The Benefits of Yoga on your Period
Getting your period can really interfere with your weekly activities. And let’s face it – exercise is often the first thing to go. Although the cramping, fatigue and wariness of leaks may cause you to avoid certain forms of exercise during your cycle, that doesn’t mean you have to skip out on the gym entirely. If your period is putting a damper on your workout, consider changing it up a bit with yoga. Practicing yoga during your period can be beneficial for several reasons – read on to learn why.
Yoga Helps Ease Cramping and Aching
If you’re experiencing mild cramps, yoga could be just what you need. The deep breaths promoted during yoga practice help oxygen circulate the body and get into your muscles. Since a main factor of menstrual cramping is a lack of oxygen in your uterine muscles,1 this is a great way to soothe painful cramps. What poses are most helpful? Those on the ground will help you maintain stability and focus while you get a good stretch in. Poses like Supine Twist and Child’s Pose will stretch your lower back muscles, loosening tension in an area that often aches during menstruation.
It Calms the Mind
The practice of yoga is centered around meditation and focus, which is why so many people incorporate it into their lifestyle. Deep breathing and meditation practices can help quell those feelings of anxiety or tension that naturally occur during your cycle as a result of painful cramps or shifting hormone levels.2 Savasana, the final yoga resting pose, is also a great way to focus your mind and body on relaxation.
You Can Take it Slow
Unlike cardio-driven exercises and interactive classes, yoga is an individual practice, where it’s encouraged to go at your own pace and only participate in the poses that are comfortable for you. You can practice at home or in a studio or gym to help you re-energize during your cycle, and there’s no rule of thumb when it comes to the length of time you should be spending on the mat.
If you’re experiencing heavy bleeding and painful cramping to the point where you don’t feel able to participate in light exercise during your cycle, you may be suffering from heavy periods, or AUB. If you think you may experience heavy periods, schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss your symptoms, and visit www.changethecycle.com for more helpful insights.
- What are Menstrual Cramps? WebMD. Accessed August 1, 2018. https://www.webmd.com/women/menstrual-cramps#1
- Period Pain: Overview. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Accessed on August 1, 2018. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072508/