Is it all right to do inversions (asanas where the heart is above the head) while you are on your period? This question seems to come up a lot, especially in yoga teacher trainings. During my YTT the teacher said that this was more focused on intense inversions like headstand and if they were apart of your regular practice.
Now here comes the Ayurveda. The time during menstruation is heating and it involves apana (downward movement). Inversions are also heating and cause the reverse of apana, which is udana (upward movement). Thus doubling the heating and vata derangement that you usually have.
Avoid headstand and intense inversions during menstruation if:
- You have never done headstand before.
- You are extremely Pitta/ Fire and Water person.
- You are extremely Vata/ Air and Ether person.
- You have difficulty during menstruation or scanty menses.
Other contraindications for headstand:
- Back, shoulder, or neck injury
- Heart condition
- High blood pressure
If you don’t fall into those categories, and I’m sure many of you do, then go for it! The reason that this may have been originally started, is that they didn’t want PMSing people in their class;)