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Ayurveda has been the source of life and medicine since ancient times in the Indian subcontinent. Indians have relied on naturally available herbs and plants, to treat life-threatening diseases. Consuming medicines made out of these green biotic factors, is one side of Ayurveda, while Yoga practice is the physical form of Ayurveda. This passage will talk about yoga poses to avoid during periods.
Yoga can be defined as the conscious calming of spiritual, physical, and mental health aspects, through various practices of exercise, deep breathing and just sitting and meditating while focusing on one’s mind. Practising yoga proves beneficial for everyone, ranging from children to senior citizens. Both men and women can derive benefits from this practice.
But in modern times, people have forgotten the advantages and importance of practising yoga.
The fast-paced life has compelled people to use modern exercise like the gymnasium. It is important to be aware of the benefits that Yoga can bring to one’s life. Talking about women, who have experienced menstruation for most of their lives. Menstruation is the act of elimination of blood through a woman’s uterus for the reason of healthy fertility. Menstruation affects the entire body for some reason.
What are the Benefits of Regular Yoga?
Every woman gets her period when she reaches a certain age, mostly teenage. This takes place through the downward flowing of blood through a woman’s vagina accompanied by pelvic discomfort, pain and cramps in the pelvic region, back or leg pain, and mood swings.
A woman’s energy flow can be affected by the menstrual cycle as well, making it unpredictable for her. Menstruation is a tough time of every month for a female, as they do not seem to have much control over their bodies and minds during that time.
Some benefits of regular yoga practice are as follows:
- It helps improve the flexibility of the muscles.
- Helps us recover from any soreness in the body.
- Improves the body’s strength and balance.
- It eases arthritis of the joints.
- Helps to rejuvenate the nervous system.
- Helps to keep cholesterol in check which in turn helps heart health.
- Helps to burn unnecessary fat.
- Activates some deep core work.
- Makes the mind stronger and helps one to think more clearly.
- Relaxes us and helps us sleep better.
- Reduces any inflammation in muscles or joints.
- Improves shock absorption of the muscles, which helps prevent injuries.
- Maintains a balanced metabolism.
- It possesses a lot of breathing benefits.
- Increases blood circulation.
- Improves one’s focus and concentration.
- Helps one think better by eliminating negative emotions.
- Helps in irregular periods, menstrual cramps, and menstrual pain.
- Helps to improve the elimination of toxins.
- Helps to get rid of vascular congestion.
This article is mainly focused on discussing the yoga poses to avoid during periods, but before that let us know how is yoga beneficial for women.
5 Benefits of Yoga to Women
Practising yoga during the menstrual flow becomes extremely essential for every woman, as yoga poses can alleviate the symptoms. The varied benefits yogic practice possesses especially for women are:
1. Improvement in Bone Health
Women experience low energy and tend to lose calcium as soon as they reach their late twenties. Yoga practice helps to delay the loss of calcium from a woman’s body and therefore helps in reducing joint pain.
2. Provides Energy
The practice of various yoga poses helps to increase blood flow throughout the body. This in turn results in the retention of energy to carry out day-to-day tasks.
3. Helps in Weight Loss
Weight loss is one of the most problematic issues faced by women. As women have a higher percentage of fat than men, it is more difficult for them to lose fat.
Varied yoga poses challenge the body on different levels, which in turn might result in caloric burn.
4. Improves Sex Life
Yoga poses help to strengthen and lengthen the muscles. This helps in improving mobility.
Mobile movement means free movement of the muscles, which leads to better performance in sex positions. It successfully improves although aspects of sex, which are, penetration, movement, orgasm, and pleasure.
5. Helps in Alleviating Pregnancy Labor Pain
Practising yoga improves sleep quality (yoga nidra), stress, and anxiety problems. It helps to build the muscle endurance required for a task like childbirth.
These are the very few benefits yoga possesses especially for women. There are many other benefits that one can gain by practising yoga regularly.
5 Recommended Yoga Poses for Women
The yoga poses to avoid during periods are listed in the upcoming section, but here in this section let us learn about the yoga passes which will be beneficial for women.
1. Child’s pose (Shishuasana):
a. On the floor, with your knees bent, sit on your knees.
b. By keeping your buttocks touched to your heels, slowly lean forward with your entire upper body in such a way that your forehead touches the floor.
c. Stay in that position for 30 seconds to 1 minute and focus on your breathing.
d. Perform it under the guidance of your yoga teacher.
