Reflections

Elizabeth Gilbert: A New Way To Think About Creativity

Author of the international bestseller ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ Elizabeth Gilbert thoughtfully and encouragingly reflects on the idea of encouraging creative minds to not be afraid to do the work they were put on this world to do.

I am sure a lot of us have experienced fear-based reactions when telling others about our own personal creative dreams or goals. Perhaps we have even been on the other end interjecting fear on someone else’s creative dreams or goals. Either way, I really enjoyed this video and truly believe that everyone has a truly unique innate talent waiting to be discovered and that most talent and skill are a result of hard work, vigilant dedication and by embracing eccentricities.

Click to hear to watch video.

And Exhale…..

And Exhale…..

While Mother Nature showed that she is boss this weekend with snow galore, before this weekend it was apparent that the days are getting longer and the flowers are starting to peak their green leaves out of the ground & the trees are beginning to get buds, which means; (thankfully!) it won’t be long until spring is at our door!

Spring is a time of rebirth, a time for a change, a time of renewal, a time of cleansing and the time is quickly upon us. We generally begin to prepare ourselves for spring as the earliest signs begin to show their faces and decide what needs to change in our lives or in our homes; “Out with the old, in with the new.”

Spring “Cleaning” to me is a great form of practicing Aparigraha (Non-grasping), which is the 5th and last of the Yamas as outlined by Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Aparigraha means to take only what is necessary and not to take advantage of a situation or act greedily. Therefore, we should only take what we have earned, so in order to help us with our “non-grapsing” we need to work on the idea of  “letting go”. Letting go can be taken into many forms, either material items or feelings but gives us the opportunity to focus on what is really important in our lives.

While emotions can be the hardest thing to “clean” out, sometimes these are the most important. To take a second look at the relationships in our lives that don’t serve us and let them go so that we have the opportunity to cultivate new ones. This letting go of fear, doubt, heartache or whatever it is that you have been hanging onto, can be exactly what spring is, a rebirth for your life.

People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

When we think of spring cleaning we generally think of material items and cleaning the cobwebs out of the corners of the room, which is a fantastic tool to help us feel better and start the new season with a smile. However the task of spring cleaning can be a little daunting, here are a few tips to help you let go;

  • Clean out the frost bitten, old food that has consumed your freezer.
    If you haven’t eaten it yet, you don’t want to now!
  • Donate the millions of glasses and mugs that are taking over your cupboards.
    Really you don’t need THAT many!
  • Donate the food, that has taken over your pantry, to the Food Bank.
    There are people who can use it now!
  • Clean out the linen cupboard, get rid of the old tattered sheets, towels and stained dishclothes.
  • Hit the bathroom beauty product cupboard, discard all the expired product and the “sample” bottles lying around.
  • Clean out your Wardrobe!
    Donate the jeans that might fit again “one day” and instead tell yourself when that time comes you will reward yourself with a new pair.
    Let go of the shirts and socks and pants that have been lying around with holes in them that you will fix one of these days, you won’t!
    Let go of the clothes you have never worn even though they may be perfect for an occasion one day, remembering there are people that can use these things now!
  • Tackle your Storage Locker;
    Let go of the items sitting in boxes upon boxes.
    While not only fun to reflect on old photos and letters, it feels great to let go of the ornaments and boxes of old christmas cards, that really why are you saving it? R
    Realistically if its in storage and you don’t use it everyday, you probably don’t need it!

There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.  — Author Unknown

While spring cleaning can be a daunting task, what a great way to practice Aparigraha and prepare you for the Spring Solistice which is only a few weeks away. So Take a Deep Breath, LET GO and EXHALE fully!

Featured Teacher: Elana Epstein

The following excerpt is courtesy of Elana Epstein’s Breathing Spaces blog:

To Inspire And Be Inspired Is A Blessed Gift

Inspiration.

What does it conjure up for you? What meaning do you attach to it? What reaction does it bring? Where do you get it from?

Perhaps we need to define what inspiration means to us before we can know where to find it.
In order to know what it means I think we need to know what it feels like.
I have been watching where I derive inspiration from lately and have been noticing how it feels to be inspired.

For me, inspiration feels uplifting, exhilarating, awake and creative.
When I am inspired I am at my best, most literally.
When I am inspired I am connected.
I am truly alive.
I am so much more than my ego remembers me to be.
When I am inspired it feels like there is nothing I cannot do.
When I am inspired I feel like I am a part of the universe as I was meant to be.
When I am inspired I am grateful.

