Yoga For Women

Did you know that Yoga is entirely designed by men for men? Women’s anatomy, hormones and cycles are different. Thanks to our friends over at MindBodyGreen for posting what you need to know.

In this country, yoga is practiced more by women than men (26.4 million women practice yoga, compared to 10.3 million men). Yet yoga as we know it today was designed by men for male bodies.

Unless your yoga teacher is prenatal certified or womb yoga trained, they will more than likely have received little or no education in regard to the anatomy and physiology of a woman’s pelvic organs and/or how to adapt yoga instruction for a woman’s natural monthly cycle and life cycles.

If you are a woman, here are five questions you probably are not being asked at the beginning of a yoga class but should consider before partaking in the practice:

1. Are you pregnant or trying to conceive?

Yoga practice is often lauded for its benefits both preconception and throughout pregnancy. However, if a woman is actively trying to conceive or in the very early stages of pregnancy, it is important to avoid all types of hot yoga as well as vigorous styles such as Ashtanga or Vinyasa. Dehydration can cause a miscarriage, and yoga asana sequences that build heat as well as pranayama techniques such as Kapalabhati and other pumping breaths should be avoided.

2. Are you menstruating?

Menstruation is a time in a woman’s cycle when the apana or downward flow of energy is active. I look at this as a time to conserve energy and avoid depleting activities. Avoid inversions that reverse apana at this time and stop the kriyas (cleansing practices) of kapalabhati pranayama breathing and bhastrika breath.

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