Yoga to Ease and Flow with our Periods
Yoga on our periods 💗 While you may not be feeling like throwing yourself into a strong asana practice when your period arrives, yoga can be really beneficial in aiding our bodies during its monthly release. You may even feel like not doing any movement at all (which is totally fine!), but the gentle, calming, nourishing side of a yoga practice may also be exactly what you need to ease the discomfort.
Below we've listed the ways you could modify your yoga practice for your period, and general ways that yoga could support you and your body as it moves through its rhythms. There's also some class recommendations, and an online class from us available too! We hope this helps and reminds you; you always have permission to practise in a way that suits you, moment to moment, however you might be feeling.
How to modify your yoga practice on your period
1. Slow down the pace
No matter the class you find yourself in, or the usual rhythm at which you practise, there is always the option to slow things down. Take a few extra, deep breaths in a posture, keep your transitions easeful and maybe even close your eyes; this can be helpful in keeping things mindful and at a pace that suits you. If you do usually come to the studio to practise styles such as Rocket or Ashtanga, we might suggest something slower paced such as Yin, Gentle Flow or Restorative Yoga. The reason we have such a diverse schedule at Trika is so you attend classes wherever your mind and body are at!
2. Avoid postures that constrict the abdominal area
Many yoga sequences involve forward folds and positions that can bring pressure to the abdominal region — we may be stretching out our backs, or engaging our bandhas to strengthen the core. Whatever posture your teacher is guiding you into, know that their instructions are always optional, and if something doesn't feel comfortable, especially if you are in the first few days of your period, listen to that. You could modify a forward fold with a bolster if that calls, or let your teacher know the pose isn't working for you, and they can offer something that does. Never feel like you have to do something if it doesn't feel right.
3. Take your time when standing up
In class, we often move from sitting to standing in a progressive flow of movements. Yet on our periods, light-headedness is a common theme, as our bodies turn their attention to supporting our monthly release. If you find yourself in a session where you are doing lots of sun salutations, know that you can always modify these to suit any dizziness that may be coming up. Switch a flat-back rise to a gentle roll up, take an extra few breaths to acclimatise your head to being up or down, and feel free to let your teacher know you are taking things slower in the transition from sitting to standing today. Find whatever works for you!
4. Listen to yourself
We say this over and over, but that's because it's so important! Listening to your body and its needs, even if this changes from month to month, not only helps with finding a way to enjoyably practise on our periods… it just generally cultivates a better relationship with ourselves. To be able to decipher what our body is saying is a bit like a muscle that strengthens over time — the more we listen, the more we get better at knowing, and the easier we find it to tend to our needs. Modifying your practice on your period is a really nourishing way to remind ourselves of this.
Benefits of yoga on your period
With all our modifications laid out for you, we also wanted to highlight why yoga on our periods is so beneficial! Not only does it help keep our bodies moving at a time when it can feel too daunting to do so… yoga on your period can be a way to ease the cramps and aches that stultify so many of us. As we move through our bodies, we might linger in a sore area, gently massage our tummies, or enjoy the extension that a baby cobra brings to the same area. If you would like more of a demonstration of how a yoga practice on your period looks like, do have a watch of our online class with Charlene — A Guide to: Yoga to ease into flow with our periods. It's got some really useful tips and postures for this!
Additionally, we'd also like to highlight how yoga, naturally, offers a lot for the mind. Focus and clarity are common benefits, as are the calming and soothing aspects of a yin practice, or a simple sitting meditation with a focus on our breath. There is so much that yoga brings beyond movement to our bodies, and when our minds are racing with thoughts about the annoyance of a period cramp, the mindful element of yoga can bring us gently back to ourselves. As ever, it has so much to offer in the way of support for our lives 🙂
And finally, here are some classes on our weekly schedule that we would recommend attending if you are on your period and after a soothing, releasing, intuitive practise that will leave you feeling nourished 🙏
We've picked something everyday of the week for you below:
- Mondays, 12.30pm — Grounding Vinyasa Flow w/ Rosa Lia
- Tuesdays, 12.30pm — Yin Yang Flow w/ Bryony Hannah
- Wednesdays, 7.30pm — Calming Yin w/ Helena Murphy
- Thursdays, 7.30pm — Gentle Restorative Flow w/ Claire W
- Fridays, 7.30pm — Flow & Yin to Unwind w/ Helena
- Saturdays, 4.45pm — Hatha Yoga w/ Poppy
- Sundays, 7.15pm — Yoga Nidra for Deep rest w/ Claire L
You can view our full schedule, and book your spots for those here.
We made this 30 minute class on YouTube ages awhile ago, for this exact topic. Have a watch! https://www.youtube.com/live/KFYYxF9dM20?si=fKHHDf4jrayIxy4R