A few weeks ago GladRags hosted a free yoga class in the park with the help of Linnea Solveig and The Bhaktishop Yoga Center. Linnea led us in a sweet alignment flow focused on improving the experience of menstruation by opening our hips and honoring our cycles. It was pretty amazing, not least because throughout our practice small butterflies kept landing on our yoga mats, heads, and toes!
For those who couldn’t make it to the park, we asked Linnea to share her favorite yoga poses for menstrual health. Below you’ll find her top five recommendations! Tell us: do you practice yoga on your cycle? What’s your favorite pose to support your cycle?
1. Reclined Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Lay on your back with knees bent and soles of feet together. If your knees or inner thighs feel strained, slide a block or a pillow under each knee. This pose can also be very sweet with a bolster or pillow under the head neck and torso. Just make sure that the back of the hips stay on the mat.
2. Knees to Chest (Apanasana)
Lay on your back and hug your knees into the chest with your hands either around the tops of your shins or the back of your thighs. Let your head, shoulders and back of hips rest on the floor as you encourage hip flexors and belly to soften and relax.
3. Figure Four/Thread the Needle
Lay on your back with knees bent. Place your right ankle on top of your left thigh and let your right knee fall out to the right making a backwards “4” shape with your legs. Either stay here to feel the stretch on the outer right hip, or draw your left knee into your chest, threading your right hand through the center of your “4” and holding your leg just like Knees to Chest pose. Repeat on the other side.
4. Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)
Start in Knees to Chest pose then widen knees, reach arms in between legs and hold either the outside edge of your feet or shins with your hands. Knees should stay bent and drawing towards the outside edge of your armpits while soles of feet are parallel to the ceiling.
5. Legs up the wall (Viparita Karani)
Scoot your sit bones as close to the wall as you can and then rest the back of your legs against the wall, feet toward the ceiling, while you rest your back on the floor. It can feel extra nice to have a bolster or a folded blanked underneath your hips.