I often get lethargic and depressed during these few days, but I'm not sure my cycle is entirely to blame. It might have *something* to do with the fact that I'm usually oversleeping, eating unhealthy food (chocolate!) and doing very little yoga (or any kind of exercise).
I'm the first to admit that I'm a bit of a baby about this whole thing. Yeah, I get cramps, but I always feel better if I get up and move around. But it's such a good excuse to sit around and watch DVDs, which is fun but not necessarily healthy for me.
So here's a plan: For the next three days, I'm going to wake up when I usually do, replace my Astanga practice with a gentler form of yoga, and try to maintain normal activity levels (walk the dog, run my errands, etc.)
Day 1: I was feeling wretched this morning, but I woke at my usual time and did 90 minutes of restorative yoga. I took my practice from the Bobby Clennell book, the sequence for 'during your cycle'. It involves a few supported heart-openers over bolsters and loads of bolster-supported forward folds.
Verdict? I'm feeling SO much better! Tomorrow, I may opt for a more active yoga practice but still no inversions.
I've written about this topic before (in fact, 'Astanga during menstruation' is a trending keyword search for this blog). I'm still not convinced that taking a break from yoga is necessary or healthy during menstruation.
I find that I feel better when I practice and yoga seems to soften (or eliminate) pain and bloating, it lifts my spirits and restores my appetite.
I know Astanga practitioners who practice throughout their cycles with no ill effects. I know of others who abstain from all yoga for up to a week each month. Different senior teachers have varying (and strong) opinions about this.
I think this may be one of those things that should be left up to the individual practitioners. I'm still figuring this out for myself, but I'm leaning toward 'practice without inversions.'
This week, one of our 70s Yoga Ladies demonstrates 'The Kneeling Cobra':
Quick, yoga teachers! What would you adjust first? Her knee? Or her hair?
Oh yes, and this pose is supposed to 'reduce the hips'. Awesome!
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