“When we’re in our flow, all we have to do is walk across a room to be mesmerizing. We feel confident in ourselves because we’re connected to the earth and in harmony with her rhythms, cycles, and moods.” –Gabrielle Roth
Feminine Yoga for Women’s Ages and Stages.
Why do we need to approach our Yoga practice differently?
This is not a new trend or about a new Yoga style with poses you have never seen before... but then why do we need to approach our Yoga practice or exercise regime differently?
Most of the Yoga practiced today is a system created by men for men. However the majority of yoga practitioners and teachers are women. Why then are we practising yoga like men? Too many female yoga teachers and students are practising a more masculine, ‘yang’ approach to yoga that is not serving our unique needs as women.
We have this thing called the Menstrual Cycle, an XX vs an XY, and we just don't respond to things the same way!
There is a huge gender gap in the sports nutrition and exercise science research, so if you are living in a Woman's body, most of what you read/hear/are told will benefit you, are based and tested on male bodies! This may actually harm you.
Women are cyclical by nature: our hormones are in flux throughout our monthly cycle as well as throughout our life cycles - from menarche to menopause - which impacts us on a physical and emotional levels. Our yoga practice therefore can support us more if it fluidly reflects these changes.
The ancient yogis knew how a Woman should practice and maybe that's why there was no need to approach it separately but generally speaking if you walk into a Yoga gym class, or even your personal training session and you are on your period, you don't think to mention it to get a different, more nourishing practice instead, do you? I know I didn't use to...
Quite the opposite, you probably feel pushed to go beyond your exhaustion and limits that day! I know I used to do exactly that not wanting to feel limited by my female body... But that's not good for you!
What is a feminine approach to Yoga?
A feminine approach to yoga means moving with, not against our bodies as we learn to use tools of yoga to help us practice a non-linear perspective that responds sensitively to the cycles of a uniquely feminine life. We'll discover that every time we step on our mats, our practice may be different and we are able to enhance our health, wellbeing and connection with our bodies and the cycles of nature.
Moving with your Inner Moon
Most women understand from personal experience just how much their moods and energy levels can fluctuate before during and after their period. This is where learning to move with your cycle, your inner Moon, using your yoga practice to support and mirror the growing and shrinking of the uterus, similar to the waxing and waning of the Moon phases, as it's lining builds and then sheds in an endless cycle - can help us fall in love with our bodies and our cycles rather than resent its rhythms.
The benefits of this type of approach is that if a woman takes the time to adjust her yoga practice (and by extension her expectations of herself in her daily life) so that it responds to the natural constant changes of her energy, she is creating a foundation to support her in managing the changes and challenges that accompany the other key life stages such as pre-conception, pregnancy, birth, motherhood and eventually menopause.
I hope you find this useful! I think it's really important that women know their cycles better, own it and stop working against their true Nature!
If you have other questions, DM me, I would love to write more about this! <3