Menstruation occurs when a woman sheds the lining of her uterus monthly. Many things can cause a delay in your period, but yoga is not typically one of them. However, some yoga professionals believe that practicing inversions, yoga poses that position your head lower than your heart, during menstruation can cause a disruption in your cycle. If you are regularly experiencing delays periods, consult your doctor.
Menstruation From a Yogic Perspective
In yoga philosophy, menstruation is considered apana, or downward flowing. Practicing poses that disrupt the downward flow of menstruation, such as inversions, may cause problems. However, if you are experiencing abnormally heavy menstruation, yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar recommends practicing downward facing dog pose to slow down the flow. Come to your hands and knees, lift your knees off the floor and form your body into a V-shape. Stay in the pose for 30 seconds.
Causes of Delay
Delays in your menstrual cycle could be the result of several circumstances. Excessive amounts of stress can cause delays. A poor diet may also prevent your menstruation from being regular. Also, practicing inversions held for longer periods of time just before your period is supposed to start might also cause a slight delay.
Poses for Relief
A regular yoga practice may help regulate your menstrual cycle, says yoga teacher and author Linda Sparrowe. She also recommends eating a healthy and balanced diet. Practicing restorative or relaxing poses during the first few days of your cycle can help support the natural flow of menstruation and restore your energy levels. If you experience cramps, try practicing reclining bound angle pose for up to 15 minutes. While in a seated position, bring the soles of your feet together and recline your upper body back onto a bolster.
Everyone is Different
Each woman and her cycle is unique. Experiment with practicing inversions just before and during menstruation and see how your body feels. You may find that practicing inversions for shorter periods of time during these times of the month work for you. Try keeping track of your menstrual cycle in a journal. This way, you can track potential causes for delay and be in tune with your cycle.