Menstruation for women is a time when the body needs some rest. It is essential to choose a more gentle, regenerative style of yoga that provides softness and comfort. Among the many styles of yoga that exist, you can turn to Yoga Therapy, Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga. These 3 types of yoga stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which slows down the body's functions in order to conserve energy and promote relaxation. We will see in detail the differences between these 3 styles of yoga, the poses to avoid during your period and the 3 poses recommended for relieving your menstrual pain.
Yoga therapy, practised in individual or small group sessions, is a style that is adapted to your pathologies and energy level and leads you, with the help of regular sessions, to limit the physical or psychological pain linked to your pathology. A yoga therapy session is entirely personalized and adapted to your needs and feelings. The positions are most often lying or sitting, with the help of many supports. Don't be surprised if the yoga therapy teacher asks you many questions before starting the session and if he/she asks you how you feel during the session because it is essential to adjust the positions and maximize the benefits of yoga therapy to your needs and feelings.
Yin Yoga or "the Quiet Practice" is a calm practice, including elements of traditional Chinese medicine. The practice as we know it in the West was developed by Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers, who decided to include only Yin positions on the floor. In this practice, positions are held for 45 seconds to 7 minutes, and we use supports such as blocks, cushions, blankets, chairs to deeply relax connective tissues, ligaments, tendons and fascias. Supports are also used in Yin Yoga in order not to force the tissues too much, which could lead to injuries.
Restorative Yoga, as the name implies, is a type of yoga that promotes healing and recovery from injury. It promotes the complete relaxation of the body thanks to the material and accessories that support it completely. The positions are held even longer than Yin Yoga, between 5 and 10 minutes, and the stretching is 100% passive to allow maximum relaxation.
Are there any positions to avoid and why?
Even if you participate in a "calm" yoga class, it is important to know which positions to avoid when you are menstruating. If in doubt, I advise you to inform your yoga teacher before the class so that he/she can adapt the class to your menstruation.
It cannot be repeated enough, but in yoga, any pose that is painful must be adjusted either with material that makes the pose more accessible or with a modified version of the position. Therefore, especially at the time of menstruation, all positions that increase tension and painful sensations should be avoided.
When you have your period, it is recommended to avoid:
Positions that require engaging the abdominals and pelvic region such as the boat position, plank, dolphin or chaturanga...
All inverted postures such as the candle, the upside-down handstand or the headstand in order not to interfere with the downward flow, Apana, which dominates during menstruation
The positions of intense twists or deep twists
The case of twists during menstruation is double-edged. Twists often help to relax the lower back and can be helpful for constipation during menstruation. However, too much twisting can create tension in the pelvic area and increase the feeling of inflammation. So consider back twists with supports such as Jathara Parivartanasana with bent knees and supports, ideal for relaxing, or variations of twists such as the easy variation of Marichyasana C.
3 Yoga poses to relieve painful periods
A scientific study released in 2011 showed that 3 yoga poses reduce the intensity and duration of menstrual pain, not related to a gynaecological disorder. These are the cobra, cat and fish positions. Here is a step-by-step description of these yoga positions that relieve and help you relax during painful cycles. These positions are easy to perform, and the videos will allow you to better visualize the positions
Cat or Marjariasana:
Get on your mat in a four-legged position
Place your wrists below your shoulders, knees below your hips
Press your hands to the floor and keep your arms straight
Round your back, bring your chin to your chest and exhale through your nose
Bring the navel to the floor, open the chest, look far ahead and inhale through the nose
Cobra or Bhujangasana:
Lie on your stomach
Press your ankles to the floor while keeping your legs straight. The feet can be spread or tightened.
Place your hands under your shoulders, forearms on the floor
Slowly straighten your torso, opening your chest
Stop for a moment, breathe and return to the floor
Fish or Matsyasana:
Lie on your back, legs straight or cross-legged
Place your forearms at your sides
Open your chest and lean your chest back until your head touches the floor. If your head has trouble touching the floor, use a head cushion
Breathe quietly and slowly
Finish the pose lying on your back with your arms at your sides
Kit Yoga therapy: a natural method for pain-free menstruation
Find all the sessions adapted for painful periods in the program Kit Yoga Therapy!
This program is for you if:
You suffer from premenstrual symptoms and intense pain during your period
You feel very tired and limited in your movements at the time of your period
You prefer natural remedies to take care of yourself
You wish to replace the pill or medication with side effects with a natural solution
You feel stressed and emotionally more sensitive at the time of your period
Discover more about the Kit Yoga Therapy for pain-free menstruation,