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Pilates, Yoga and Your Period

Go Ahead, Exercise During Your PeriodWhether you call it ‘A Visit From Aunt Dot’,'Mother Nature’s Gift’ or ‘Happy Fun Time’, your period can wreak havoc with your exercise regime. But it doesn’t have to! A regular yoga or Pilates practice can help. In fact, a regular Pilates or yoga practice can greatly reduce or even eliminate the pain of menstrual cramps.

In the 50′s women (young ladies?) were instructed not to swim or ride horseback during their periods. The reasons given for these restrictions were primarily household myths. Today yoga students and Pilates practitioners are often advised against performing inversions (positions in which the heart is higher than the head). These recommendations are based in part on some of the same myths.

Reversing the flow, blood pooling, and dizziness are common reasons given for skipping inversions during ‘that time of the month’. But the truth is that both inversions and menstruation require a good deal of energy. Inversions are heat-building exercises that can be very intense. They defy gravity, after all. During mensuration, your body cleans your reproductive system from the inside out. It can be exhausting. The combination can tax your system overall.

But there is no need to sit around, watch soap operas and eat cookies during your period. You should exercise. Exercise releases endorphins into the body. Endorphins, known as the happy hormone, are associated by the brain with pain relief. By releasing and increasing the amount of endorphins in your system, exercise can relieve menstrual cramp pain. Pilates and yoga are the perfect antidote to menstrual cramps because they inspire mindful movement focused on centering and the breath. Adept practitioners (and even beginners who pay attention) are less likely to indulge in postures that might make them feel worse than when they started.

Know yourself and find a good balance. If you’re are tired, your energy should probably be focused on your internal process. But if you’re up for it, go upside down. You can still enjoy the healthful benefits of inversions during your period.

Here’s a humorous aside for the next time Aunt Dot visits. I did an Internet search of euphemisms and found some that made me laugh out loud. The only ones that weren’t too off color for publication include:
Arts and Crafts week at Panty Camp
Executive week
Checking in to the Red Roof Inn
Lining the drawers
Communist in the Summer House
My cup of joy is overflowing

What are your euphemisms for ‘That Time of the Month’?

image credit: www.periodpaper.com