In Ayurveda, it is thought that everyone has varying amounts of three doshas, or energies, within them: vata, which is stimulating; pitta, which is transformative; and kapha, which is grounding. They're in constant fluctuation to keep your physical, mental, and emotional states in balance, says Elitza Datcheva, a yoga instructor at Equinox locations in New York City.
The first few days of menstruation are marked by vata. You can balance your energies during that time with calming activities like walking or Tai chi. For many people, however, inversions further increase vata, which could make you feel more scattered or anxious, Datcheva says.
Adds KayKay Clivio, New York City-based senior manager of yoga experience at Equinox: Some women notice more cramping when they hold inversions on their period.
The bottom line:
Every body is unique, Clivio says, so it's important to track how inversions make you feel. If you experience adverse effects like cramping or jitters, swap them for supported vertical leg extension until your period ends.