~ To be a woman ~
The female body is one of nature’s most wonderful and complex creation. It is the origin of human life. It is ever changing, reshaping, adjusting as a woman’s journey in life is punctuated by many cycles: childhood, puberty, pregnancy, motherhood, menopause..
I am happy to be a woman, even though that I am aware that I have to face a lot of roles in my life, handling multiple responsibilities, relationships, raising children, homemaking, having a professional career, nourish my personal growth, and more… Therefore it is so important to be emotionally strong and balanced to handle the challenges of everyday life.
At times, we may feel frustrated, hopeless, trapped under the pressure of the woman’s role in our society, which can lead to stress and depression. All of this affecting the hormonal system. Women of any age can meet problems concerning reproductive organs which may result in irregular periods, menstrual cramps, pain, increased or decreased quantity of blood, backache during menstruation, heavy head, migraine, mood
swings, irritabitlity and hyper sensitivity.
~ How yoga can help ~
Yoga, the ancient science of health, rejuvenation and longevity can help women to find balance and harmony for their whole system, expressing in a smooth and balanced journey through our period. Yoga science is so effective as it works on so many levels in our being: mind, spirit , body, emotions, energy. Asanas, pranayama and deep relaxation stimulates organs and endocrine glands and yoga also boots our immune system. Other then the positive effect of Yoga on women’s health, yoga has potential to prevent most of the health conditions and help us to handle any ailment better, making our life easier.
Yoga practice can take care of the common health issues affecting women, helping to stay healthy balanced, and vibrant. Regular yoga practice is known to reduce the incidence of premenstrual symptoms and menstrual cramps, and other premenstrual symptoms such as irritability and depression. It also improves blood circulation, minimizing pain and discomfort from heavy menstrual flow. And by the way… : at the same time the practice of asanas help to improve sexual life 😉
Asanas are also designed to tone up and exercise muscles, to get rid of excess fat and make the body stronger and more flexible. Women in all stages of life can find specific practices which are very helpful and useful to them.Research has proven that women who practice Yoga regularly have lesser eating disorders and better self-image. So… let’s practice ladies ! 🙂
~ Let’s practice ~
1. Focus on Menstruation: There are divided opinions on whether or not doing yoga during menstruation or while menstruating, popular opinions say it depends on the comfort level of the woman. For the women who feel uncomfortable during that period, take in mind the following:
– Poses like Surya Namaskar, inversions, and poses that put pressure on the abdomen can be avoided
– Poses like Padmasana (Lotus), Janusirsasana (Head to Knee Pose), Paschimotanasana (Sitting Forward Fold) and Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) can increase discomfort or pain
– Poses that can help : Dhanurhasana (Bow Pose), Balasana (Child Pose), Matsyasana (Fish Pose), Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose), Bujanghasana (Cobra) , Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold),
Prasarita Padottanasana (Standing Wide Legged Forward Bend) , Malasana (Squat), Kurmasana (Tortoise), Trikonasana (Triangle Pose), Savasana (Corpse Pose), Yoga Nidra (Yogic Sleep).
- Kapalbhati: it is often being suggested not to practice kapalbhati, however it is a breathing exercise which can help in many conditions, including menstrual pains. Sit in easy pose (Sukhasana) and exhale consciously. Inhalation is passive. When you exhale , your stomach automatically goes inwards. Focus your mind on the following: inhale positive thoughts, wxhale negative thoughts… :)) If your lower abdomen is feeling sore do practice more gently than you would normally do.
~ Some Mudras ~
1. Surya Mudra (Gesture of the Sun): This is a great mudra for women with delayed menstrual cycles. Simply bend your ring finger and put pressure on it with your thumb. That gesture should be performed twice a day and held for at least 15 minutes. This also would help to relieve abdominal cramps and pain.
- Maha Sakral Mudra (Sacral Gesture): Here, the tips of the ring fingers of the two hands are touching each other while the tips of the pinky fingers touch the thumbs of corresponding hands. Keep it for 3 minutes and then bring the tips of the pinky fingers together while the tips of the ring fingers connect with the corresponding thumb. This mudra helps with irregularities of cycles and lower abdominal pain.
~ Celebrate! ~
By performing the right postures and avoiding ones that could aggravate the symptoms, you should be able to pass the period of menstruation with minimal discomfort or stress… and remind it is also essential you keep a proper diet: take in some more food rich in iron (almonds, lentils, spinach), as a lot of iron is lost during the cycle.
And also remind: just take things easy and rather than suffer celebrate your femininity instead!