I have always loved yoga and in honesty there has never been any other form of embodiment that has ever compared to its benefits for me.
I have struggled to maintain a disciplined practice throughout my child bearing years and have wrestled at numerous times with what I feel is an exclusion in many disciplines to a true honouring of women’s needs at various times in our life cycle. Often I have witnessed both female and male teachers encouraging women to ‘push through’ tiredness and at best to exclude women from inversions whilst menstruating.
As my own enquiry into women’s cyclical nature deepened so too did my own yoga practice. My interest in how to truly allow my body to move with the breath AND meet where I am in the inner seasons of my menstrual cycle was persistent!
Last night at age 46 after practicing yoga since I was 22 I taught my first yoga class specifically designed to honour the cyclical nature of women. We started the class in shavasana (corpse pose) deeply allowing our bodies to surrender and I encouraged the participants to consider which stage of their cycle they were in. We moved gracefully through a sequence of asanas chosen for their balancing effects, particularly on the ovaries, adreanals and thyroid. We sat in siddha yoni asana and practiced specific pelvic floor mudra’s.
After a delicious rotation of consciousness in yoga nidra we set our own private intentions to take into the week ahead. The room was lit by candlelight and the women’s mats arranged in a circle. We closed the class by sharing our experience and when we left there was a tangible feeling of a bond or sisterhood that had been stirred as something had been named and met within us.
As I sat to write this blog I wondered why it has taken me 24 years to find the courage to offer this class? Perhaps it has taken me this amount of time to really feel what I have always known deep down was missing.