So, I try to find inspiration where I can.

I feel blessed. There are so many place that I feel inspired these days.

…to continue reading, click here to visit Elana’s website.

Author Bio: Elana Epstein is a certified Hatha Yoga instructor and Reiki practitioner who came to yoga from a Social Work background. Her greatest passion is to help individuals find their own inner strength and harmony so that they can contribute to making this a more peaceful life for all.  Elana sees yoga as a way to live each day with awareness and to nurture a peaceful and healing journey into the self. As a teacher, she creates an environment that is safe, intuitive, and calming. Her classes are suitable for the beginner and seasoned practitioner alike. Elana enjoys a personal daily practice at home and shares this journey with her husband and three children. Along with her daily dose of yoga she loves to read, write and listen to music. When she can,  she adds a little dark chocolate and a Chai to help make each day as decadent as it is blessed.

Elana teaches 9:30am Hatha yoga classes on Wednesdays at Semperviva‘s Sun studio. For more teaching times and locations, visit her blog and connect with her on Twitter.

6 Simple Reasons Why You Should Detox

As I am starting my own little ’detox’, I thought it could be fun to share some reasons why detoxing is a good idea. It’s winter and it’s a lot harder to find motivation and energy during this time of year (at least it is for me). It’s an easy time to stray from disciplined yoga practices and healthy habits and instead cozy up in the blankets day after day waiting for the sun to return.

OK, so, detoxing includes cleaning the body from the inside out, resting, light exercise and let’s not forget nourishment. It’s total TLC time (tender, love and care) to help you replenish and renew your optimal health by enhancing the body’s natural healing system. And, there are plenty of ways to detox. You can detox for just a few days up to a couple of weeks, even more. You can also make up your own detox program or get some help from your local health food store. From deep herbal cleansing programs to juice fasting to refuelling with simple super healthy nutrients, there’s a program that can work for you.

It’s an excuse to kick bad habits! Take a break from alcohol, coffee, cigarettes, refined sugar and saturated fats, all of which act as toxins and act as obstacles to the natural healing processes of the body. You can even use detoxing as an excuse to finally quit smoking or to kick the habit of caffeine hydration. That’s right, a double espresso doesn’t do too much for your body even if you have one four times a day.

Try something alternative! You should try to avoid chemical-based personal care products or household cleaners during a detox (you would be surprised how much gets absorbed by the skin and lungs!). Chemical-based products are after all, toxic. Experiment with some natural alternatives especially for deodorant, soaps, toothpastes and shampoos. And, get a dry brush for your skin. It feels great!

Say goodbye to stress and hello to yoga and meditation. Stress, in large amounts, creates a toxic build up and slows down the detoxification process, not to mention it can lead to a number of other negative things including one serious bad attitude. Yoga and meditation help you to learn how to deal with the inevitable stress that life brings and in many ways, teaches you to smile from the inside out.

Ok, duh, it’s good for you! Detoxing gets rid of toxins, allows your body to heal and creates a clean ‘slate’ for you to, in a way, start over. Bust out of bad habits and create new, healthier habits. If you are noticing a lot of skin breakouts, can’t think clearly, experiencing a lot of low-grade infections, dark circles under the eyes, feeling sluggish or having intestinal issues, then it’s probably a good time to detox.

Rediscover your discipline. And, why exactly would you want to do that? Well, to get your control back and to find something that you didn’t know you lost. We can get sucked into bad habits for months, even years! Better to nip them in the bud while you still can! And, when you are achieving your goals, you feel great. Detoxing and sticking to it inspires the will within!

Detoxing also inspires others! When you detox and start to feel great, you typically want that greatness for those around you. And, when friends and family start to see how good you are feeling and the good decisions you are making, it’s an inspiration for them to do so too.

Detoxing helps us to get back onto the track of living a healthy life, but it’s not easy, especially not at first. The exiting of toxins can be harsh, especially at the beginning, but just think, it may uncomfortable as they come out, but imagine the damage they could do if you just kept them in there.

Take your time, you can do it and start living as optimally as you can. You won’t regret it.

The Daily Love

Have you heard of The Daily Love? It’s a free daily e-multivitamin for your soul!

How did it begin?

The Daily Love was created by Mastin Kipp in 2005 under the original name “Thoughts for the Day”. Kipp embarked upon a journey in 2004 to find his true purpose and figure out the techniques to best manifest Highest Potential. Along the way he figured there must have been other people who have come before him who’ve were met with the same challenges he was facing to find true happiness and inner peace.

