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Adapting Asana Practice to Menstrual Cycle-Study notes for videos

Yoga practice has a special place throughout the reproductive cycle of a woman – from the onset of puberty, through pregnancy, post-partum, and menopause. A practice that is in sync with the hormonal cycle, adds a rich dimension to the practice of asanas, and over a period of time, can alleviate many of the discomforts associated with the monthly periods. This goes way beyond a ‘menstrual sequence’, and extends to practice during the whole month. Indeed, there are healthy practices for the pre and post-menstrual days, as well as adaptations for conditions like irregular menses, scanty or heavy flow, PCOD/ PCOS, endometriosis and fibroids. To be effective, the practitioner should be ready for long holds, without physical or mental stress.

Adapting ones practice to the hormonal cycle is a nuanced and long-term process that is well worth the effort. But even the basic menstrual sequence – can be challenging for beginner-level practitioners. What feels like a long, luxurious, ‘soak’ for an experienced practitioner, can put a beginner-level practitioner’s mind and body in a stressful state. We have put together this sequence of asanas that a student can attempt after about 6 months – 1 year of regular training from a qualified instructor. The recordings in this Playlist have been adapted for beginner level practitioners who have learnt and are familiar with the basic standing, seated and supine positions. The menstrual pracitce builds up on this basic knowledge. It is recommended that the Part 1, 2 and 3 be watched in sequence.

part 1 – a short introduction of 3 minutes.

part 2 – an hour long recording with detailed explanations, variations and watch-outs part. If you are new to this practice, we recommend you work with this recording at least a couple of times, listening carefully to the watch-outs, and trying out all the variations that are suggested. It might be best to plan ahead, and do this preparatory work on a day when you are not actually menstruating.

part 3 – a follow-along session of 45 minutes with fewer explanations and longer holds.

For more mature practitioners, our library also has a recording of the full menstrual sequence. This recording of 90 minutes has minimal instructions, and meant for those practitioners, who already have an established self-practice

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