Connecting Your Yoga Practice to Your Cycle
We love yoga. It’s mindful, low impact and can help improve strength, balance and flexibility. Whether you want to work up a sweat or relax your mind and body, there’s so many different styles of yoga, perfect for everyone and every stage of your cycle.
Did you know that some types of yoga are better for you at certain times of the month? During the first half of your cycle, it’s easier to build muscle because you have more energy. And, during the premenstrual phase, it's better to do a gentler yoga class because your body will need more rest.
Benefits of Doing Yoga During Your Period
Most studies related to yoga and menstruation look at the effect of exercise in general on symptoms and not yoga specifically, however, a recent study found that doing yoga helped reduce moderate to severe pain, abdominal swelling and breast tenderness. Another study found that adding yoga to your routine two times per week for 12 weeks helped improve cramps, fitness and overall quality of life. Sounds pretty good, right?
Yoga for every phase of your cycle
So what style of yoga is best? We teamed up with Mounira Bazzi, an amazing yoga teacher, to create a series of yoga videos that you can do during your menstrual cycle.
💪🏻 First half of your cycle: Power / Vinyasa Yoga
This is where you’re going to have the most energy so this higher energy yoga session is all about building muscle and strength.
🛌🏻 Second half of your cycle: Gentle Yoga Stretch
Turn on this gentle yoga stretch when you’re in your premenstrual phase. You’re going to have less energy and feel more tired than usual. It’s good to move your body even when you don’t feel like it so this session is perfect for a time when you need to listen to your body. Don’t be too hard on yourself and go clicking on Video 1! This is the gentle yoga class you need right now.
Is Yoga Safe to do When I Have My Period?
Yes! It is perfectly safe to do yoga during your menstrual cycle. There’s some rumours out there that inversions or certain positions could harm your reproductive organs and this is simply not true.
That said, some instructors may advise against doing poses like a headstand when you’re on your period because some yoga pros believe that reversing blood flow can cause issues in the body. But medically speaking, doing yoga while you’re on your period is completely fine. The general rule of thumb is that you should listen to your body. If inversions feel OK while you’re bleeding, go for it. For others, these poses can feel uncomfortable, so it’s best to leave these ones to a different phase of your cycle. Just lay in child’s pose or savasana and start again when you feel ready.
What if I’m Pregnant or Trying to Conceive?
When you’re pregnant, you need to avoid hot yoga and any inverted positions where your head is below your heart as the likelihood that you will get lightheaded is much greater. Lightheadedness in itself is not necessarily an issue, but it could lead to fainting and falling which could cause injury to you or your baby.
As you get bigger, your spine also adjusts to accommodate your growing baby and some positions, if done incorrectly, can cause pain or injury. So if you’re pregnant, look for a prenatal yoga class since the instructor will only lead you through safe positions and flows.
If you’re trying to conceive, you don’t need to be concerned unless you are going through IVF treatments. During IVF, your ovaries are stimulated which causes them to swell so you should avoid yoga positions that involve twists or inversions. These positions could lead to a rare complication called ovarian torsion. It’s very rare, but no need to take the risk!
Want to know more about exercising when you’re on your period? Check out our blog post on how to train according to your cycle.
Period Power: Train according to your cycle
How to work out during your cycle? Ever notice how some days you feel like you can absolutely c...
Cycle Syncing*: Why is it so guud?
Have you ever wondered why sometimes you feel like crushing a heart-pumping workout and other ti...