He found that all people from all parts of History and all walks of life had different morsels of wisdom to offer. He discovered a common thread shared by: philosophers, artists, authors, mystics, religious leaders, inventors, entrepreneurs, musicians, politicians, athletes, actors, polymaths, prophets, media moguls and every day people alike. Initially he began sharing these common threads on MySpace, and now Facebook, Twitter and email.

Vegan, yogi and all around positive guy, Mastin, now mentors individuals and even began his own clothing line: Self Approved – an inspirational clothing lined created by The Daily Love.

Follow The Daily Love on Twitter and sign up on Mastin’s website for daily emails. It’s the perfect way to start your day.

Here’s to positive, inspirational people!

Yoga For Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Many yoga practitioners are runners and cyclists, and too many of them know the aggravation and discomfort—even pain—that comes from iliotibial band syndrome. Until recently, ITB syndrome was thought to be caused by friction of the ITB rubbing against the thigh bone near the knee joint. Recent research may indicate, however, that pressure from the ITB on a fatty tissue between the ITB and the knee joint may in fact be causing the pain. This tissue is a nerve hub that experiences pain when extensive flexing and extending of the leg builds pressure on the fatty tissue.

The following are symptoms typical of ITBS:

• Pain above the knee
• Swelling or thickening of the ITB over the lateral femoral epicondyle
• Pain at the hip
• Clicking at the knee or hip

These are usually the causes of these symptoms:

• Increasing distance in training too rapidly
• Running downhill
• Cycling with feet in an excessive angle
• Running excessively on a crowned surface
• Weak hip abductor muscles

It took a masseuse, 2 chiropractors, a doctor, an X-Ray, and finally a physical therapist to diagnose me with ITBS 4 long years since my actual injury, which occurred while stretching for my black belt test in Tae Kwon Do. I’d practiced yoga for several years by then, but I stopped when it felt like my right leg was constantly trying to pop back into my hip.

I stopped riding horses because every time I posted for a trot, I would feel my hip clicking. I stopped training after receiving my black belt in Tae Kwon Do for many reasons, but one of them was that I couldn’t do a roundhouse kick with my right leg without rolling across the dojo floor whimpering in pain. I stopped running while studying abroad for a semester in Europe because there were too many hills and my right knee was having none of it.

Faced with stress related to mild weight gain (hey, there was a lot of pasta and gelato to be had in Italy), I rekindled my relationship with yoga and was met with comfort—until the day I fell off a 10 ft. high wall in a vineyard onto my back and wrist, effectively spraining the latter. I should have gone to a hospital but I insisted I was okay (as I cried myself to sleep that night in excruciating agony). Three weeks later, I tried to do a simple plank pose and crashed to the floor.

It took an entire year to resume my yoga habits, and although all my wrist takes is a little warming up, my right hip remains my greatest obstacle. It hurts to do yoga and yet I know it is yoga that will ease my pain. This, of course, takes time and patience, and I am still on this journey. The following poses, however, are geared toward runners and sufferers of ITBS. Although my progress is slow, it is progress nonetheless.

• Square
• Cow face forward fold
• Pigeon
• Outer hamstring twist
• Outer thigh twist
• Half lord of the fishes twist
• Cross-legged reclining twist
• Frog legged pose

[Pigeon,GaiamLife]

If you suspect that you suffer from ITBS, consult a physician or physical therapist before attempting these poses. Afterward, if any of the poses are unfamiliar, most can be viewed in detail on YouTube or www.yogajournal.com. Be gentle with your body and with yourself. Happy healing.

Author Bio: Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education where recently she’s been researching the highest paying college degrees around along with some low paying degrees you might want to avoid. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

Part II: Where the heck did my motivation go?

Motivation stops when we become distracted and overwhelmed by obstacles.

Stop telling yourself that you need that one last chocolate glazed donut, cigarette or cocktail beverage in order to ‘move on’ or that you’ll start ‘being good’ tomorrow. You’re wasting time. You can convince yourself for YEARS that you need to go through a period of suffering, habitual toxic behavior and inner turmoil in order to move forward. Well, the secret is out: you don’t. You’re worth more than all your bad habits combined. You have potential, so why not take a chance and see where some good, positive change can take you. Come on.

