Retro Throwback: Yoga & Menstruation (Part II)

On the weekends, please enjoy the Retro Throwback where I share my favorite posts from some time ago. Yoga & Menstruation (Part II) was originally published in March 2012.


Here we are, a month after I wrote my first post about yoga and my menstrual cycle. To recap, when I go to yoga within 24 hours of my cycle starting I have a horrible class. The kind of class where I feel like I am going to vomit from beginning to end and I keep experiencing a black fog in front of me. So very, very bad.

Well, in February I had a great class in that 24 hour time slot. The only thing I had differently was that I had not eaten meat for a solid week beforehand. So the question became, was this a one time thing that I got lucky on? Or was I on to something good here?

Before I answer that, let me explain what it’s like for me when my period starts. In addition to having horrible yoga classes, I also have an array of other fun things. These things can start 24-48 hours in advance of my first day and go into day two of my cycle. They include:

– being extremely tired. So tired in fact that if it is not possible for me to get a nap in I want to sob in a corner. Ofiten, I will take a 1-2 hour nap in the afternoon and be asleep by 8:30 that evening (until about 7:00 the next day)

– lower backache

– horrible, horrible cramps

– very grumpy (according to Mark)

– 2-3 pouns of weight gain/bloat that stays for the week.

In my last cycle my class the day before was good, but all these other symptoms were present. The first day of my cycle I had to teach a class that ran until 8:00. I ran out of advil. I let my class go 15 minutes early because I was in such pain I couldn’t focus. People stayed behind wanting to chat with me, and I thought I would start to cry if they didn’t let me leave.

Since my last cycle, I’ve eaten most of my meals as a vegetarian. I also went to  acupuncture the first week of March. In my last acupuncture session, my acupuncturist told me he did just one small thing to start laying the ground work for dealing with this headache of a menstrual cycle. The session though focused mostly on my sinuses and knee pain.

So – day one of my cycle was yesterday. How am I feeling? Well, I went to class on Sunday (in the dreaded 24 hour window) and class was fine. Mark reports that I have not been grumpy at all. We’ve been married for 10 years, and I think he would say that until this last time I have always been extremely grumpy. No lower backache. Some tiredness but a remarkable improvement. No need to take a nap or go to bed early. As I write this, a nap would be nice, but I am not going to lost my mind over it. Cramps – yes, for sure. In fact, they really started up in class Monday afternoon and it was awful. My floor series was me praying to get the hell out of there and locate some advil. Today, the cramps still exist, and I am taking the advil route all the way. No weight gain! It should be here by now if it was going to happen. No bloated/puffy feeling! I cannot believe it. I am wearing jeans, and they are a little loose in the waist and stomach area. That is a first for this time of the month.

What’s amazing to me is that I really think there’s a connection between eating more vegetarian meals and a general improvement in my menstrual cycles. How else might I explain the sudden change? I have a long history of difficult periods (my whole life) that I have just learned to live with. I change my diet and all of a sudden this happens? Very weird. I am pretty convinced that once I ramp up the acupuncture to target my cycle and combine that with the vegetarian eating that I will have this whole thing under control in no time.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. battlingbikrambeingbig
    Aug 04, 2013 @ 06:50:07

    I may try this. All meat taken from your diet or just red meat? I get so so tired too as well as soooo heavy in my pelvic region, I need to pee so much more! Bikram had really helped with my cramps, although floor bow is never my friend every 28 days 😉
    Thanks for sharing!!


    • leighahall
      Aug 04, 2013 @ 08:15:52

      I took out all meat, but I am not claiming that being a vegetarian will result in a better practice during your menstrual cycle. I am simply sharing my experiences.


      • battlingbikrambeingbig
        Aug 05, 2013 @ 03:48:39

        I’ll give anything a go! And it’s not something I’ve ever thought of eliminating. Bikram really helps with the clogged, full feeling in my muscles, but getting the motivation to drag myself to class is the hardest part. I’ll let you know how my vego goes 🙂


  2. ficklefancyfree
    Aug 08, 2013 @ 11:50:36

    I can’t practice during my period, I’m so heavy during the first 2 days, I’m terrified of leaking. Also showering after in an open space, I’m scared of creating a red stream!! Do I just need to man up or what?


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