As 2011 unfolds, it has brought a lot of transitions into my life that have caused me to do some juggling over here, leaving little time for blogging. I’m very grateful to have great blogger friends who don’t mind stepping in to help me keep things going around here!
Today, I present a great post on yoga by Rachel of Suburban Yogini for all you ladies out there:
It has long been a matter of debate whether to practice or not to practice during menstruation. Back when I was an Astanga Vinyasa enthusiast (I can’t believe that was ever me!) the first three days of one’s period – like the days of full and new moon – were rest days, time to take off your practice and turn inward. If you were lucky your period would coincide with a moon day so you didn’t need so many rest days each month. It is thought in ancient tribal societies women were so connected with the cycles of the moon that all the women would menstruate together on the new or dark moon and ovulate around the time of the full.
I’m backward in many ways and this is no exception – my special friend always arrives around the time of the full moon. For whatever reason this doesn’t answer the question as to whether we should practice or not.
Personally I don’t think the question needs a specific answer – it’s up the individual. Some women feel absolutely fine to do a full practice, some women tone it down a bit, taking out inversions and some vinyasas and then there’s some of us who feel so truly terrible, with hormonal headaches and crippling cramps that we prefer to lie in bed and complain.
However, truth be known a little bit of yoga does do me good so here is my little Moon Sequence – give it a go next time you need to.
Supta Baddha Konasana
Bringing the soles of the feet together, allow the knees to fall out to the sides and lie back over a bolster or rolled blanket using a block or cushion for your head.
Stay for 5-10 minutes
Supported Down Dog
With the head on a bolster, blocks or cushions – I find this really helps with hormonal headaches, but go into it slowly as some women hate downward dog during their period.
Hold for 10 breaths.
With a block or pillow under the head and a bolster or rolled blanket under the calves.
Stay for 5-15 minutes.
During Savasana you can adopt Yoni Mudra - mudras are hand gestures (no not that sort of hand gesture), that help to increase awareness and concentration. Yoni means “womb” or “source” in Sanskrit and helps to increase awareness and improve physical relaxation during Savasana. It is thought to ignite the primal energy of the womb (whatever that might mean – it does feel nice though)!!
Many, many thanks to Rachel for this wonderful information! Be sure to check out her blog, which is a wonderful source of inspiration to me. Rachel writes monthly email newsletters that I absolutely love. You can subscribe here. You can also practice yoga with her via her amazing podcasts here. (Just listening to her voice helps me get into a “yoga space” – it is incredibly soothing!) Explore more about yoga with Rachel here. And if you are in her neck of the woods, check out her massage therapy services. You can also find Rachel on Facebook and Twitter.
**All photographs are the copyright of Suburban Yogini and have been used with permission.