:
1. Basically, during menstrual period it is advisable to avoid all inversion poses (Handstand, headstand, shoulder stand) as all these poses invite the flow of the body to go the opposite way of your body is naturally flowing on your period. There is one type of prana, known as apana, which normally flows in the downward direction from the manipur chakra (naval centre) to mooladhar chakra (cervix) is reversed. This could result unnecessary tension in your lower abdomen and might cause heavier menstrual flow.
2. Skip your practice of Kapalbhati Pranayama (Breath of Fire)
This breathing practice uses the navel as a pump and it is an active and intensive breathing. The powerful movement of the belly might put too much pressure on your abdomen.
3. Avoid strong twisting pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana) and strong back bending pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana) as it can overstimulate your abdominal area. It puts pressure on your whole pelvic region and contracts it tightly. Come on ladies, I know you wouldn’t want to do this to your already cramped and bloated tummy right. 
4. Bandhas practice such as Uddiyana Bandha should be avoided too. This practice moves the apana upwards instead of down and they add more contraction to the abdominal. On top of that, this practice increases the heat which can lead to heavier bleeding.
Hope this general guideline would be useful for you.
However, do remember that it is not necessary to practice asana during your period. Listen to your body and do not over push or strain yourself.
Carmen Soh
YTT Sep 2017 (Weekend)

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