Iyengar Yoga. About women's practice
Women should practice yoga especially wisely, relying on their inner feelings, intuition. Please do not take yoga as a sport. Do not compete and do not sacrifice your female health in order to stand longer in the difficult posture. Do not try at least in yoga to be the best, one and only. Remember that yoga teaches not to stand out and not be separated from their own kind and the world around. Yoga teaches unification. Full value in itself and usefulness in relationships with people and the environment.
Our approach to women's practice was developed by Gita Ay-Yengar, daughter of one of the most famous and reputable yoga teachers, B.K.S. Iyengar. Gita began practicing yoga as a child in order to cope with a serious kidney disease. In her youth, she began teaching, helping her father. Now Gita is over 60 years old. She knows a lot about women. And she continues to help us, although for a long time she could only think about herself. More information about the features of women's practice can be found in the book of Gita Iyengar "Yoga for Women", as well as in her many articles and lectures. We will focus only on some details.
You can start practicing yoga in childhood, even before the onset of the first menstrual periods. Children's practice is more like a game, and this is described in more detail in our book "Simple Yoga for Children." In order for yoga classes to benefit, a teenage girl, from the time of menstruation, and, of course, all women of childbearing age must adapt their practice to the monthly cycle. In the body of a woman there are almost permanent changes. Everything changes: physiological processes, emotional mood, state of mind. Even muscles and ligaments in different phases of the cycle are felt differently. This must be considered. According to special programs it is necessary to deal with menstruation, pregnancy, after childbirth and during the onset of menopause. Only after the successful completion of all hormonal changes, when the time of wisdom and real maturity comes, can one forget about the “multivariance” of purely female practice, and calmly, consciously engage, fully meeting the approaching old age ...
If you do not have serious problems with women's health (excessive, painful menstruation or their long absence, fibroids, fibroids and other tumors (including breast tumors), endometriosis, acute inflammation in the pelvic organs, etc.) study programs designed for this book. If you suffer from something from the above list or some other disease that you have doubts, ask for help from an experienced teacher. In principle, it is possible to practice, but special care is needed, as well as control by the teacher and the attending physician.
During menstruation it is best not to practice at all at least the first 1-2 days. Rest, do not go to work, do not be nervous. Spending time alone and thinking. If this is not possible, follow the special program, following the instructions given at the end of the book. During the period of menstruation, you can not do active postures standing, back bends, exercises in which the abdomen twists or strains, as well as all inverted poses (ie, postures in which the legs rise above the pelvis). Menstruation is the time to cleanse the body. It is necessary for the practice program to be consistent with this natural physiological process. If you suffer from premenstrual syndrome, a week before the onset of menstruation, you should begin to engage in a relaxed program - doing sitting and lying postures, bending forward and upturned poses, especially Halasana (with a chair). After the completion of menstruation, for the first few days, also practice easily, including inverted postures with a support in the program. If you really care about your female health, devote to active practice when you can perform all postures (long active postures standing and twisting, dynamic ligaments, backbends and balance on the hands), only two weeks in the middle of the cycle.
If you have a pregnancy, discontinue the general program. In the first three months, special care must be taken. If you have never practiced yoga before, it is better to go to a special group for pregnant women. (In this series, preparing the book "Simple Yoga for Pregnant Women"). After giving birth for about 1 month, do only Shavasana. Start your usual activities starting from the most relaxed postures (for example, according to program number 4).
When menopause occurs, the classes change again. During bleeding do the same as during menstruation. If the bleeding does not go away for more than a week, you can add to the Viparit Karani program, the position of the Inverted Lake. During hot flashes, drops in blood pressure, sensations of heat, shivering, and clouding of consciousness, it is better to work out according to a calm program, including lying postures, stretching forwards, soft backbends with support and upturned poses. In our book, program No. 4 is suitable for this purpose. Also, long Shavasana, a posture for conscious relaxation of the body, and Udzhayi on the exhale, an exercise for lengthening breathing in the supine position, also perfectly helps.
Selecting poses ("asanas" in Sanskrit) for practice programs, we wanted them to be as feminine as possible — graceful, beautiful and soft. And so that they bring you energy, health, inner stability and strength. So that they strengthen and stretch the body without undue stress on the spine and female organs. This does not mean that it is impossible to make poses that are more complex in form and load. Of course, you can and even need. Our methodology always goes from simple to complex, from external to internal. You can always add something new to the program, as beautiful and deep in content detail. The main thing is to understand the basic principle of the practice: yoga should make you more solid and healthy, strong and flexible outside, strong and flexible inside ...
Here are very simple items that you may need for homework.
- A couple of bars (stacks of thick books, etc.).
- Stable chair with a back in which you can stick your legs.
- A few blankets.
- Yoga mat (or tourist foam).
- Adjustable length belt (a regular belt with a buckle will do).
- Roller (it can be replaced, for example, with a thick pillow).
Chapter from the book Iyengar Yoga for women