By Ann Pizer
Updated May 03, 2013
While the mechanics of menstruation are something all women have in common, each woman experiences her period differently. Though most would agree that it's not the most enjoyable time of each month, responses vary from an appreciation of fertility, to annoyance, to being curled up in pain, to disregard. If you are trying to get pregnant, a period means disappointment. If you are trying to avoid getting pregnant, a period means relief
Many societies have segregated menstruating women and encouraged rest during this time. When women began doing yoga, they were likewise told to refrain from practice while menstruating. Ashtanga yoga suggests a "ladies' holiday" of one to three days. Most contemporary yoga methods acknowledge each woman's right to make a choice for herself about what kind of practice to do, including whether to practice inversions. The following poses are recommended for a restorative home practice and may help alleviate cramps.
Since the lower half of the body feels heavy during menstruation, seated poses are the focus. You may stay in each pose for up to several minutes. Baddha konasana opens the pelvic region. For a more restorative version, come into a forward bend over a bolster or several folded blankets.
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