Updated: Oct 31, 2019
I often wonder about the early yoginis, those womxn living wild, out in direct contact with the elements. How did they practise yoga asana on their period?
More than just modifications
If you have a daily yoga practice and you’re sensitive to your cycle, you’ll know that practising how you would on days when you’re not bleeding doesn’t feel right for your body.
Some things to consider
During menstruation, your womb doubles in size.
Your uterine ligaments are sensitive.
Your body is dominated by the down-and out flow of energy, apānavāyuḥ (अपानवायुः)
Heavy lifting, arm balancing, inversions and long-held standing poses are not aligned with the energies present in your body.
Uḍḍīyana & Mūla bandhas (मूल बंध) use the cervix & abdomen, which will be sensitive and engorged during menstruation.
Why does this information matter? This kind of information is not found in your average YTT. Why does it matter?
Because menstruating people are more than 80% of modern yoga practitioners.
Because the uterus is sensitive to changing position when too much force is used during menstruation, leading to painful periods, postural changes, digestive issues, discomfort and potential birth complications.
Because for some menstruating people on this planet, death, abuse & stigma are still part of bleeding. We owe it to them to normalise menstruation. (And to put an end to #periodpoverty). In my workshops & trainings, womxn tell me their teachers encourage them to take child pose when needed, or recommend YIN Yoga while bleeding.
YIN Yoga is not a soft form of yoga, it is its own unique practice, designed to work with meridians and fascia. Although it can be softer than more dynamic forms of Hatha Yoga, it’s not designed for menstruating people.
And there are far more beautiful things we can do during menstruation than child’s pose.
There are ways to practise that honour the downward flow, relieve menstrual pain and allow a menstruating person to rest deeply and feel seen.
In May 2020, I host the Moon Temple Retreat in the sacred grounds of La Rosa dei 4 Venti in southern Italy.
Over 7 days, I share a yoga asana practice designed for the menstruating body. Some days, it's strong & sweaty. Others, it's soft & sweet. Every day it's sacred. If you're a menstruating person who loves yoga, join me in Italy!