There are a lot of theories on what women should and should not practice while on their yoga mats during their period, aka: ‘moon cycle’ or ‘ladies holiday.’ When I was in the middle of my 200-hour teacher training intensive and was having my butt kicked for the 10th day in a row, my teacher offered a ‘ladies holiday pose,’ aka Baddha Konasana, instead of handstand for the ladies in the class that were menstruating and wanted to rest instead of getting upside down. And you know what? I pretended to be on ‘ladies holiday’ so that I could bypass the handstand. Why? Because I was tired.
My theory on practicing yoga during your menstrual cycle is if you want to take it easy because you have cramps, or feel bloated, or are just irritated at life, take it easy. Our society doesn’t welcome rest for women who are riding the crimson wave like they used to back in the Red Tent days, and I think it’s a shame. This is a sacred and unique time for women and we should respect our bodies in a way that only we know how. And if that means rocking a handstand instead of turning into a gummy worm on the floor when you’re on your period, do a handstand. Personally, you will find me doing gummy worm pose on the floor.
Restful Yoga Sequence for Ladies Holiday:
Cat/Cow – Warm up the spine and relieve the lower back pain that can occur during menstrual cycles.
Puppy Dog Pose-Open up through the chest simultaneously grounding toward the earth.
Standing Forward Fold- Calming and relaxing for the parasympathetic nervous system.
Goddess Pose-Perfect name for our topic, channel your inner goddess, while also opening the hips.
Setu Bandhasana Sarvangasana -To create some space in the back body to help alleviate cramping.
Supported Baddha Konasana-The original ‘Ladies Holiday’ pose.
Viparita Karani – This is a good variation of Savasana and its also a light inversion.