Learn what pose to do for each of your 4 menstrual stages of the month
Yoga poses for period pain eased and reduced all the symptoms of menstruation I had. Although I didn’t realise it, I actually also needed to yoga for heavy periods. Fortunately, with yoga, I was also able to ease and manage heavy periods too.
With the help of my teachers, I also learned to structure my yoga over the month into the four useful stages I outline below, as well as in the video.
Before I tell you about each stage, I want to outline some background on why yoga works so well. I’ll start with a “back to basics” overview of what is going on in our female bodies.
The video in this post is also a pictorial summary of what I outline below. It also contains pictures of many of the yoga poses for period pain that I will mention.
Your brain, hormones & ovaries are “linked”. Each month, just one egg is released from your ovaries. Over the month, the internal lining in your uterus grows.
If your hormones “tell” the uterus there’s no pregnancy, then the lining of the uterus is expelled by bleeding.
Leading up to menstruation, various hormonal change prepares for pregnancy. In particular, estrogen & progesterone adjust over the month.
Iyengar yoga uses a unique staged approach
Here’s how to synchronise yoga with your hormone changes.
In short, the message is to do different poses, or variations of the poses, for each of the four stages of your menstrual month.
This approach is unique to Iyengar yoga studios like Flametree. That’s because it was developed by a famous yoga teacher called Geeta Iyengar.
At Flametree, a so-called Iyengar style studio, we provide modifications of poses, and some particular sequences of poses, such as I outline below.
By the way, my view is that most women don’t need to do more than quietly and discretely modify some key poses, or avoid other poses, at particular times.
When bleeding is about to start, energy is a challenge. Other issues can include moods, irritability, period bloating, back pain, and headaches.
In my case, before I started yoga, I also had plenty of period pain, tiredness, period cramps, & heavy periods.
When I finally found yoga, I learned to do these different poses, or variations of poses, for the following four different stages of menstruation.
With this “recipe”, I cut all my symptoms of menstruation. In the process, although I didn’t realise it at the time, I also was doing appropriate yoga for heavy periods.
What a find it was. Here’s what I learned to do in each stage.
Please note it is generally understood the the start of Menstruation is seen as Stage 1 in the monthly cycle. I have put it as Stage 2 to help you understand how to manage the premenstrual stage.
First: Yoga for period pain in the pre-menstruation stage.
In this stage, sore or swollen breasts can be issue. Plus anxiety and constipation can be a concern.
I also found I had to be careful about addictive foods, especially those with sugar. Again, the mindfulness I learnt from yoga helped with mindful eating, and being intentional, or disciplined about food.
In short, as you see more of in the video:
- Start to use yoga props for support
- Do more supine, or lying poses.
- Use seated poses to help manage energy.
Second Stage. Menstruation itself
Now, in ayurvedic terms, your body is “hotter”. Again, avoid eating high sugar food.
Cramping & back pain can also occur.
The recipe of yoga poses for period pain, as well as managing this stage in general, is:
- Do few standing poses, with some modifications as needed
- Use seated forward bends and supine (lying) poses
- Do backbends to lift your spirits, and to extend your chest
- Avoid inversions at this time.
Third stage: Immediately after menstruation
In this third stage immediately after your period finishes, adjust your yoga like this:
- Use inversions to “dry out” the uterus
- Build to stronger backbends; and
- Work towards a more mixed and normal practice.
Fourth and “normal” stage of your month
In this fourth and normal stage, usually over two weeks or so, do a mixed yoga sequence, including any more challenging poses you wish to attempt.
In particular, do poses to keep your hips flexible.
Among other things, be aware that if you are highly flexible in the hips, you can actually over-stretch in some poses in ways that will not necessarily work well for your pelvic or back health.
Summary: How yoga for period pain eased all symptoms of menstruation
Another advantage of using these sorts of yoga poses for period pain was learning to work with my hormones.
Again, although I did not know at the time, I was also preparing for working with my hormones in the menopause phase of my life.
In the process of working with yoga for heavy periods, and more, I learnt much more humility and compassion for myself.
In turn, this helped me pace myself. I got as much or more done, but did it at the right time, and in a way that worked in with my hormonal stages.
One outcome was that I was less stressed. I got regular rejuvenation, and time for useful reflection.
As a result, my overall physical, mental, and emotional health improved. If you follow this staged approach, or work with a yoga studio that does, I’m sure you will too.
One easy way of finding a yoga teacher to help you implement these various stages, is to come to Flametree’s Women Only classes, online or in-studio (in Darwin, Australia).
The video written in conjunction with this post further explains my four stages of yoga poses for period pain, or menstruation symptoms.
Most of all, you can do all this naturally, in ways that has no risk of other issues later.
In another post, I’ve written more about my story of how I dealt with periods time, the poses I used, and some of my worries about period suppression.
Women Only classes at beginner and non-beginner level
Flametree teaches two Women Only classes a week. Non-beginners can come to either or both classes.
Beginners can come to the Women Only class at 4.15pm Wednesdays (Darwin, Australia local time).
This class is one of the optional Beginner Level classes.
Beginners can start at any of the 9 beginner classes each week, or when we start regular beginner courses.
The beginner course classes are included in the weekly beginner passes that you can use to start at any time.
Non-beginners, who are new to Flametree, or who lapsed for 6 months or more, get 14 days of unlimited non-beginner classes for just $29.
I’ve also given you several free sequences of poses for doing all I have outlined above. The free menstruation pose list, or join one of our classes, or both.
If these deals are not exactly what suits you, check out all Flametree Yoga packages.
Try Women Only yoga classes for Beginners or Non-Beginners. Manage all symptoms of menstruation that are an issue for you.