2. Boat pose (Naukasana):
a. Sit normally on the floor with your feet lying straight in front of you.
b. Now, with the strength of your core, Pull your legs straight up to as much height as is comfortable for you.
c. Raise your hands in front of you and hold the position for as long as possible.
d. This pose helps in strengthening the abdominal as well as pelvic muscles.
e. Practice it under the guidance of yoga teachers.
3. Tree pose (Vrikshasana):
a. Stand normally with both of your feet on the ground.
b. Now, lift one leg in such a way that the bottom of your foot touches the side of the other leg’s knee.
c. Raise both your hands up and join them in a prayer position.
d. Hold this position for 30 seconds to one minute and see your balance improve.
4. Garland pose (Malasana):
a. Stand on the ground with your feet shoulder-width apart.
b. Lower your buttocks toward the ground in a way that forms a deep squat position.
c. Now, bring your hands in front of yourself in a prayer position and push your legs further back with your elbows, to open your hip region a bit. This will open up your pelvic region allowing a smooth flow of blood throughout the lower body.
5. Wall-supported leg raise:
a. Start by lying very close to a wall in such a way that your buttocks are touching or almost touching the wall.
b. Raise both of your legs, bring them both together and touch them entirely to the wall in front of you.
c. Keep your legs touching the wall for as long as you can.
d. This inverse mechanism helps gravity to do its job better and increases the blood flow in the uterus moderately.
e. It provides much comfort to the pelvic area as well as the muscles surrounding it.
It is a compelling argument that while yoga only benefits us, there are certain yoga poses that a woman needs to avoid during menstruation because of their high intensity. The menstrual cycle is one of the most important aspects of a woman’s life and hence, it is essential for a woman to take woman needs to take those days.
The poses that involve deep twists, strong backbends, sudden inversions, backward bends, high-energy poses, standing forward bends, etc., are best avoided. Gentle poses need to be practised during such times. Some of the
11 Yoga Poses to Avoid during Menstrual Cycles
Finally, we will be studying the 11 yoga poses to avoid during periods. These yoga poses listed below will cause unnecessary pain and thus must be avoided.
1. The Wheel Pose:
Wheel pose is one of the yoga poses to avoid during periods.
The wheel pose is a strong and difficult pose, where your body faces the sky while it is uplifted from the floor with only both your palms and feet soles touching the ground. This pose should be avoided if you aren’t flexible enough to do it.
If someone’s body is less flexible, it can cause sudden lengthening in the pelvic area causing further cramping, which is why it is best to avoid during periods.
Tip: For beginners, practice it under the guidance of yoga teachers.
2. The Scorpion Pose:
Scorpion pose is one of the yoga poses to avoid during periods.
This pose takes immense balance, control, core strength, and flexibility. This pose is practised with your body in a handstand position and further bending your legs at your knees.
It is considered one of the hardest poses as it challenges the entire body in the process of practising it. Therefore it is best avoided during periods and with high blood pressure.
3. The Fish Pose:
Fish pose is one of the yoga poses to avoid during periods.
This pose is performed while lying on the ground with something under your upper back to uplift it. Then both legs are brought into a lying crossed-leg position and held there.
It can be performed under the guidance of a yoga teacher but it can put extra stress on the lower back and hence it can be extra painful for somebody already going through lower back pain.
Although this pose opens up the pelvic muscles and back muscles, it can cause extra stress to the uterus.
4. The Downward Facing Dog:
The downward-facing dog pose is one of the yoga poses to avoid during periods.
This is one of the easiest and most-practised yoga poses of all time. As regular as it may seem, it can put increased pressure on your lower back, hamstrings, and pelvis area.
As it involves a strong inversion, it is best to avoid pregnancy, menstruation, high blood pressure, and carpal tunnel.
5. Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand):
Adho Mukha Vrksasana pose is one of the yoga poses to avoid during periods. This pose is the direct handstand done on only your hands.
In this position, your entire body faces downwards with only your hands taking support of the ground below. The reverse flow of gravity affects the blood circulation of the body and, hence may result in the blood rushing only toward the uterus.
This can cause severe discomfort and cramps due to the intensity of the movement.
6. Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand):
Salamba Sarvangasana pose is one of the yoga poses to avoid during periods
This is a modified and different version of the direct headstand. Although it is highly beneficial and the real test of fitness, it should be performed under supervision and with complete precaution.
This is one of those poses that can injure a person. The injuries suffered from this exercise can be severe and even can paralyze one for life.
It can be a high-intensity exercise to perform during your period, as it requires the body to be in an upside-down position. The upside-down position can cause blood clots if one is not used to performing it.
