Is Yoga Good During Periods? The Science Behind It.

August 3rd, 2021 | by

Many people might ask, can you practice yoga during your period? Well, the answer is yes. Yoga during your period can be extremely helpful, especially if you are experiencing painful symptoms.

Yoga has been around us since time immemorial. Our ancestors have preached it for a million years. Imparting knowledge and wisdom for all kinds of health and mental issues faced by the human kind. The issues that are within your body and soul, even about your monthly cycle.. Yes, that’s right! 

You may already realize that your hormones fluctuate throughout the four stages of your menstrual cycle. After all, that’s why you feel energized during a few days of the month and exhausted during the others. It is common for questions like  ‘Is yoga good for period pain?‘ or ‘Which yoga asanas are helpful during periods?’ might pop into your mind. This article will answer all of those million dollar questions for you.

Along with menstrual sanitation, menstrual health is essential too. The discomfort of cramps, sensations of nausea, body ache, and irregular menses are all topics addressed under this subject. Yoga plays a significant role in improving your menstrual cycle and also relieving the pain to a large extent. With more than 80% of women suffering from period-related pain at some time in their lives, we need to learn how to treat our cramping holistically. 

Can we practice yoga during periods?

  • The answer is a 100% YES. The idea of yoga during your period might sound icky to a few, but trust me, it is beneficial and will make your life better. 
  • Yoga can help you target and stretch the right muscles that lead to cramp generation. There are certain poses that are targeted for relief specifically during the menstruation. Yoga is a simple and effective method for pain-relief and one doesn’t need to be in a studio or a gym to do it.
  • It may not always be feasible to use a hot-water bag each time your period cramps trouble you. Adoption of nourishing and nutritious food can help reduce the pain. 

Yoga, a time-tested natural approach, is one of the unique side-effect-free alternatives available out there that can make your periods pain-free.

  •  It rejuvenates the body physically and helps in lightening the distress induced due to menstrual spasms.
  •  It also calms your mind and helps you build up a more resistant immunity towards the pain.

If you are uncomfortable practicing comprehensive yoga postures- maybe some deep breathing, gentle stretching, and chanting may help reduce period pain.

Which yoga is best during periods?

Accompanied with intense breathing- the asanas below are the ones we have found most effective in freeing the mind, body and soul, reducing discomfort, and helping in the promotion of blood flow.

Let’s take a quick look at the many benefits of a few asanas: 

Marjari asana (Cat stretch pose) 

  • While practicing Marjari asana or Cat Stretch Pose, the spine is contracted and prolonged stretching abdominal and back muscles.
  • The movements of the body throughout this pose massage the contraceptive organs, hence resulting in better blood flow when practiced on a regular basis. 
  • This asana improves the flexibility of the neck, shoulders, and spine.
  •  It gently tones the female reproductive system, giving relief from menstrual cramps and leucorrhea. 
  • Practicing this asana on a regular basis improves the posture of the body, strengthens the muscles and joints.

Vyaghrasana (Tiger pose) 

  • This asana exercises and loosens the back by bending it alternatively in two directions and tones the spinal nerves. 
  • It unwinds the sciatic nerves, alleviating sciatica, and frees up the legs and hip joints.
  • It sculpts the female love handles and is especially beneficial for women after childbirth. 
  • It stretches the abdominal muscles. 
  • It also promotes digestion and stimulates blood circulation. 

Chakki Chalan Asana (The Churning mill pose)

  • This asana is excellent for toning the nerves and organs of the pelvis and abdomen.
  • It is great for regulating the menstrual cycle and can be performed during the first three months of pregnancy. 
  • It is also an excellent exercise for postnatal recovery.
  • One of the perks of Chakki Chalanasana is that it is more effective in treating insomnia and enables you to sleep soundly.
  • It includes strengthening the abdominal organs along with enhancing the function of the digestive system.
  • It further supports improvement in your body posture.
  • The Churning Mill Yoga Pose is propitious for regulating the menstrual cycle and also provides strength to Uterus muscles in a female.

Nauka Sanchalan Asana (Rowing the boat pose) 

  • This asana has a positive influence on the pelvis and gut. 
  • It releases energy blockages in your abdominal region.
  • It is remarkably helpful, especially for gynecological disorders and post-natal recovery.
  • It also helps cure constipation and digestion-related problems. 
  • Alternate inhalation and exhalation in Nauka Sanchalan, or developing a rhythm of breathing helps in balancing your mind,
  • Along with treating depression, it improves your concentration levels and leads you towards achieving mental clarity. 

Dhanurasana (Bow pose) 

  • By performing this asana- the liver, abdominal glands, and tissues are massaged leading to holistic cleanse of the entire alimentary canal.
  • It helps in balancing the secretions of the pancreas and your adrenal glands are toned as well.
  • This asana leads to improved functioning of the digestive, excretory, and reproductive organs and helps to remove disorders in the same.
  • It is useful for controlling diabetes and menstrual disorders. It improves blood circulation, focusing on the spine and your whole body in general.
  • The spinal column is aligned and the ligaments, muscles, and nerves are activated, removing stiffness. 

Balasana ( Child’s pose)

  • This asana is an excellent way to alleviate menstrual cramps, especially if you experience pain in the backbone. 
  • It allows your back muscles to stretch, while also helping you relax. 
  • It empowers the body to explore balance and release tension.
  • This asana unwinds and tranquilizes the mind and body while lengthening the entire spine.
  • Initiating the relaxation response in this pose loosens your lower back tension, menstrual cramps, PMS and helps to normalize blood flow throughout your whole body.

Kandharasana (Shoulder pose) 

  • The Shoulder Pose is a great yoga practice for the females because it corrects and heals many female health problems. The pose strengthens the female reproductive organ, the uterus, thus lowering the chance of miscarriage and relieving menstrual discomfort.
  • It helps in the management of menstrual disorders, prolapse, asthma, and various bronchial and thyroid conditions. 
  • It aids to realign the spine, eliminating rounded shoulders, and relieving backache. 
  • It tends to massage and stretch the colon and abdominal organs, improving the digestion of your body. 

To put it simply, if you are experiencing extreme cramps, even the thought of practicing yoga can feel exhaustive. However, there is no doubt that performing specific yoga asanas during your periods will help you monitor your menstrual cycle and keep your reproductive health restored. 

You can always choose from the asanas listed above, or just practice some breathing exercises. You need to realize that only you can understand your body the best, and provide it with the things it demands. 

We advise you to consult your gynecologist to understand what suits you best. Happy holistic healing to you, ladies! 

Samarpita Mukherjee