While teaching yoga classes, I notice that many of yoga students dont know what asanas, pranayamas and cleansing techniques they should do or not do on the menstrual cycles. Even in a yoga teacher training, that question is not really covered fully. I was there, I know.
Questions arises all the time, and it is good if your yoga teacher is qualified enough to give you good advice and share the knowledge on that topic.
What is menstruation ?! It is time of introversion, acceptance and balance.
First 2 days accept the nature)) just do pranayams, Yoga Nidra and meditation, no asanas for those 2 days. From the day 3, do not push or strain in your practice, instead do some more gentle poses, but hold them for a little longer. I prefer to do Restorative Yoga practice or Yin Yoga, with those practices you feel nurturing and opening, you feel safe. You can do gentle Surya Namaskar, however Chandra Namaskar will be more soothing. Gentle forward bends will give a light massage to the abdominal and pelvic region, helping to relieve congestion, heaviness, cramping and heavy bleeding, also it will bring calmness to the mind.
You can do asanas such as: Paschimottanasana, Ardha Paschimottanasana, Upavishta Konasana, Child Pose, Hare/Moon Pose and Uttanasana. Practice with half of your capacity, and its good to use props in your practice, such as bolsters, blocks, blankets etc. Gentle twisting poses can remove back pain, cramping and congestion, do Vakrasan pose or gentle Matsyendrasana with the leg in front. Gentle backbends, especially when supported, can alleviate back pain and pelvic discomfort, try supported Supta Vajrasana and supported Supta Baddha Konasana. Leg up the wall or Viparita Karani without lifting your hips up is an amazing asana for your days of month. Other asanas that help to remove back pain and pelvic tension are Cat Pose (Marjariasana) and Tiger pose (Vyagrasana). To tone your pelvis do Baddha Konasana pose and to relieve back pain try simple gas release pose (Sulabh Pavanmuktasana) with knees apart, you can do simple tortoise pose (Sulabh Koormasana) and Simple Pigeon pose.
What asanas to avoid?
Inversions, strong backbends, strong twists and arm balances, strong vinyasa, power yoga, bandhas. And if you have a lot of bleeding and a lot of pain, dont do Surya Namaskar. To be more specific, avoid unsupported backbends, Padangushtasana, Garudasana,Utthita Parsvakonasana, Malasana, Ardha Chandrasana, Natarajasana, Tadasana, Utkatasana, Utthita Padangustasana,Utthita Trikonasana and Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana).
Accept. Love. Nurture. Be the Light!