The biggest risk is to the neck because if not done properly, it can cause excessive strain on the cervical spinal column. Hence, it is best to avoid this exercise.
7. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose):
Dhanurasana pose is one of the yoga poses to avoid during periods.
This is one of the yoga poses which require a great deal of back and core strength. It also requires a flexible body.
It is a difficult pose and is performed by holding up your body taking the support of your pelvic region. As it is performed entirely based on the support of your pelvis area, it can put added pressure on your uterus.
Pregnant women are recommended not to perform this exercise at any cost during their pregnancy. Even menstruating females should refrain from practising this pose as it can lead to unnecessary pain.
8. Salamba Sirsasana (Head stand):
Salamba Sirsasana pose is one of the yoga poses to avoid during periods.
This pose requires some kind of shoulder strength and mobility to be able to perform it pain-free. Just like the shoulder stand, this exercise causes a lot of strain on your neck and shoulders.
To be able to perform such exercises, it is important for good core strength. If someone lacks the required core strength, this exercise is best avoided during periods.
As the core muscles form an essential covering over a woman’s reproductive organs, it becomes important to avoid this exercise.
9. Halasana (Plow Pose):
Halasana pose is one of the yoga poses to avoid during periods. This pose requires the entire inversion of your entire lower body. As it requires the bending of the body at the pelvis region, some people consider it to be exercised to perform during periods.
The bend can put added pressure on the uterus, making it difficult to work efficiently and comfortably.
10. Uttanasana (Forward Bend):
Uttanasana 1pose is one of the yoga poses to avoid during periods. This is one of the most performed exercises in the world, be alone a yogic exercise. This is one of those exercises that can be performed at any time and anywhere.
Everybody in the world is familiar with the forward bend and almost everybody practices it casually at any time of the day. Though it is known as one of the greatest stretch exercises, it might not be that good at all times.
People with back problems are recommended to not perform this exercise, even though it may feel like temporary relief. Again as long as periods are concerned, it causes direct bending at the lower back and pelvis.
This might shock the muscles in those regions and cause confusing discomfort. Though forward bending might provide instant temporary relief, it is known to cause unnecessary pressure on the back.
11. Powerful Pranayama
Powerful Pranayama is one of the yoga poses to avoid during periods.
Pranayama is one of the most beneficial body movements that bring health, immunity, and peace to a person. Pranayamas are mostly beneficial for everyone, but the intensity ranges from one to another.
These Pranayamas enable a strong flow of energy into one’s body with a sudden movement hence, it is best to avoid shocking your body as it can lead to unnecessary pain.
Some other practices that can be incorporated to control excessive menstrual flow are:
- Deep breathing
- Regular yoga practice
- Mediation for physical and mental health.
These were the 11 yoga poses to avoid during periods.
We know that yoga benefits the body, but some of the poses are best avoided in varied circumstances.
Menstruation is the biggest factor in a woman’s reproductive health and yoga helps in strengthening and protecting those reproductive organs. It is not hidden from anyone that many women face mental as well as physical problems in their day-to-day lives.
Practising yoga positions generally decreases the common risk of various diseases but they take place for every woman differently. Avoiding inversions, deep backbends, and deep twists should be the goal of every woman.
Practising an active sequence of gentle backbends, restorative poses5, arm balances, and standing poses alleviates cramps and enables natural energetic flow. So with simple methods like om chanting6, women can take control of their bodies and build inner strength.
1. Is it safe to practice yoga during periods?
Ans. Yes. Some yogas a meant to be practised when a woman is suffering from intense pain during periods and thus practising these yogas will be very helpful in relieving period cramps.
2. Can I do Surya namaskar during periods?
Ans. Yes. If you are not facing heavy bleeding or cramping then you may do the Surya namaskar pose during your periods. But make sure you are slow and gentle.
3. Which is the best relaxing position during periods?
Ans. The fetal sleeping position is the best relaxing position during periods.
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- Kanorewala, Burhanuddin Zoeb, and Yogesh Chandrakant Suryawanshi. “The role of alternate nostril breathing (Anuloma viloma) technique in regulation of blood pressure.” Asian Pacific Journal of Health Sciences, 9 (2), 48 52 (2022). ↩︎
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- Usha, M., et al. “Immediate effects of ‘Ujjayi Pranayama’on aerodynamic, acoustic and self perception parameters of voice in teachers.” Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine 13.1 (2022): 100490. ↩︎
- J. Patel, Nimit, et al. “Restorative dentistry clinical decision-making for hypodontia: retained primary molars.” British Dental Journal 235.7 (2023): 477-482. ↩︎
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