Have you ever gone to practice and heard the teacher say that if you are on your cycle to avoid inversions? Then you may go to another class and the teacher may say, “just listen to your body to decide if you should invert or not.” Well, which is it? Should you invert or not? I ran across this quote in Yoga Journal and thought it would shed some light on the subject.
“During the menses, the pelvic vascular bed contains more blood than at other times of the cycle. The uterine blood supply enters the uterus from the right and left sides of the pelvis. These blood vessels are located in the broad ligaments that suspend the uterus from the pelvis. The uterine arteries are thick-walled and muscular. The uterine veins are thin-walled and easily collapsed. During inversions, the uterus is pulled towards the head by gravity, causing the broad ligaments to be stretched. This can cause stretch and partial collapse or occlusion of the thin-walled veins, while allowing the uncollapsed arteries to continue to pump in blood. Thus, more blood enters the uterus via the arteries than can be carried away by the veins. The vascular congestion that results can lead to increased menstrual bleeding.” Mary P. Schatz, M.D.
I tell my students to wait to invert if they on the first few days of their cycle. The body is naturally trying to flush so inverting and turning the body upside down is counter productive. Legs up the wall will invert the legs without elevating the pelvis or sitting in Hero’s pose can help eliminate some cramping symptoms.