Menstruation is a challenging time for most women. Some experience mild discomfort and regular menses but for others it is that time of the month when their bodies (and mind) need a complete shutdown. Some women might retain fluid, feel lethargic all day long, experience headaches, backaches, severe cramping, excessive bleeding….basically feel “unpleasant” during that period.
So to decide whether to do Yoga, and also which forms, is purely subjective based on what physical and psychological cues from your body you wish to listen to. Ideally most women should give their bodies a break and allow it to go through its motions. If your motivation levels to undergo your yoga sessions seem to wither, then taking the subtle hint to rest is always the wiser bet.
Most Yoga teachers will either ask you to nurture your bodies or suggest only mediation or simple asanas (restorative) during your menstrual cycle. If you still manage to convince yourself and your teacher, then it is recommended to avoid asanas that involve inversions like shoulder stands as they can create an obstruction to the natural downward energetic menstrual flow.
Some women feel invigorated with the calming influence that yoga and meditation endows to enable them cope better. Understand that yoga practice is for your health, and to nurture your body during menses, doing yoga or through rest, should be a conscious decision without putting your body in harm’s way.