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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Going with your flow. What teens should know about yoga and the menstrual cycle

Restorative asana. Courtesy Genny Kapuler.
When it’s that time of the month, is it safe to get your Om on?

“It’s important for teens to begin to be responsible for their own health and wellbeing,” says Genny Kapuler, an intermediate junior III level Iyengar teacher. 
“When you’re menstruating, the first three days, you’re bleeding heavily, so you don’t want to do inversions, vigorous backbends, arm balances or twists, which close the abdomen. You don’t want to draw the uterus up. Anatomically, you want to...
release the blood flow out.”
 Actually, endometriosis is a common medical condition that occurs when menstrual blood goes in to the pelvic cavity, says Kapuler, “which isn’t healthy.”
Modifying your lifestyle for the beginning of the menstrual cycle is advisable, says Kapuler.

Restorative asana. Courtesy Genny Kapuler.
“Menstruation is very private for some. You may want to stay home and lie quietly in bed. Taking a restorative yoga class may be nice. Once the bleeding is very light, you can resume a basic practice.”
In our hyper fast-paced culture, “Girls shouldn’t push themselves during the initial 72-hour period. Such self-care will help them to remain healthy for their whole lives,” says Kapuler.
If you crave an extra gentle practice, poses that would be appropriate include Paschimottanasa (Stretch of the West), Janu Sirsasana A (Head to Knee), Upavistha Konasana (Seated Angle), Supta Baddha Konasana (Supine Bound Angle), and Setu Bandhasana (Bridge), says Kapuler.

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