True or False: It's Unsafe to Do Yoga Inversions During Your Period

Lindsey Metrus
PHOTO:

Lulu Lemon

During a recent trip to Fearrington Village, I signed up for a yoga class. I was in South Carolina, we were on a farm, there were cows mooing and birds chirping, so yoga seemed most appropriate. With each chaturanga and Vinyasa flow, I felt myself becoming one with nature—I was fully at peace. That is until we geared up to do inversions, and the instructor warned anyone with their period against taking part. Not that I can successfully do an inversion, but my clear head was making me feel invincible, so when she mentioned that, considering I was on the third day of my cycle, I felt knocked down. However, the instructor said she had good reasoning: Apparently, when you do a handstand on your period, the blood flow in your reproductive system becomes interrupted and messes with your cycle. Who knew flowing could affect my internal flow?

Considering I can't be the only female whose gone to yoga during her period, I wanted to investigate this some more, so I chatted with another yoga instructor and Jennifer Hirshfeld-Cytron, MD, director of fertility preservation and reproductive endocrinologist with Fertility Centers of Illinois. The good news: Inversions actually aren't all that bad, and there are even other poses you can do that will improve your PMS symptoms. For more on these poses (and why inversions aren't the enemy, keep on scrolling.

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