Can it really make a difference to change the way you do yoga during your menstruation or during menopause? Absolutely. In fact, some women have discovered it to be essential to find relief. The changes you make depend on the symptoms you experience. Ayurveda considers the directional flow of prana with any condition. Prana moves in 5 ways in the body: upwards, downwards, side-to-side, outward and inward toward the center of the body. Migraines can be prana taking the heat moving upward. Depression can be too much downward prana.
So when it comes to symptoms of menstruation, the direction of prana is one of the first considerations
Normal menstruation has increased downward movement contributing to the release of the uterine lining. However, when this downward movement gets blocked, symptoms of heavy and painful periods, clotting and lower back pain are present. As it turns out, our busy lifestyles and extra stress, and all of the upward and outward movement they cause may be closely linked to women’s experience of imbalances during the menstrual cycle.
The directions of prana apply to menopausal symptoms, too. Headaches can be related to too much upward movement. Similarly, increased insomnia is connected to excessive lightness (upward movement) in the body. Hot flashes are carrying heat too quickly outward to the extremities, causing sweating. Even bone loss can be understood as carrying nutrients away from deep tissues.
We start to piece together an understanding of the hormonal reactions of the body in this way. Ayurveda then offers very simple changes that can be made to relieve symptoms and help women maintain radiant health. And, since every yoga posture promotes the flow of prana in a specific direction, it can be a powerful tool used to establish balance.
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