A healthy menstrual cycle is very important for a womans health and general well being. Nature has provided women with a way to purify their bodies and minds each month. The female body is much more elastic than a mans body. This elasticity can cause a distortion in the skeletal and muscular structure of the female body causing women to experience bouts of pain and tenderness particularly at the time of menstruation.
Many women experience pre-menstrual tension/pain, stiffness in the limbs and lower back, mood swings, feelings of irritability, anger, aggression and depression. During menstruation many women experience discomfort/bloating/cramping/overheating/skin rashes/constipation, heaviness and lethargy and often feeling disconnected (not grounded). It is the time of the month when women should slow down, rest more and take life a little easier. There are so many demands on women from work and family that many women often ignore the need to rest and push through tiredness and pain.
It is important to use your yoga practice to honour this time of the month and do less, especially in the first few days, when the flow is heavy. Not only will you appreciate the benefits that will flow from using your yoga practice to restore balance but so will your friends and family!!
The following sequences come Geeta Iyengar who over the years has helped so many female Iyengar yoga practitioners find a way to restore balance to their bodies, mind and emotions. During menstruation the emphasis is on forward extensions, supine poses to open the chest and help release pressure in the abdomen, seated poses and supported setubandha Sarvangasana. Note Inversions should not be done at this time. If a woman has a “normal” menstruation, no health problems like cysts/fibroids/heavy bleeding she can also do some standing poses with the help of a wall, ledge or balcony rail. No jumping into and out of standing poses.
See The following references for Guidelines on Menstruation by Geeta Iyengar: