Debunking period myths is one of our favourite things to do here at Pink Parcel. This week, we speak to London-based yoga teacher, Ellie Charman, about the best yoga poses to do when you’re on your period and find out which asanas you should avoid during your time of the month.
What is the best style of yoga to practice on your period?
“I would recommend keeping it gentle and trying a restorative or yin flow class, which will restore your body – this type of class triggers the parasympathetic nervous system, slowing things down a bit more. Using the breath to relax – and ease into a pose – is calming when you are on your period. We live in such a fast society that it’s important to take time out to slow down – I love restorative yoga and how it makes me feel afterwards.”
Is it bad to do yoga on your period?
“Everyone is different, and you know your body best. You are the mind of your own practice. Some yoga poses are not recommended before and during your period, most commonly these are inversions and twists, because of the contraindications that can arise – but personally, I love to do a headstand at any time of the month!”
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Are there any yoga poses to avoid when you’re on your period?
“I would avoid Headstand, Shoulder Stand, Plow Pose, Scorpion, Heron Pose, Peacock Pose and Crow Pose. A lot of the birds, basically! I repeat though, that everyone is different – so just go with the flow and do what feels good for you.”
Which yoga poses can help to relieve cramps and period pain?
“I would definitely do the one and only Child's Pose, Balasana, or Knees-To-Chest, Apanasana. These poses relieve tension in the lower back and increase peristalsis by massaging the colon with the thighs. Supta Baddha Konasana is also a great hip releaser and feels great.” For more period yoga inspiration, take a look at these yoga poses to help with your periods.
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What do you do to feel better on your period?
“I listen to what my body wants. I take it really easy and drink lots of water and warm drinks. To relieve PMS, I distract myself by hanging out with my favourite people and accepting that it will pass. As well as being a yoga teacher, I’m also a qualified massage therapist – I think the two work well together during stressful times!”
What do you love most about yoga?
“At the moment, I’m loving teaching yoga to kids – the children get a lot of joy from it. I teach a real mix of yoga, which reflects my personality and I strongly believe that yoga is for everyone – that’s why I like teaching in different places.”
Ellie practices ashtanga and vinyasa with elements of hatha flow yoga and completed her yoga training with All Yoga and Sally Parkes Yoga. She holds private lessons for corporate clients in London and also enjoys volunteering at rehabilitation centres. In the summer, she can be found teaching at retreats in Greece.