Yoga and Menstruation Cycle

Namaste Everyone ! Hope you are enjoying the festival season.

Current data shows that around the world,Yoga practice is the most popular activity among the females.

Now an important thing needs to be considered- Should women practice physical side of Yoga during her that ‘‘time of the month’‘ (menstruation cycle) ?

I remember my childhood days when my mother used to tell my sister that she should take rest in her room during her monthly cycle.I hated this orthodox thinking, as I was not allowed to play with her too. In Indian culture, it is a strong belief that a woman should not cook,clean,visit temple etc during her menstruation cycle.
Later in my life, I found myself(haha,I am a woman too) that this orthodox following actually has a scientific background and a clear message that ”women should take complete rest during mensuration.!”

Therefore traditionally In India all the schools of Yoga prohibited practice of Yoga asanas(body postures),pranayama,bandhas ,kriyas, and mudras during the monthly cycle.One can surely practice meditation and restorative pose like Shavasana(corpse pose).

Reasons behind it-

1-Firstly In Ayurveda, the monthly cycle is considered as a time of revitalization, detoxification, and purification. Therefore instead of putting any extra stress (physical or emotional) on the body, this is an ideal time to ease off of activity.

2-Secondaly during the monthly cycle, apana vayu becomes very active. This is a natural downward force that helps in excretion. Through Yoga asana(body postures) practice there is a possibility to oppose or obstruct this natural flow of apana,which is not good for this process of cleansing.

3- Finally the medical science says that there are certain physiological changes happen during this time, like small blood vessels get ruptured, hormones level changes, ovaries,uterus, fallopian tubes etc become sore and tender. Many yoga asanas(body postures) include contraction of these internal organs and can cause more pain and discomfort in the body.

It is understandable that complete rest for 3-4 days for modern women is not possible.They can work as usual and do other tasks but a physical practice of Yoga must be avoided.

A healthy lifestyle and practicing Yoga rest of the month, especially bandhas and mudras (similar to kegel exercises) balance the menstrual cycle and prevent premenstrual syndrome, cramps,pain and irritation.In my next article, we will discuss the same.

Hari Om Tat Sat !

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