A simple Google search will tell you that a lot of literature has been written about whether or not women should do inversions in her yoga practice when she is menstruating. There is a widely-held concern that engaging in inversions while menstruating may cause retrograde flow and lead to endometriosis, though there is no concrete evidence that inversions during menstruation are the cause of this. Since the energy flows downward during a woman’s period, inversions can be seen as a disruption to this downward energy flow.
To be smart about your yoga practice and your body, here are a few things to consider about whether to do inversions when you have your period.
- Inversions should be light when your flow is heavy. While you may not want to opt out of inversions altogether, don’t hold your inversions as long. In other words, this is not the time for a ten-minute headstand. Rather than engaging in assertive inversions, you may opt for a milder inversion pose such as down dog and receive similar benefits.
- When your flow is lighter, inversions are okay. When you move through your cycle, once you have a lighter flow you may feel you have more energy to engage in inversions again.
- Don’t try inversions that you haven’t done before. During menstruation, women often find that they need to limit their physical exertion to conserve the energy. Since yoga instructors don’t want you to run out of energy during a time that energy is typically lower, it’s smart to save new inversions for a day when you are in tip-top shape.
- Listen to your body. At the end of the day, you need to make the decision that is best for you and your body. Listen to your body as you move through the poses and act accordingly. During menstruation, your body is in a quiet release mode and is it wise to allow this time of introspection and balance. Give yourself room to rest.