Menstruation is a time to rest and restore ourselves.
Although much of Western culture ignores menstruation, when we take it upon ourselves to live by embracing our cycle a world of possibilities opens up. Namely, we can improve our health and wellbeing, and even increase our ability to have a smooth transition into menopause, when we honor our menstrual cycle throughout the years.
During menstruation, our intuitive senses are heightened. It’s a great time to notice our visions and journal about our dreams. To support ourselves during menstruation, here are some simple yoga postures (resourced from The Woman's Yoga book by Bobby Clennell) to balance us during this cyclical time of rest and to aid us in restoration.
It is important to note that during this sacred time, it is not recommended that we practice yoga vigorously. This is because anything strenuous, especially strenuous movement, will deplete our energy during this potent phase of the month. This is a time for downward moving energy, so inversions are not recommended either, as they invert the cycle of flowing blood.
The simple, restorative yoga sequence below will support you in finding essential rest during your period. It may be helpful to have additional blankets, pillows, or bolsters available for these postures. For example, you may want to begin any or all of these postures by raising your hips up slightly on a blanket. Take your time as you move through the sequence, and it and repeat as necessary.
1. Baddha Konasa (or Cobblers pose) against the wall with bolster or pillow
This pose is done by positioning your blanket up against the wall. You may want to have a pillow or bolster behind your back for additional support. Then take a tall seat, bend your knees and bring your heels toward each other, and your knees out wide. If your knees feel pain, you can rest additional pillows under each knee. Rest here for 1-5 minutes. Here is a visual image of this posture.
2. Upavistha Konasana (or wide-legged seated pose) against the wall
Coming out of Cobblers pose, keeping your back against the wall or bolster, extend your legs wide, but instead of folding forward as is normally done in this posture, keep your spine upright and against the bolster. Stay here for 1-2 minutes. Here is an image of the posture, but please note that for this variation you do not have to bend forward as is portrayed in this image.
3. Paschimottanasana (or seated forward bend) with bolster or pillow
With the support of the blanket still lifting your hips slightly, take your time and bring your legs together. Place a bolster, pillow or blanket horizontally across your shins. As you deeply exhale, fold over your legs and bring your hands to the bolster, your forehead can rest on the bolster if it naturally lands there, if not, just focus on breathing into the sensation. Here is an image of the forward bend. Hold this posture for about 30 seconds.
After you complete the postures, take time to rest. Notice your breathing and if any emotions arose for you during this practice. Allow yourself to fully release as you drift in to a state of bliss.
Note: this series can also be done before your yoni steam during other times of the month.
Brooke Lorimer is the founder of A Simple Alternative, a Virtual Assisting company that supports female entrepreneurs in reclaiming their time and bringing their bright ideas to life. She believes in using our values as a guide map for our life work and is passionate about women taking up space in the world.