This class is an invitation to rest and surrender to menstruation. To lie back and allow your body the time and space it needs to restore and renew for the cycle ahead. We will begin in active rest and move through a series of restorative poses before ending with a yoga nidra practice.
The invitation is to hold each pose for around 6 minutes but please listen to what your body needs today and adjust accordingly. I would recommend practicing in silence, but if you prefer, you can ofcourse play your own music in the background.
Grab your yoga mat and as many cushions, bolsters, pillows, and blankets as you can, and find yourself a comfy spot where you won’t be disturbed. You might like to get a glass of water ready as well to drink after finishing this practice.
Beginning the Practice
When you are ready, begin to soften your gaze or close over your eyes if that’s comfortable for you. And just give yourself a few minutes to fully arrive into your practice. Where can you soften? Where can you let go of tension in your body?
At the start of your period, your hormone levels are at their lowest point. This can lead to feelings of overwhelm, fatigue, and anxiety or you may feel a sweet and welcome release as you come home to this part of your cycle.
Whatever your feelings, now is the time to hit pause, take time to rest and turn inward to listen for guidance on what is coming next for you.
It is not always easy to rest as we are pushed and pulled in many directions in this frantic world we live in. But finding those pauses throughout your day, however short they may be, will help you to renew and refresh for the cycle ahead.
“I give myself permission to rest.”
Active Rest with Yoni Mudra
Move to lying down on your back, bend your knees and allow them to drop inwards, keeping your feet flat on the floor.
Bring your hands together in Yoni Mudra to help connect you to your feminine power. Bring the tips of your thumbs and the tips of your index fingers together to form a diamond shape and place them just underneath your navel.
Begin to relax your whole body down into the ground beneath you. Feel how it is supporting you and holding you. Relax your shoulders down away from your ears, release any tension in your jaw, relax your eyes, and relax your eyebrows and your eyebrow centre.
Bring your awareness now to your breath and just watch it come and go.
Imagine that you are an animal preparing to go into hibernation for the winter. You could be a hedgehog, a bear or even a little mouse.
You have nourished yourself well during Autumn, and you have built a cosy nest to snuggle into.
Visualise yourself settling into this nest, preparing to go into a deep rest, away from the world, leaving behind your endless tasks and responsibilities.
Yes, they will all still be there waiting for you after this period of rest, but taking time now to restore your energy, will make you efficient in completing them.
“Rest is beneficial and necessary”
Reclined Bound Angle Pose
Take your time now and use your props to create a shape that is comfortable for you to lie back against. Don’t hold back on adding as much support as you need. The more comfortable you are, the greater the benefits of the pose.
Soften your body back into the support of your props. Release and trust in their support of your props. Come back to your breath and notice what is happening to it.
Start to breathe in for a count of ¾, take a short pause and breath out for a count of ⅚ and notice how this makes you feel.
As your menstruation begins to deepen, so do your dreams, as you let yourself be free to imagine all of the things that are going to be possible.
Pick one of these dreams and visualise yourself actually doing it.
Staying here for a few more breaths feeling contentment about the dreams you are creating.
Taking as much time as you need now to come out of this pose comfortably.
Supported Childs Pose
Use your bolster now if you have one or grab a pile of cushions and blankets and move into a supported child pose shape. Shift your legs on either side of your support and lean forwards over it.
You could add a blanket over your head here if you like, this can be helpful if it’s a bit chilly where you are practicing or if you want to invite in more darkness to help draw you further into yourself.
During menstruation, your intuition is riding high. Listen out for these subtle signs of what it is that you truly want from not just this cycle, but for your life as well.
Coming back now to your winter animal snuggled up in its nest, relish this opportunity to pause and listen for these messages. Trust your intuition and don’t feel scared if something unexpected comes up. Sow the seed and see what comes up as you progress through each cycle ahead.
Savasana with Yoga Nidra
Moving into your final posture, now lie back in savasana, feet apart and palms of the hands facing upwards. You might want to add the warmth of a blanket here to as you will be lying still for about 15 minutes.
Close your eyes and make any final adjustments before becoming completely still as I guide you through a yoga nidra practice.
Take a long deep breath and as you breathe out feel yourself letting go down into your mat.
Become aware of your breathing, just noticing and not trying to change it.
Repeat the following mantra 3 times “I honour my cycle, I allow myself to rest”
Yoga nidra has now begun.
I will now guide you through a series of body points. Just allow yourself to become effortlessly aware of each point as I name them.
Starting on the right side: Right hand thumb, second finger, third, fourth, fifth, palm of the hand, back of the hand, lower arm, elbow, upper arm, shoulder, armpit, side, waist, hip, right thigh, kneecap, calf muscle, ankle, heel, sole, top of the foot, right toes, one, two, three, four, five…
Moving to the left side: Left-hand thumb, second finger, third, fourth, fifth, palm of the hand, back of the hand, lower arm, elbow, upper arm, shoulder, armpit, side, waist, hip, right thigh, kneecap, calf muscle, ankle, heel, sole, top of the foot, left toes, one, two, three, four, five…
Now bring your attention to your breath and become aware of your slow and quiet breathing. Concentrate on the flow of your breath. Your inhale and your exhale.
Now start counting your breaths backwards from 27 to 1, inhale 27, exhale 27, inhale 26, exhale 26. Mentally say the words and numbers as you count your breaths. If you make a mistake, just go back to 27 and start again.
Stop counting now, whatever number you are at, and come back to your natural breath.
Repeat again the affirmation which was spoken at the start of this yoga nidra practice three times. “I honour my cycle, I allow myself to rest”
Slowly bring your awareness back to your body.
Yoga Nidra is now complete.
Feel your body peacefully resting.
Feel the support beneath you
Start to notice the sounds around you.
Begin to deepen your breath.
Now wiggle your toes and fingers and stretch your body in any way you like.
If you’re lying down when you’re ready roll over onto one side, take a moment before coming back up to seated.
When you are ready, softly open your eyes and bring these feelings of calm with you into the rest of your day.
Video to accompany this yoga practice coming soon…