Hopefully you’ve read Part I of this little spiel regarding the predictable obstacles that could arise while on whatever path you are on and the consequences that could result from basking, running circles and hiding within those obstacles (depression, anxiety, frustration, weight gain, etc). Either way, I hope these can tips can be helpful for avoiding distractions, overcoming obstacles, finding motivation and moving forward on or off the yoga mat.

1. Observe yourself. Be your own detective. Pay attention to your body language, sensations, thoughts and moods. This identification will help to understand what is happening on a more subtle level. Perhaps the understanding won’t happen all at once, but it will happen. Sooner or later you will not be able to deny what you are observing and you will have to deal with it and when that time comes, you WILL be able to deal with it: you WILL move forward.

2. Don’t doubt. You can do it. You don’t need this or that to get started or to overcome obstacles. You just have to want it and believe that you can. Keep the faith in every single breath and every single movement you make.

3. Stay positive. Avoid becoming impatient, disenchanted, angry, depressed, egotistical or judgmental. Don’t attach more than an observation to negative emotions and don’t let anything get you down. See the light in everyone and everything, most importantly yourself.

4. Stay focused. Do not get distracted and fight the urge to be lazy. Don’t put things off! Devote and dedicate yourself to being and becoming the best you can be physically and mentally. Develop a routine, set goals and stick to them.

5. Constantly check yourself. Know where your head is at all times, keep two feet on the ground, live in the present and make sure you are awake! Creating harmony in one’s life creates clarity. Don’t allow yourself to be led astray.

6. Be willing to sacrifice what does not serve you. Walking away from bad habits, negative thoughts, unsympathetic behavior and actions can be hard at first, but you can do it. Take your time with it, practice every second. Eventually the negatives will be replaced by positives.

7. Moderation and diet. There are no answers at the bottom of any bottle or Cheeto’s bag. Learn how to consume and listen to what your body needs to run optimally and to be energized. You’ll be amazed what a healthy diet can do.

8. Will power. Accept the fact that you will have to put forth some serious effort. This may not come easy at first, but the fruits are worth every ounce of the effort.

9. Reward yourself. And, I don’t mean with a pepperoni pizza, I mean with love. Look in the mirror, accept yourself, encourage yourself and love yourself. You are the most important person.

Ultimately you are the biggest obstacle to yourself. You are the only one who can cultivate the inner strength to keep going. No more hiding. It’s time to bust out, believe it, want it and live it. You can do it.

Enjoy your time on this Earth as best you can.

Namaste.

Anything Is Possible: A Weekend Workshop with Camilla Bergstrom

Yoga has the potential to become something much more than just exercise, and for many of us this exercise is exactly where the journey begins. Our body starts to tone, strengthen, open and then all of a sudden we start to think differently. Eventually the connection is made: as we work on the body, we are working on the mind, the two inseparable.

When we become aware of our bodies and connect to what is happening physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, anything is possible, according to Camilla Bergstrom: when we are in sync, when we are in harmony with mind and body, we experience the strength and confidence that will lead to the feeling of I can do this and eventually the wisdom that goes beyond it.

Camilla’s 11-hour weekend workshop tested this theory.  Students were offered an opportunity to find their boundaries by examining the thoughts behind the seemingly challenging or impossible. As Camilla put it, ‘the first step is to become aware of our thoughts. Thoughts create an emotion and emotion creates a reaction. If we change the negative thought into a positive, the body will respond and we will find strength we didn’t even know that we had.’

Offering a masterful sequence of inversions, handstands and a variety of standing poses, Camilla teaches a simplistic fusion of yoga style combining self-healing with her experiences, various teacher influences and philosophy. Her teaching approach was challenging, passionate and contagiously courageous. She also took a great deal of time to focus on alignment and individual needs.

The workshop was complemented with breathing techniques and meditation. Students were invited to elongate their inner experiences by writing down and sharing their inner dialogue, as, according to Camilla, there’s more to just feeling yoga in our shoulders or our hips, much, much more, and when we write it down, it helps us to become even more aware of ourselves; it helps us to figure out which plane we are living on. Are we too much in our head? Are our feet on the ground? When we write and share, the experience becomes deeper, more profound, and when we speak it, it almost becomes an agreement.

No stranger to the element of fear, Camilla helps students acknowledge their own veil’s through the process of taking a step back, finding the discipline in their fear and committing to it versus separating from it. Camilla believes that if it means something to us, if it’s important to us, it’s going to happen and we are going to move forward. When the veil is lifted, we find purpose and within purpose we find simplicity: the result of stability, honesty and acceptance.

