I am a complete yoga addict, and I absolutely love doing high-energy, fired up yoga sequences. Yet, during my menses, these kinds of poses are unhealthy and can react negatively with my body.
Our menstrual cycles are influenced by the cycle of the moon. The moon’s waxing and waning is reflected within us, and gives us a direct and sacred connection to the moon’s creative flow and energy. Studies have shown that the moon governs the earth’s fluids (such as the ocean’s tidal waves), and human fluids as well. Research has also shown that cycles of menstruation and fertility follow the pattern of the moon, in that the rates of ovulation and conception peak around the full moon, and decrease during the new moon when a higher number of women begin their menstrual bleeding.
During “our moons,” energy expands and flows downward. We do not want to disturb our body’s natural energy through certain yoga poses that might disrupt this flow. This sequence of yoga poses for menstruation will gently encourage your body’s rhythm in this time of renewal. Listen to soothing, tranquil music and drink a decaffeinated tea to help relax you as you practice these poses.
Reclining bound angle pose
Instead of inversions, which move our energy upward and negate the release of the body’s toxins, I suggest lying on your back with your feet pressed together and knees pointing outward. Place your arms outward or rest your hands on your abdomen. Do not practice Kundalini Breath of Fire, instead breathe in and out slowly and deeply. Close your eyes and imagine a sacred pool of water collecting within your belly. Meditating on visuals of water and the moon can help open up and connect us to this earthly, feminine energy even more.
Avoid twisting and stretching your abdominal area too much, as again you do not want to disrupt the energetic flow by putting too much pressure around this area. Instead relax into Child’s pose which can help ease the pain of menstrual cramps.
Bow pose (Dhanurasana)
Another great pose for menstrual cramps is Bow pose, and also helps regulate your flow—preventing pain and bloating. http://health.india.com/diseases-conditions/4-yoga-poses-to-beat-menstrual-pain-they-work/ Lie on your stomach, bend your knees and reach your hands back to grab onto your ankles. Inhale as you lift your chest and thighs off the ground. Exhale as your release.
This pose also helps stretch out abdominal muscles like Bow pose and increases blood flow. It can reduce fatigue and cramps as well . Start on your knees with your shins pressed to the ground. Slowly bend your neck backward, while still keeping your torso upright. Lean your back backward and hold onto your ankles with your hands. Exhale as you release.
Reclining hero pose (Supta Virasana)
This pose helps to relieve menstrual pain and stretch your abdomen. Start on your knees with your feet slightly more than hips width apart. Slowly lower your torso back leaning onto your hands, then forearms and then elbows for support. Place your hands onto your lower back and gently pull the lower back down toward your tailbone. Then finish reclining your torso all the way down. Try to stay in this pose for up to 5 minutes. To release, press your forearms into the floor and lift up using your hands.
Corpse pose (Savasana)
Our moons are a time for rest, purification and deeper connection to our intuition. Practicing Savasana gives us the chance to reflect on this powerful and sacred time of the month, and provides us with a stronger sense of the feminine energy we possess. Lie on your back with arms out and palms facing up. Breathe in and out fully and slowly. You can place a rolled up blanket under your knees for support if you wish. Focus on your breath, utilize visuals and overall concentrate on how you are feeling during this special time.
Photo: Jessica Renae