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Gita Iyengar answers questions about the peculiarities of female practice

Geeta Iyengar – the eldest daughter of BKS Iyengar. After 35 years of intensive yoga practice, she became a faithful helper of his father to transfer his knowledge. Geeta Iyengar, for many years, is an expert in the field of women’s practice. During this time she was constantly asked about how to deal with during menstruation. Gita said the most common questions in writing. Then the text was sent to Iyengar yoga centers around the world. We put this information on our website, to make it available to everyone.

Question 1: What kinds of asanas and pranayama one can do safely during the menstruation?


During menstruation, the first to the last day, which is about four to seven days, you need to focus on the practice of those asanas that help women to maintain health and not interfering with the menstrual period.
Asanas should be selected in such a way as to avoid wasting energy or hormonal disorders.


Stretching forward standing: these pose as
Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Dog muzzle down) Prasarita Padottanasana , Parshvottanasana during menstruation should be possible to carry out with support under your head. To better relax your stomach, you first need to bend back and only then enter into the pose.


However, those who suffer from pain in the body, low blood pressure, weakness, a sharp drop in blood sugar level should avoid these postures.

Ardha Chandrasana and Utthita Hasta Padangushthasana 2 help with profuse discharge, back pain and abdominal cramps. These two asanas should be given special consideration when sciatica falling discs.


Supta Asana:
Supta Virasana , Supta Baddha Konasana , Supta sukhasana, Matsyasana, Supta Padangushthasana 3 (performed using belts, blankets and Bolster) promote relaxation of muscle and nerve fibers, which in this period may be stretched and irritated. These poses also retain vitality. Those who suffer from shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, fluid retention, severe abdominal pain, irritability and impulsiveness will find that these asanas very effective.


Simple stretching forward as the Adho Mukha
Virasana , Adho Mukha sukhasana, Janu Sirshasana , Triang Mukhaikapada Pashchimottanasana, Ardha Padma Baddha Pashchimottanasana, Marichiasana , Parsva Upavishtakonasana, Adho Mukha Upavishtakonasana performed passively control the discharge of blood, soothe the stomach and give the rest of the brain cells. These asanas help those who suffer from headaches, back pain, heavy bleeding, abdominal cramps and fatigue.

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Sitting postures: such as sukhasana, Virasana,
Padmasana , Baddhakonasana, Upavishtakonasana, Gomukhasana , Mulabandhasana etc. help to eliminate tension and stress. Soothing foot, these asanas thereby calm the brain.


During menstruation there is no need to rush to meet the daily training program, which you are following in the remaining days of the cycle.
Therefore, in the above asanas you can pay more attention to the knee, popliteal ligaments pahami, ankles, toes.


Relaxation and stretching of the joints makes them more elastic and less dry (released natural lubricant), eradicates pain and opuholi.Krome addition, women with arthritis, can work with the shoulders, elbows, wrists, performing Parsva Baddha Hastasanu, Pashchim Namaskarasanu, Gomukhasanu (for hands), the rope 1 for shoulders and t.d.Te who can not do Virasanu or Padmasana, can concentrate on the knee.


Thus, although you will not deal with the usual intensity, time will not be wasted.
You can achieve significant results in the emancipation of the joints, as it is a slow, gradual and non-aggressive impact is most profound and effective. The body and the nervous system will get needed rest Viparita Dandasane and Setubandha Sarvangasane that energize and stimulate the chest, lungs, heart and maintain hormonal balance in the endocrine system. You can do Shavasana, Ujjayi pranayama and Viloma in Shavasana.


If your period is painless, no headaches, irritability, stress, asthma attacks, depression, and can do Ujjayi Pranayama Viloma sitting.
If you just want to take care of their health during menstruation, you can limit regular practice poses supta, stretching forward, Viparita Dandasany and Setubandha Sarvangasana and pranayama in Shavasana. It takes less time, while the full program requires one and a half to two hours.

Question 2: What kinds of asanas and pranayama should be avoided?


Avoid inverted postures such as
Adho Mukha Vrikshasana , balances on hand, such as Bakasany, backbends as Urdhva Dhanurasana , Kapotasana , “the body of tying a knot”, “as in Yoganidrasane Eka Pada Shirshasana and abdominal compression in Navasane and Dzhathara Parivartanasane.

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During this period it is better to abandon pranayama sitting, if you do decide to do it that way, it should not take more than 15 minutes.
Avoid Antara and Bahia Kumbaki, Uddiyana and
Mula Bandha Bhastrika, Kapalabhati and Maha Mudra.

Question 3: Which asanas can be done to women who are engaged by individual therapeutic programs?


This is a very broad topic, so only a few key points will be indicated here.
If you have back problems, you can do standing poses, but stay in them less than usual, in order not to get tired. Care must be taken to ensure proper support of the back, chest, legs, etc., so as not to overload the particularly sensitive or damaged parts of the spine. If problems with the shoulders, neck and back is necessary to work with ropes, definitely needs support. You can do the twisting sideways like
Bharadvadzhasana , Marichiasana as the stomach is not compressed. The remaining curl may cause excessive compression and exert pressure on the ovaries, uterus and vagina. In this regard, these asanas should be avoided.


The rest of the asanas, prescribed a special program for this period, it is possible to carry out, if they are not contraindicated for existing problems.

Question 4: Why during menstruation can not do inverted postures?


If you do inverted postures during menstruation, this will prevent the discharge of blood.
Those who tried to do so from the enthusiasm or disdainful attitude toward themselves, noticed that the bleeding is stopped abruptly. This is definitely bad for your health and can lead to the appearance of fibroids, cysts, endometriosis, and even cancer. This practice has had a devastating effect on the body.


According to Ayurveda, all that needs to be derived from the body, should not linger inside.
You can not delay the menstrual blood as well as can not hold urine, feces or mucus. These substances are called
low – waste that must be removed. Their delay within the body leads to all kinds of diseases. During menstruation should also limit physical activity, including walking, dancing, heavy housework. The body needs rest and relaxation, and they should be provided to him.

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Inversions have a number of features.
As mentioned above, they delay menstrual bleeding, but during pregnancy are not only safe, but also useful for the health of the woman and the fetus. These asanas are a boon for women prone to miscarriages.


If your period is delayed more than 15 days, after 12 days, you can start doing inverted poses, despite the continued bleeding.
They stopped the bleeding. But, of course, this is impossible to stop. It is necessary to know the cause of prolonged and heavy bleeding and solve this problem with other asanas during the absence of menstruation. If bleeding occurs during ovulation, the inversions are shown as a medicine.


At the end of the menstrual cycle begins with the practice of asanas inverted postures.
They have a strong health effects on the reproductive system and quickly restore hormonal balance.


In conclusion, once again it should be emphasized that on the basis of what we know today about the effects of inverted postures, they are in any case should not be performed during menstruation.
If out of stubbornness or inflexibility, you still going to do it, sooner or later you will have to pay for it.

Question 5: Is it safe to do inversions after the third day of menstruation during their own practice or workshops?


A woman should not ask such silly questions.
Bleeding must be stopped completely, end naturally. It is not a matter of three or four days. Regardless of whether it’s a seminar or convention, you must first take care of their health. Once the bleeding has stopped, begin to practice inverted postures. Do not move sharply to the standing poses, backbends and balancing, etc. Remember that you have just given birth nevynoshenny fruit, since menstruation is called the funeral of the unborn child. “



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