Why should I skip inversions during my cycle?

By Aimee Hughes | Published: June 19, 2017 | Last updated: August 20, 2020

If you’ve been doing yoga for a while, whether at a studio or by watching videos in the comfort of your home, you probably know by now that it’s not recommended to practice inverted postures during your menstrual cycle. For me, that means no plow pose, no shoulder stand, no headstand and certainly no 10-minute legs-up-the-wall pose. They all seem totally counter-intuitive to me. But, I still practice yoga during my cycle. My practice becomes more restorative and yin-like at this time. (Learn about Restorative Yoga: Relax and Recharge.) I might do more seated postures than usual, allowing time and space to go inward, to heed the call of my female intuition.

Go With the Flow

Inversions are postures that take you upside down. The natural flow of a woman’s menstrual cycle wants to go downward. Most Iyengar and Ashtanga yoga teachers will tell you not to go upside down, especially during the first two to three days of your cycle when the flow is heavy. While there’s not a lot of modern science that’s been done to back up this theory, it does intuitively make sense that we would want to keep that menstrual flow moving down and out, rather than reversing the direction.

Ayurveda Also Agrees

Ayurveda teaches us the same. There’s a natural flow of energy that comes with all seasons and cycles. The more we get in touch with Mother Nature and the nature of our own feminine cycles, the better equipped we are to know what’s right for us and when.

Enjoy the 'Down Time'

No doubt, I take it easy. I give myself a break and thank Mother Universe for my divinely feminine life. Rather than feeling annoyed that I can’t do my regular yoga practice, I feel grateful for the “down” time, so to speak; and in doing so, I keep my yoga practice much more grounded, earthy and relaxed. (Read on in Get Grounded Through 'Earthing.')


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Written by Aimee Hughes

Aimee Hughes

Aimee is a yogi and writer who's been practicing yoga daily for more than 21 years. Since a journey to India when she was 20, the practice has been her constant companion. She loves exploring the vast and seemingly endless worlds of yoga. Aimee has also written a book titled, "The Sexy Vegan Kitchen: Culinary Adventures in Love & Sex." You can find her at her new site:

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