If you are looking for a life-altering experience, I highly recommend Camilla. You’ll be guaranteed a powerful physical journey and perhaps discover a deeper sense of your own true nature.

The Anything Is Possible weekend workshop took place in December 2010 at Hamsa Yoga Studio in Copenhagen, Denmark. Camilla currently resides in Los Angeles, California and offers local and international private and group classes. She has a podcast and much more information on her website: http://camillabergstrom.com/.

Namaste.

(Photo of Camilla above)

Stayed tuned for next week: Part II of ‘Where the heck did my motivation go?’

Attention To Details

You know you are in an Iyengar type class when you hear a teacher say that ‘feet are parallel’ means second toes are in line with the middle of your ankle.

At the beginning, when I was practising yoga, I was addicted to Ashtanga. So, whenever my favourite teacher was substituted by an Iyengar teacher, my heart would sink, and I would itch for a Vinyasa.

Whenever I thought of Iyengar, blocks, straps, and injury rehab would come to mind.

[source: yogaasanablog.com]

My relationship to Ashtanga changed when one summer, I went to a Mysore class in Barcelona. The studio was really hot, and my body was overheating. For some reason, the teacher thought I was a dancer, and in the standing balance sequence, he lifted my leg way higher than it should go. That’s how my hamstrings were torn. I could barely walk for a few days, and it took a whole year for them to recover completely.

When I arrived here I went to a lot of different classes, and was exposed to many different styles of yoga. Although I still really enjoy Power Vinyasa classes, I really feel I’m working when I’m attending an Iyengar type Hatha class.

After almost 3 months here, I can already see how my mental checklist for each asana has grown – especially for downward dog. There are so many details that I’ve now added to my practise, and my body has already learnt most of them.

The more I get into the details of an asana, the more I feel focused, relaxed, and grounded. It goes for many things in life, the more you break them down, the more you understand them, the more empowered you feel.

I’ve now also discovered a great Iyengar trick to open tight hamstrings the other day; a lesson learned the hard way!

Part I: Where the heck did my motivation go?

According to the Yoga Sutra’s, there are some predicted obstacles that arise while on one’s path. And, I think these obstacles arise on any journey whether it yogic, meditative, artistic, athletic, even corporate. We ALL get stuck, in a slump, in a rut and simply cannot be bothered from time to time. So, how do we get out of it?

Well, let me just say this, some words of caution if you will. These ruts can last a very long time if we don’t do anything about them, and I am speaking from experience. If you don’t find a way out, life could eventually evolve into a dense fog making it even harder to navigate.

Anyway, remember that old G.I. Joe saying, ‘now you know and knowing is half the battle’? I believe one of the first steps to overcoming obstacles is to know what your obstacles are. According to the yoga sutras, the most common are:

  • Physical ailment (disease, mental or physical disease)
  • Indifference (no willingness to stick to your responsibilities)
  • Doubts (giving up not based on anything reasonable, low self-esteem)
  • Carelessness (lack of persistence)
  • Laziness (a passive approach, no will power)
  • Restlessness (overactive senses)
  • Delusion (not living in reality)
  • Inability to reach higher experiences (poor practice, self-deprecation)
  • Non-retention of experiences (frustration, instability)

Ah-ha! So, you are familiar with these too? At least we are not alone, not in the least. It’s pretty natural to experience obstacles. They ARE a part of the process and they can even make life a bit more interesting. What’s not so great is that if we fester in our obstacles, they can lead to other consequences like weight-gain, sadness, depression, physical and mental ailments and totally insane levels of frustration.

It is also important to point out that these obstacles weren’t always obstacles. They are manifested distractions. Meaning, you crossed paths with a distraction (you know what they are: fast food, incessant sofa-surfing, cosmopolitans, chocolate donuts, etc.), it got your attention, you made an engagement with that distraction and now, lucky you, have you an obstacle and all its conveniently disturbing qualities.

So, in a way, we are pretty much responsible for creating our own obstacles. Doesn’t that make you feel better? Perhaps not, but there’s hope.

Stay tuned for Part II for overcoming obstacles and getting your motivation back.

5 Peculiar Things that Could Change Your Life

Ok, maybe these things haven’t completely changed my life, but they’ve helped a whole lot. At first using these objects may be as weird as they appear, but there is no doubt they are an experience worth trying.

