Why Women Shouldn’t Practice Vinyasa Every Day
Most yoga classes are full of women, yet the practice of yoga was created for a man’s body. This doesn’t seem to bother women in my classes, however, when I’m in a vinyasa yoga class during my luteal phase, I feel like laying in Savasana the whole time. That’s because of my hormonal cycle and feminine physiology.
Most yoga classes do not take into account the cycles of the moon or teach women how to work with the cycles of her body which we have known since ancient times, are intimately linked. On a big-picture level, in our society, we barely speak about the importance of cycles to the female body. It occurs like a secret.
Moon Flow Movement
A woman’s womb is the center of her life. It is synced with the moon. It can become synced with other women’s cycles. It is part of every phase of a woman’s wheel of life. Her womb marks the rite of passage into adolescence and maidenhood when it sheds its first lining, then it marks yet another rite of passage when a woman becomes sexually active, and yet another rite of passage if a woman becomes a mother, and yet another rite of passage to “crone” when she experiences menopause. Additionally, some women experience miscarriages, abortions, hysterectomies, abuse, and trauma. If a woman no longer has a womb, the chakra, and energy center of the womb is still present in her body with life force of nurturing, sexuality, desire, and creativity. In fact, focusing on these energy centers during yoga and meditation can be deeply healing in the years after a hysterectomy.
How to mend the disconnection from femininity
In our patriarchal society, many women are disconnected from their femininity, often dissociated from the body, disconnected from their womb, or having disowned their feminine cycles, nature, or feminine physiology sometimes without even realizing it. Women’s yoga can help us reconnect. In the standard yoga class based on men’s physiology, we focus on the heart because men are working on accessing a higher consciousness. Meanwhile, women need to focus on going ever deeper into the womb space, the portal from which all human life emerges.
True women’s yoga honors a woman embodying her feminine essence and it honors the lunar rhythms of nature as well as feminine physiology. By following different sequences at the new moon, the full moon, the waxing, and waning moons, and according to where a woman is in her cycle, yoga can help a woman create a deeper relationship with her womb, hormonal cycles, and her femininity. It is important for women who are practicing yoga for spiritual reasons to be in a class devoted to women’s yoga so that they can begin to notice and focus on the wisdom of the body and the depth of the wisdom within the womb.
How to honor the feminine physiology and cycles through movement
- The poses of prenatal yoga are ideal for any woman because they focus on the womb space.
- The fertility dances of indigenous cultures around the world involve rotating the hips and pelvis. These movements are perfect for rejuvenating a womb that is asleep or forgotten.
- Simply breathing into the womb is a powerful exercise. As you breathe in, fill your belly with air, and visualize the oxygen filling your uterus, then exhale.
- Tension and trauma can be stored in the vagina and the pelvic bowl. Yoga can help women release this tension for a more open sexual connection with their partner, as well as an open and relaxed birth experience.
- Sedentary lifestyles and chronic clenching in the pelvic floor causes pelvic muscles and organs to collapse. When we are aware and conscious of our posture, we can create wellness in the womb and pelvic floor. Additionally, women’s Hatha yoga can help with strengthening the pelvic floor and pelvic organ support.
- Focus on the womb area visualizing the chakras associated with womb opening and aligning.
During each week of my cycle, I distinctly notice the changes in my mood, energy levels, productivity, diet, and the type of exercise my body craves. My practice of yogic dance aligns with the moon’s cycles as well as my menstrual cycle to support my endocrine system and my energy throughout the month. At the same time, I honor the experience of being a woman and continuously learning from my most basic connection to the divine: the depth of my womb’s wisdom.
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