I didn’t go to practice yesterday or this morning. I’m on what’s called in Ashtanga, my “woman’s holiday” aka my menstruation cycle. So it’s advised that women do not practice while on their period. I’ve known some women to be upset that they needed to take a few days off of practice. I on the other hand, have always welcomed this short reprieve. We’re bleeding for God’s sake!…AND we’re working, running a business, grocery shopping, cooking, and taking care of the family…all while hemorraging. We need this time to rest and take it easy. To reserve our energy.
My Chinese doctor in LA firmly and sternly told me also to not practice yoga while on my period. He gives orders without really telling you why. I gathered up enough courage to ask “Why?” one time and he says, “You’ll get bad skin again. You want bad skin??!?” (It was what he was treating me for)
So when the Ashtanga system and my Chinese doctor both say to not practice while on my period, I listen. The two have not failed me yet. And as with honoring our full moon and new moon days, I want to honor the apana–the downward energy that is flowing through me. So instead, I do my 4 purifications pranayama and meditation. If my body feels like it needs to move a bit, a do a little stretching. But nothing strenuous.
I like being in touch and connected with my body. My cycle runs approximately every 28 days and changes with the seasons. So as the days get warmer towards summer, my cycle follows the full moon. And as the days get colder, my cycle falls with the new moon. Kinda cool, huh?