  • A tongue scraper: toothbrushes are made to clean your teeth; tongue scrapers are made to clean your tongue. Tongue scraping is an Ayurvedic technique used for treating bad breath, but has many other healthy benefits. During the night our body is busy detoxing aka removing toxins. When you wake up, you may notice a white coating on your tongue. Scraping off these toxins first thing in the morning helps your body to avoid re-absorption. It’s not only good for better smelling breath, but helps to remove plague from teeth, helps taste bud functioning and aids in overall optimal oral health. Maybe one day tongue scraping will be as cool as flossing.
  • 1.5 liters of water: ever hear of this thing called water therapy? Mostly known in India, China and Japan, water therapy is drinking 1.5 liters of water first thing in the morning. This is said to help remove toxins, stimulate healthy bowel movements and help fight disease. Considered pretty much harmless, it also claims to have other health benefits such as helping headaches, energy levels, constipation, diarrhea and detoxification.
  • A body brush: perhaps you have forgotten that the skin is the largest organ of the body. This organ helps to eliminate a critical amount of toxins – they say up to one pound a day! Skin brushing (with a body brush) also stimulates the organs underneath the skin that aid in the detoxification of toxins. Some other benefits include stimulating the lymphatic system, removing dead layers of skin cells, stimulating the circulation and immune systems and helps the kidneys to function optimally.
  • Neti pot: also known as a ‘nose bidet’, a neti pot is used to pour warm, slightly salty water through the nasal passages and sinuses. Neti pots have been used in India and South Asia and have shown to be a safe and effective way for treating eye complaints, sinusitis, asthma, the common cold, nasal congestion and respiratory ailments. It is recommended to use a Neti pot that is right for your nostrils.
  • Incense: not just an air freshener, the practice of burning incense has been used throughout centuries for sacred ceremonies and rituals. Today it is used to create desired atmospheres and healing, Its said to have both healing effects on the mind and the body. Some of the noted benefits include fighting depression, headaches, anxiety and insomnia. It is recommended to use plant-based and essential oil-based incenses

I would love to hear your experiences, comments and recommendations.

To Break or Not to Break During Your Period

There are many different opinions in the yoga world as to if a woman should practice yoga while on her period and if so, how she should practice.

On one end, some say to avoid inversions such as shoulder stand, headstand, plough pose and handstand. Others say to only do restorative poses. And, on the opposite end of the spectrum, some say to completely refrain from yoga practice all together.

The fact is that every woman experiences her period differently making it difficult to make a definitive rule that applies to everyone. However, listening to and understanding what is going on inside the body during this special time of the month can help us make intuitive decisions about our practice.

[cnyhealingarts]

Why it could be a good idea to avoid inversions:

An inversion refers to a posture where the lower body is above the heart. During menstruation, the body is using energy to cleanse the reproductive tract from the inside out. Doing powerful inversions at this time such as headstand, shoulder stand or handstand divert the energy from the reproductive system to the muscles necessary to do these postures. And, why is this bad? It’s not necessarily ‘bad’, but it does stress the reproductive system and can be taxing for the body. The result could be a running out of energy and fatigue.

Philosophically, the downward flow of menstruation represents ‘apana vayu’ or downward flowing energy. This energy is said to nourish reproduction elimination and digestion. Some say that doing inversions during this time disrupts the natural flow of this energy.

Restorative poses that could be helpful for alleviating menstrual symptoms such as lower back pain, cramps and mood swings:

  • Reclined bound angle pose: for stress relief, grounding and helps sooth menstrual cramps.
  • Cat and cow pose: provides a gentle massage to the vertebrae and belly organs.
  • Sitting forward fold: relief of menstrual discomfort, stretches spine and helps headaches.
  • Legs up the wall pose: helps relieve minor backache and helps calm the mind.
  • Child’s pose: calms the mind and helps alleviate cramping.
  • Supported corpse pose (with pillow under knees): provides relaxation for the entire body.

Why it could to be good to refrain from doing yoga during your period:

If you happen to have a very heavy flow or are extremely tired during your period, perhaps the best pose is rest and relaxation. There’s absolutely no shame in it and your yoga mat will be patiently awaiting your return.

I have experienced both the desire for a more active yoga class while on my period and have sufficed with gentle sun salutations, and I have also felt my period was the perfect time to slow down and completely rest. So, the best advice I can think of is to sincerely do what is most optimal for you and your body.

Namaste.