Can We Do Surya Namaskar During Periods?

Can We Do Surya Namaskar During Periods?

Periods or menstruation can be one of the most troublesome phases for most women each month. Periods can often make a female unfit to perform any kind of physical exertion, and often, even her daily routine activities. Some women feel absolutely normal, while some may be experience excess pain and heavy menstrual flow and irritability or mood swings. During these times, the first question that pops up in every female’s mind is can we do some exercise or surya namaskar during periods.

The practice of Yoga originates from ancient Indian times and since then, it has been an integral part of every average Indian household since very long. It has been imbibed into us right from our childhood. It gradually became one of the most practised forms of exercise in modern times in India as well in rest of the world.

Can We Do Surya Namaskar During Periods?

This question, can we do suryanamaskar during periods can be better answered by females themselves. It entirely depends upon the amount of discomfort or pain they experience that determines if they can do suryanamaskar during periods and for how long. Ideally, it is not advisable to perform any kind of strenuous yoga asana or exercises during the first two days of menstruation. It is also advisable to follow your body’s will while doing any form of exercise or suryanamaskar during periods. Suryanamaskar can be done during periods if you do not have any abdominal cramps or if the flow is not too heavy.

Yoga has become increasingly famous among women too because it does not require any kind of special set up and can be performed even at the comfort of homes. When practiced correctly, yoga is one of the best forms of exercise for pregnant women and also those who are menstruating.

The beauty of this yoga asana is that it can also be performed when you are not menstruating to maintain your regular cycle. Also, suryanamaskar itself combines twelve different poses or asana along with proper breathing to form one complete exercise. A 30-inute workout of suryanamaskar burns about 417 calories. Suryanamaskar, if done gently and with proper breathing for just a few times can be a good form of warming up and stretching during periods.

Twelve Yoga Poses Which Combine To Form One Set of Surya Namaskar

Suryanamaskar is also known as a Sun Salutation. It is a form of yoga which combines twelve poses done in two sets. It is one of the best yoga work-outs to improve mental and physical well-being

  1. Pranamasana – The prayer pose. Stand with your feet together. Breathe in and extend both your arms up from sides and bring your palms together in front of the chest in a Namaste position.
  2. Hasta Uttanasana – Breathe in and extend both arms upwards and backwards. This pose helps to stretch the whole body right from the toes to your fingers.
  3. Hasta Padasana – Breathe out and bend forward down till your feet without bending your knees. Try to bring your hands down till your feet.
  4. Ashwa Sanchalasana – Breathe in and stretch right leg backwards. Touch the knee to the floor and look up. Your left foot should be exactly between your palms.
  5. Dandasana or Stick Pose – Inhale and take your other leg back and join your feet. Keep your arms at right angles to the floor making your body inclined and yet in a straight line.
  6. Ashtang Namaskara or Saluting With Eight Parts – In this pose, brings both knees to the floor and exhale. Rest your chest and chin on the floor and raise your hips up and forward. parts of your body touch the floor – your hands, chin, chest, both knees and feet.
  7. Bhujangasana to Cobra Pose – Rest your hip on the floor, slide forward and raise your chest above as much as you can just like the cobra. Take support of your hands to maintain this position.
  8. Parvat Asana or Mountain Pose – Exhale and lift your hips above keeping hands and feet touching the floor. This makes an inverted V-shape. Try to keep the heels touching the floor.
  9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana – Just like step 4, stretch left leg behind touching knees to the floor and bring right foot between your palms.
  10. Hasta Padasana – Similar to step 3, bring both feet together and keep palms n the floor. You may bend your knees if you are unable to bend down straight. Gently try to straighten your knees if possible.
  11. Hasta Uttasana or Raised Arms Pose – Similar to step 2, stretch both your arms upwards and stretch back.
  12. Tad Asana – When you exhale stretch and straighten your body and then bring your arms down and relax.

Exercises Better Than Suryanamaskar During Menstruation

  1. Warming up of the body by simple movements of the arms, back and legs.
  2. Meditation is one of the best ways to calm your senses and manage emotional outbursts which women frequently experience during periods.
  3. Pranayama can be done on the first two days of periods if the woman is unable to move about. It helps to keep the body and mind calm and also enables one to manage menstrual pain. Deep breathing is extremely helpful during menstruation.
  4. Vajrasan can also be performed in moderation. This asana helps in releasing the congestion of abdomen and pelvis. It should be made sure to not stretch too much while doing vajrasan.
  5. Cobbler’s Pose – Also known as the butterfly pose or baddha konasana. To perform this asana, sit on the floor or a yoga mat and bend knees to join both soles together. Bring both soles in joined position, closer to your body and sit upright without bending your back. This pose reduces menstrual cramps and abdominal discomfort.
  6. Janu Sirasana – Also called the head to knee pose. Sit on the floor or a yoga mat. Extend one leg outward. Stretch your back and try to reach your fingers till your toes or till wherever you can. Inhale when you prepare to stretch and exhale when you have reached the toes. Perform similar pose with the other leg.
  7. Upavistha Konasana â€“ Sit on the floor or a yoga mat and spread both legs as wide as possible. Bend forward between the two legs. Breathe in and out a few times in this position.
  8. Vajrasana – This asana can be performed during menstruation but it should be done in moderation. Sit on a yoga mat. Bend your knees such that your feet lie beneath your buttocks and palms facing upwards. Remain seated in this position until you are comfortable.

Vajrasana relieves abdominal pain and pelvic discomfort during periods. It also reduces the bloating sensation which might be felt by some women. As it is quite evident from the list of asana above, that they are pretty easy to perform at home and they also do not require a lot of energy, these can be conveniently done during periods as per your comfort.

Although these asana may seem quite simple to learn and follow, it is also advised to learn these from a professional yoga teacher first. This is because breathing during the poses is an integral part of yoga and for any kind of exercise for that matter. It is very important to breathe properly, inhale and exhale timely while doing yoga and suryanamaskar during periods or at any other time.

Even though other yoga asanas may see easy to perform during periods, those involving intense back bending, twisting or inversion and even power yoga should be avoided during menstruation. Suryanamaskar also can be done only gently without extreme bending and be stretching. This is because yoga during menstruation is generally done to ease the mental and physical anguish. This asana on the other hand can increase troubles during periods and exert additional pressure over the abdomen and pelvis.


Dr. Himanshi Purohit

Dr. Himanshi is a Homeopathic consultant currently working as a lecturer in Post-graduate faculty of Homeopathy, Parul University, Vadodara.