So Yesterday I was wearing my red leotard and put some red nail polish to depict blood…period; because that’s what I am going to talk about today. (I try and let my creativity run wild)
So my mum was intrigued and asked me why am I putting on nail paint (Clearly, she was shocked by my femininity coming alive!) I told her because I’m going to blog and talk about period.
To which she said, “Natasha, you should not put up your personal life on the internet. Not everyone should know about what you’re going through.”
To wish I was very shocked because I never knew I was the only human to get my period in the whole world! Only I have the ability to give birth! WOW!
She sensed my sarcasm and walked away.
To society’s endless talent for euphemising an inevitable and natural aspect of women’s lives: the monthly shedding of the lining of their uterus. Uterus. Yuck. What a horrible word. Vagina: even worse. Menstruation sounds like a disease. Menarche, endometrium: what do they even mean? Euphemisms are everywhere. “chumming”. Chums, for English-speaking Indians, are periods. The Gracious Ones. On the rag (a term that always made me look at student rag weeks in a different light), the curse, shark week, having the painters in, Aunt Flo, and of course the infinitely useful “time of the month”.
Call it whatever you want but Period is not taboo. Nor should you feel like it’s forbidden to talk about it. (Please, I am not saying to go and shove your used tampons/pads/menstruation cups on peoples face! That would just be nasty!)But don’t be ashamed about it, every girl who hits puberty has got the crimson flow. So freely talk about it without coying away as it’s the 21st century, and it’s going to be 2017 in less than nine days. We need to grow up and learn and be aware of our bodies. Your menstruation cycle is going to be there with you till you hit menopause.(Or while you’re pregnant) Till then you will have to surf the crimson wave, so might as well enjoy the ride or try to, at least.
Mensuration and Exercise
All women are different with regards to menstruation. Some may not have any side effects, low energy or feel at all different than they do during the rest of the month, while others have such extreme pain, mood swings, fatigue, bloating, irritability and so on that they have to stay in bed for the first few days. Because no woman is the same there are no set rules regarding what to practice during menstruation but there are some general guidelines that can help. What is important is that we listen to our bodies during this time.
Should one exercise during one period or not? The only person that can really answer it is you – though I’m happy to give you some guidance as well as a get-out-of-jail-free card for workouts on days when you’re feeling extra crampy and fatigued. Generally speaking, working out during your period is a good thing, because exercise helps relieve period-related annoyingness like anxiety, fatigue, and headaches.
It may seem like the last thing you want to do when you have your period, but working out can help relieve the symptoms that make getting your period so annoying in the first place. The more active you are [overall] and more regular you are with your activity, the better your periods end up being—less cramping, less heavy flow.
When you sweat, water leaves the body, which can relieve uncomfortable belly bloat. Exercise also releases mood-boosting endorphins, which might at least take your mind off discomfort or pain.
It’s okay to give yourself a break.
All this said, if you’re really just not feeling it, don’t beat yourself up for not going all out. Even just a gentle stroll counts as exercise, and it may help you feel better. Your best bet is to do some light and easy movement that helps reduce inflammation via blood flow.
But, can one practice yoga?
According to Ayurveda, the monthly cycle is a time of renewal. There’s a lot going on within these few days– elimination, detoxification, cleansing, and purifying. Rather than putting any extra stress (physical or emotional) on the body, this is an ideal time to ease off of activity.
Another compelling reason to give asana a rest for a few days is that flipping upside down in any sort of inversion/ backbend goes against your body’s natural downward energy. During your monthly cycle, apana vayu becomes especially active. This is a natural downward force; the same force that helps move urine and the bowels. It literally helps our flow to flow, and we don’t want to oppose or impede our body’s natural movement during such an important time of detoxification. As that, will affect our hormones.
Converting your cycle into a time of rest can take some adjustment. As a recovering yoga addict, I know from experience that it can be hard to set aside your asana practice for a few days. “Yoga addict” might seem a conundrum, but there’s a difference between having a solid practice and being addicted or attached to your practice. Yoga is, after all, an on-going lesson in detachment.
Bleeding is usually a sign of injury; but just imagine, you bleed for 3-7 days every month (If you are regular on your flow!) and you still don’t die!! How supernaturally awesome are you! It is nothing to contrite about. Embrace your sacred feminine power and be gentler with yourself when blood oozes out of you. You are a Goddess!