Yoga during menstruation

In the yoga world we call it as "Lady Holidays".

So should we practice or not?

The first question will be do you have "natural" cycle or do you have cycle from the birth control pill?

If you are taking birth control pills then cycles are not natural so whatever you do, whatever you decide nothing will change, you can practice during your "period" knowing that your cycle is not a natural one and that your periods are not natural neither.

What are menstruations?

Understand the cycle :

« Recovery Mode » from day 1 to Day 7.

Start with the first day of the period. The broken down endometrium layers shaded as menstruation.Hormone level drops at the end of the previous cycle. A mature egg is released from the ovary.Bleeding last about 5 days up to 7 days.

1. Body feels recovering, skin getting better, low body temperature. 2. Oestrogen (hormone for development and balance) slowly rising.3. Progesterone (hormone that prepares for pregnancy) stays low.

« Best Condition » from Day 7 to Day 14

A week before the ovulation.

Oestrogen rises to its pick. Progesterone stays low.

Uterus : the endometrium grows and thickens to prepare for the implantation of an embryo.

·      High in metabolism
·      Skin is in the best condition
·      Energetic
·      Emotionally in positive mood
·      Outgoing and enjoy social meetings

« Calming Down » from day 14 to Day 21

A week after the ovulation.Ovulation is generally happening on the 14th day of the cycle, this where the egg is relased to the ovary.

From the uterus the endometrium secrete protein in preparation for a fertilized egg to implant.

Oestrogen drops, Progesterone rises drastically and slowly decreases.

·      High body temperature
·      Appetite increases
·      Less energetic
·      Prefer mental process over physical works
·      Social withdrawal

« Frustration » from Day 21 to Day 1

A week before the first day of menstruation.

Egg has been created from the ovary. The matured egg if not fertilised will travel into the fallopian tube toward the uterus for expulsion (menstruation).

The endometrium begins to break down.

Both hormones decrease but progesterone exceeds oestrogen.

·      Depression
·      Skin troubles
·      Body swallowing
·      Increased appetite causes binge
·      Fatigue

What is happening when taking the birth control pills?

Actually nothing of all above mentioned is happening. The blood that is showing after the 21 days pills is just appearing for comforting women that they are bleeding but as no egg has been released, as no ovulation happened this is not menstruation. So there is no reason to stop the practice.

Is it better to stop the practice during natural menstruation?

I would say yes. At least the first 3 days will be highly necessary for our body to recover. You can attend yin yoga class during that time or simply just do nothing and listen to your body.

As for my personal experience the more I am practicing the more I am in tune with my body and my emotion, I am following the cycle of the moon. Some month I am following the full moon cycle and some others I am following the new moon cycle, it completely depends on how much I have been traveling.

When I am at home, not travelling at all, no jet lag, no flight to catch up I am connected with the full moon, it appears that I am a "Red Moon lady" (bleeding during the Full Moon), which I completely agree with since I never had any desire or hope of any pregnancy in my life.

The White Moon cycle (so bleeding during the New moon) is more for women who has the quality of being a mother. Mostly they will start ovulating during the Full Moon which is really good for any woman who want to become pregnant.

In a regular practice of Ashtanga we are respecting the 6 days in a row, one day off, no practice during the new moon and the full moon, we are then following the moon cycle. The Moon cycle is a feminine energy and it is not new that women cycle should be connected with the Moon.

Such as Oceans and Seas are connected with the moon cycle.

The apana is the energy going down, therefore during the menstruation the apana has to go down that is why we should not "reverse" it by practicing any pranic energy (such as inversion).

Also some of women during the first 3 days are in pain due to the contraction so even though we are saying "no pain no gain" I do believe it is unnecessary to create more pain in our body in the name of the Ashtanga practice. So just relaxe and enjoy a 3 days off.

However if it does not bother you at all to practice while bleeding no problem, in the end you will be the one choosing wether you want, can, wish to practice or not.

In both case DO take care of Yourself.

With Love & Light,
- Namaste -

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