What is syncing yoga with your menstrual cycle?
Syncing yoga with your menstrual cycle means varying your yoga practice in tune with your natural cyclical changes. We are constantly changing, and our yoga practice needs to change with us. It needs to become cyclical like we are. It’s a case of doing the optimal type of yoga at the appropriate time. Only then can we feel and be our best and only then can yoga give us its’ full benefits.
We know that women change throughout their cycle. Sometimes we have lots of energy and sometimes none. Sometimes we are patient and sometimes we are quick to anger. Sometimes we are super-woman and sometimes we struggle to get out from under the duvet.
What most of us don’t know is that we change far more than we are taught – physically, mentally and emotionally (and spiritually if that’s your thing). Our cycle affects every aspect of our being and doing.
And yet we don’t change the way we live our lives, or our yoga. We just push-on on regardless.
But we’re missing out – big time.
Here’s 9 reasons why syncing yoga with your cycle will benefit you:
1. You’ll have more energy
We assume that all kinds of yoga practice are good for us all the time. This is not the case. Some yoga practices are designed specially to raise our energy. During most of the cycle this is fine. But at other times, like before and during our period, this is the wrong thing to do. You may feel great at the time but in the longer term it depletes your energy, making you tired and eventually exhausted. What you need before and during your period is yoga that allows you to rest into your low-energy state so that you can recharge your batteries.
2. You may find YOUR menstrual cycle problems are alleviated
Some yoga practices are said to help with cycle problems. This has certainly been my experience as the optimal kind of yoga at the appropriate time eliminated my period pain and premenstrual syndrome. Read my story in the free Introduction to my book here.
3. benefits you already receive from yoga will be much greater
The word “Yoga” means “to yoke, to unite”. Therefore it needs to be practiced in a way that varies with the natural ebbs and flows of our cycle. Otherwise it won’t unite us, and it won’t create this wholeness. You are not the same every day of your cycle so why do the same kind of yoga practice every day or every week at class?
4. You’ll discover that small changes to your yoga make a big difference
You’ll notice which practices you are in the flow with at certain points of your cycle but feel hard work at other times. Supposedly small changes in your practice actually have a significant impact on your wellbeing. So you’ll find out what yoga you need at which phases of your cycle to be healthy and well. During your period it’s good to do only gentle sitting or lying postures (no standing). Strong, dynamic postures are best kept for the middle couple of weeks of your cycle.
5. You’ll have greater wellbeing
You’ll discover more about your changing nature and changing needs when you find what kinds of yoga practices are best for you at different times. Then doing what is beneficial for at the optimum time, will give you a deeper sense of wholeness and connection.
6. You’ll capitalise on your strengths
You’ll find out which times of your cycle you are good at certain things, when they come naturally and easily, both on your mat and off it. You’ll then be able to fully use these strengths at those times, so you can be your best self. For example, you’ll find out which days you’re most creative and be able to save up your creative tasks to do on those days.
7. You’ll cope better with your so-called “weaknesses”
You’ll get really clear about the days of your cycle when you are low in energy and anti-social. You’ll transform your attitude to see that these “low in energy” days are an opportunity to take it easy. Likewise your “anti-social” days are a chance to get some “me” time.
8. You’ll be better able to cope with the stresses of life
You’ll slowly but surely take what you learn from your yoga mat into the rest of your life. You’ll start to live in a way that reflects and respects your natural cyclical changes – without even having to try too hard. It will just evolve naturally over time. For instance, you’ll find out which days when things can simply be too much and know that you need to take extra care of yourself on those days. And which days you have lots of energy, are capable of anything and can really go for it.
9. If you’re into spirituality, you’ll find out how to tap into your natural state of deep connection – without the need for any special practices.
Some yoga practices are specifically designed to invoke a change in one’s state of being to achieve spiritual enlightenment. If you have a menstrual cycle you don’t need fancy yoga practices to bring you to spiritual connection as you are in this state naturally during your period. (Provided that you allow it to happen by practicing the right kind of yoga and easing up in life for a few days).
Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash
How about you?
Please do share the benefits you’ve enjoyed from syncing yoga with your menstrual cycle or ask me a question below.