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How do I do Yoga for Menstruation?

By Samantha Bangayan
Updated May 17, 2024
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Yoga is said to holistically heal the mind and body. Practicing yoga for menstruation promotes healthy menstruation by facilitating a natural, healthy flow of fluid in the lower part of the body. Other benefits of yoga include reduced stress from premenstrual syndrome, less menstrual pain and better overall wellbeing. Forward-bending and meditative asanas, or yogic postures, are best for menstruation. Some yogis, or yoga instructors, recommend avoiding inverted asanas and other forms of high-intensity yoga during menstruation, but many also acknowledge that each body is different and you should decide what feels comfortable for your body.

Commonly prescribed asanas for menstruation are forward-bending poses held for a few minutes to massage and relax the abdominal area where many women feel menstrual cramps or discomfort. Examples of forward-bending poses when doing yoga for menstruation include child’s pose, or balasana; head-to-knee pose, or janu sirsasana; and seated cobbler’s pose, baddha konasana. To do child’s pose, kneel on the floor and lean forward over your knees until your head touches the ground. To do head-to-knee pose, sit upright with one knee bent and the other leg straight while you touch your head to the knee of the straight leg. To do seated cobbler’s pose, sit on the floor with the soles of your feet touching and drop your knees to the sides as much as you can.

Yoga for menstruation also includes meditative asanas; these promote serenity and calmness to alleviate emotional stress caused by hormonal changes during menstruation. Examples of meditative asanas for menstruation include easy pose, or sukhasana, and corpse pose, or savasana, which usually conclude a yoga session. To do easy pose, sit cross-legged with your back straight and focus on your breathing. To do corpse pose, lie on your back and let your body completely relax. A certified yoga practitioner can help you properly perform asanas.

Some yogis advise against high-intensity yoga for menstruation, because it can overwork your body during the low-energy state of normal menstruation, when you expend energy for the cleansing process. Other experts disagree, reasoning that not all women feel low in energy during menstruation. There are also yogis who recommend avoiding inverted asanas during menstruation, not only because they require more energy, but also because they may aggravate menstrual symptoms by disrupting the natural downward flow of fluids. Critics argue that inverted poses are only detrimental if held for extended periods of time. Ultimately, you should pay close attention to your body and do what feels right for you.

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Discussion Comments
By literally45 — On Feb 13, 2015

I don't think anyone should do yoga during menstruation, especially inverted poses. Doing inverted poses during menstruation may increase the risk of endometriosis. This is when endometrium tissue grows in other organs. Doctors think that retrograde menstrual flow may be the cause in some cases. So doing inverted yoga poses can cause menstruation to flow backwards and cause endometrium cells to grow there.

I'm not saying that this will always happen but I don't think it's worth taking the risk. Even poses like the bridge pose may be problematic.

By bear78 — On Feb 12, 2015

@bluedolphin-- I practice yoga regularly, including during menstruation and I do believe that it helps a lot. Yoga is good for stress and I think that stretching helps regulate menstrual flow. I certainly feel better after doing yoga during my period. It will probably help a lot with emotional issues, you should try it.

I also recommend herbal tea. There are herbal teas especially for women during this time that help regulate hormones. Herbal tea with yoga will relieve most if not all of your issues.

By bluedolphin — On Feb 11, 2015

Menstruation is always a difficult time from me. Aside from cramps and discomfort, I also feel very stressed and nervous psychologically. I've tried medication but I'm looking for a more holistic approach.

Has anyone here tried yoga for menstruation symptoms? Did you find it beneficial?

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