Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Maxim's Summer Reading List: Yoga For A Healthy Menstrual Cycle

I'm convinced that our bodies crave movement. Albert Einstein once said:

"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving."

Whether it's sky-diving, pottery throwing, or turning a page, our bodies and our minds are always craving movement and change. For women, who are more naturally inclined to experience physiological changes with their menstrual cycles, it's impossible to avoid the struggle to maintain balance or the quest for healing each month when your period is making you snippy and at times inconsolable.

If you've somehow avoided taking the sweaty, yet graceful leap onto the Yoga bandwagon or you're like me and have attended hundreds of yoga classes yet have the memory of a goldfish, here's a foundational fact: The word "Yoga" comes from the gorgeously poetic and ancient language Sanskrit, and it means "union." Sanskrit is a holy language from 400 BC. The practice of yoga was developed as an extension of Hindu and Buddhist beliefs in maintaining balance in every area of life.


Linda Sparrowe and Patricia Walden's book Yoga for a Healthy M enstrual Cycle is a unique and concise manual you can use for implementing healthy movement into a time of a woman's life where it seems counter-intuitive to stretch and welcome movement and change into her life. This is my attempt at welcoming movement into my life....

Don't judge... I'm working on it :)

Back to the book... Walden has numerous recommendations for yoga sequences that are tailored to help all kinds of menstrual issues or just to keep your body feeling happy and healthy. If you want a sampling of the book, for a generally healthy menstruation cycle, Walden suggests:

1. Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
2. Child's Pose (Adho Mukha Virasana)
3. Head-on-Knee Pose (Janu Sirsana)
4. Three-Limb Intense Stretch (Triang Mukhaikapada Paschimottanasana)
5. Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
6. Wide-Angle Seated Pose I (Upavistha Konasana I)
7. Wide-Angle Seated Pose With a Twist (Parsva Upavistha Konasana)
8. Wide-Angle Seated Pose II (Upvistha Konasana II)
9. Inverted Staff Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
10. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
11. Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Now, I couldn't flex and photograph all of these poses, so you can ::click here:: for a cool website with illustrations of yoga poses.

There is also an interesting debate about using yoga to maintain menstrual health that I'd like to bring to your attention. This:

(Photo Compliments of Fitsugar.com)

is the peacock pose, and it's considered an inverted pose because you are challenging the typical flow and orientation of your body. In Ayurvedic medicine (an ancient holistic medical practice from India) it's said that inverting the body and altering blood flow shouldn't be done when a woman is experiencing menstruation, but there are many people who believe otherwise. ::Click Here:: to read further about inversions.

Overall, Sparrowe and Walden's book is a quick read and a great book to have on standby for reference. Much enjoyed!


Blogger Vidya said...

Yoga is definitely good as is a scientific methodology followed over decades to heal the body and the mind.But the postures should be learnt under proper guidance and should be conducted with care.
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July 24, 2010 at 2:59 PM  
Blogger teamdwms said...

great advice, anything to help the cramps and bloating while toning your body and relaxing you is great in my book.

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September 16, 2010 at 3:02 PM  

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