-by Stasia Bliss | 08/15/2017 |
A lot of women wonder if it is okay to practice yoga during menstruation. Aside from avoiding certain postures and keeping the vibe mellow, engaging the body in a healthy yoga routine during moon time can help you both embody more fully, and transcend all at the same time. Here are a few tips for yoga while mooning.
Attitude is Everything
Approaching moontime with a different vibration than you do every other day can initiate a positive, healthy relationship with your body and the process it is undergoing. Instead of having a despairing attitude or even feeling any level of disappointment with the fact that your body has just begun bleeding, celebrate its appearance as a reminder that you are a powerful woman and your body does great things. When you step on your mat with mooncup (or chosen support) firmly in place, trust that this time with your body will be one of revealing, of reconnecting, of appreciation of your womanhood more than ever before.
Which Poses Can I Do?
First of all, when you are menstruating you have what I like to call the “moon card.” Much like its revered counterpart, the “pregnancy card” (which allows pregnant women the excuse to opt out of anything normally expected or move up in line pretty much anywhere they go), the moon card gives you permission to skip any posture -- if it feels “wrong” -- and replace it with any body position that suits your goddess skin at the moment. And by that, I mean ANY POSTURE.
Women bleed; that is what we do. I bleed and most women I know do, and when we bleed we get to SEE the lifeforce we carry and how powerful we are that we can bleed and not die. Our menses is a monthly ritual for celebrating the goddess within. In a culture that barely conceives of the importance of ritual and rites of passage, where women are marginalized and talk of bleeding is taboo, it is crucial we have space to honor our bodies and their innate creative power. On the yoga mat is one of those spaces.
Sometimes in yoga classes we feel like we must follow the teacher, that to do something other than the prescribed poses means that we are not respecting the teacher and the time they took to prepare themselves for the class. But I believe a true yoga instructor understands that when students are self-realizing and self-actualizing, when true yogis are born (and when women are bleeding), they sprout their own practice and they listen to their bodies more. The yoga room becomes, instead of a synchronized swimming pool of conforming students, a garden of individual consciousnesses dancing together as one -- each uniquely expressing their truth, supported by the one holding space.
When mooning, I feel any posture that feels delicious, goes. It is generally recommended to avoid inversions (where the pelvis is tilted and the blood can run backwards), but beyond that -- any other pose -- if it feels good, is good.
Here are some of my favorites:
Standing Mountain Pose: I adore the stretch this posture offers. Standing hip-width distance apart, reaching arms up over the head and interlocking fingers, turning palms of the hands upwards, the top body sways from side to side. The spine is stretched in two opposite directions and room is created in the pelvic region for the organs to relax and prana to surround all that is holy within. I like to imagine in this posture that my hips are the cauldron of sacred alchemy, my legs the footing, and my arms the handle -- all of me allowing the transmutation to occur within my vessel while I allow, allow, allow.
Child’s Pose: One of the most rejuvenating and restorative postures I know to do during menstruation is Child’s Pose. This pose actually resets the body systems and gives the body the benefits of deep sleep. With knees splayed the hip is widened, the hamstrings elongate, and the heart touches into the humble stance of a bow. There is nothing more beautiful than the great surrender of this posture. It evokes humility and grace at the same time. It is perhaps the “lowest” we allow ourselves to stand while acting beautifully. As a woman bleeding, it is the perfect symbol of the space where earth meets the belly of the Divine.
There are so many other beautiful postures, mudras, and techniques which can be incorporated regularly to both ease times of menses as well as celebrate the ritual of being a woman. This article highlights just a few of them. I recommend delving into your own practice and finding the poses which most allow you to rejoice in your womanhood.
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