Ladies' Holiday

aka "Aunt Flo" gives us a yoga vacation…..?

It is recommended that women take three days of rest - often referred to as "ladies' holiday" - during their menstrual period for several reasons.  The purpose of the menstrual cycle is to prepare the body for pregnancy; when conception does not occur, the thickened lining of the uterus is shed through menstruation.

One reason to take rest during the menstrual period is that the downward and eliminating flow during this time may be counteracted by inversions.

A second reason is that engaging mula bandha may be more difficult during this time, and it may in fact counteract the natural downward flow.  Without engagement of the bandhas, vigorous practice can be physically unsafe.

Finally, excessive activity can lead to an irregular menstrual cycle or even the cessation of menstruation altogether.  Menstruation may therefore serve as a convenient time to rest as the body begins the next cycle of fertility.

Rest is recommended, however this does remain an individual choice.  As the your practice evolves over time, the physical and spiritual importance of taking rest may change as well.  If you decide to observe ladies' holiday, you are still very much practicing yoga during this time (for as well all know, yoga is more than just asana!).

Photo by Eva Lin Photography, LLC.  Copyright 2014.  All Rights Reserved.

Photo by Eva Lin Photography, LLC.  Copyright 2014.  All Rights Reserved.