Yoga While Menstruating

There you go. I put it right in the title. I am going to talk about yoga and my period in the same post. I was nice and put it all up front. If you don’t want to know then don’t read.

So here’s the deal –

I am one of these women who have epic periods. It’s been happening since I was 15. I get massive cramps, massive exhaustion, lower back aches. The best is when I go to bed, wake up, and realize I have gained four pounds overnight.  Once Mark said he could actually tell I was bloated – that my stomach looked physically bigger. Thanks honey. He must have immediately run out of the house after saying that because he is still alive today. I then drag those four pounds of water weight around with me for a week. Then I go to bed, wake up, and they are gone. Any symptom you can come up with I have it times 1000. I remember once driving into the high school parking lot and being so overwhelmed by cramps that I immediately went back home (and yes, I did skip a lot of school in high school but this was legit) and climbed back into bed.

I’ve been going to acupuncture at least once a month for over a year now. While we have not been targeting my period issues (it’s on my list to have him address it but other things keep going to the front of the line), I have noticed that the symptoms have gotten easier to manage. Yoga though, that is a whole other story.

I have been paying attention, and I have learned that if I go to yoga within 24 hours of my period starting I will have a bad class. I don’t mean one of those classes where you feel tired or a bit dizzy. I mean I am on the ground seeing stars, blacking out, and feeling like I could puke. I pray I don’t puke.  Now I could skip class 24 hours before my period starts, but I never do. I just show up and see what happens. Often I am not even paying attention to the calendar to know what is going on. I just end up on the floor crying trying to figure out what my problem is. Then, I wake up the next day and the problem is solved.

For the record, I can go to yoga 48 hours before my period starts and even the very day that it starts and have zero issues.  I never have any issues after it starts. But that 24 hour window? Yoga totally sucks during that time frame.

But then yesterday happened.

I went skipping into the 4:30 Tuesday class yesterday in a super good mood. Wasn’t paying attention to the calendar. Didn’t know I was in my 24 hour window. Just happy to buy new yoga clothes! Yeah for new yoga clothes arriving! I was totally hydrated. I had eaten well.  In fact, and this is what in interesting, I had not eaten meat for a solid week.

I had a bang up class. Ok – my triangle still stunk but I am getting better at holding it longer. My camel was still nothing to write home about but I did get up and give both sets a go. That is an improvement in and of itself. I rocked out an awesome toe-stand. I am always falling out of toe stand. Well, on the first side I did fall out. But it was the most mindful falling out I think I have ever done. I felt myself lose my balance. I tried to regain it, and it was not working. So I fell out with control. Usually I just crash on my butt. Then, second side comes around. I balance! I get my hands in prayer. I think I managed to look up into the mirror. I was able to come out of toe stand and almost made it back into tree. Horray! I am still happy about that.  I was so happy that I tried to do a repeat demonstration when I got home for Mark while he made dinner. Poor Mark. He has to put up with my toe stand stories.  It’s exciting for me, and I would be excited for you because I do yoga, but how excited are non-Bikram people about this stuff? Maybe not so much.

Then I woke up this morning and wouldn’t you know it? My period started. Tuesday’s class was the first class that I have ever attended in the 24 hour-period-is-gonna-start window where class was not a horrible mess of me on the ground trying not to sob and puke. Why?

I have nothing to offer here in the way of an explanation. The only thing I know to be different is I hadn’t eaten meat for one week. That is interesting.

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Yoga & Menstruation (Part II) « My Bikram Yoga Life
  2. Click here
    Jul 19, 2013 @ 06:42:14

    Thanks designed for sharing such a fastidious idea,
    paragraph is good, thats why i have read it entirely


  3. kim
    Jul 29, 2013 @ 13:16:50

    thankyou!! i’m a newbie at bikram, and i havent had my period during my short stint with bikram yoga, but you’ve helped, so i wont eat any meat a week before 😀
    its a good read.


  4. Trackback: Retro Throwback: Yoga While Menstruating | My Bikram Yoga Life
  5. Crystal
    Sep 08, 2013 @ 10:52:42

    Have you tried organic blackstrap molasses?
    I used to have 8 day periods with horrible clots, pain, dizziness, diarrhea, vomitting, anger. For the 1st day I could not go anywhere at all.
    I saw a youtube video about the molasses, and decided that it was worth a shot.
    I drink one tablespoon in some hot tea once a day, and then twice a day on the days of my period.
    This has worked wonders for me! After the first month, my period was 5 days and I had significantly less bleeding than before. (And to be honest, I hadn’t always remembered to drink the molasses, and my diet was horrible). The cramps were also lessened. I took one aleve on the day of my period, and the next day I was totally functional and even happy.
    My periods are better than they were when I tried out birth control for 7 months, plus the molasses doesn’t carry the crazy side effects of bc. The only downside is that the molasses is stinky and doesn’t taste amazing, but it’s a decent sweetener in tea. Please try it!


  6. Cora Ryan
    Sep 18, 2013 @ 07:24:07

    heres the thing right… your hormones and your digestive system are massively connected. You may find that during your period your digestion is poor or on the first day you are completely constipated or similar. The better your digestive system is the easier a time your hormones have regulating themselves…


  7. caycilia
    Nov 08, 2013 @ 10:48:10

    Thanks for this post! I have been doing yoga for a while but just started Bikram and today will be my first class with my period. Obviously my mileage my very, but knowing you don’t have a problem during it (and reading your experience in general/feeling some solidarity!) is so reassuring. Weirdly I skipped class yesterday due to feeling like i really listen to what my body was telling me, not even knowing it was a day before my period. Anyway, glad I found your blog… totally following you now 🙂 And I really relate to demoing things to non-yogis too.


  8. Trackback: Hot Yoga, periods, and PMDD…oh my | keshiablogs
  9. Christina
    Dec 04, 2013 @ 07:29:37

    Hi! I’m going to my first Bikram class on my period TODAY. I was feeling a bit leery but now reading this I feel Very Good about my decision to go. Btw- Apple Cider Vinegar everyday is also really good for shortening your period and redusing the flow. I take a Tablespoon in Grapefruit juice in the morning…sounds counterintuitive, but it actually seems sweeter! Glad I found you!


  10. Ngozi
    Jan 08, 2014 @ 15:51:56

    Thanks so much for posting this.


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