Ever since my teacher talked about working with the menstrual cycle, I have paid attention to my own ebb and flow of every cycle. Getting aware about the changes associated with my physical and mental state through the entire month opened my eyes to the rhythm of my body and mind.
More often than not, instinct kicks in now to preserve my energy. Sometimes I forget about being aware of day to day changes and start falling into old behaviour patterns. Such days I don’t know what to practise. I tire myself thinking about what asanas I should do and then give up. I unroll my mat, chant the invocation and let the asanas flow. Later when I think about it, I realize that all I had to do was get out of my own way. My body knew what it had to do and I only needed to bring my attention to it.
I still grapple with the change in practise on the days of my period. Sometimes I think that I will lose all I have learnt with the changed routine but time and again, I go back to the poses in a better way. It is as though the break has allowed the body to realign its memory.
There is a brilliant essay by Geeta Iyengar on the practise of women during the whole month which is a practical guide for women. I go back to it again and again and each reading brings out something new that I am ready to hear. A lot of the things she talks about have been validated in my experience as well and I notice the details she talks about are spot on. The beauty of the whole system is the free and open sharing of knowledge for whoever wants it.
As a subject, yoga feels like a fire within, one which I am willing to be consumed in. Asanas for me at this point feel like irrigation for my body so that I can move freely within it and look at my daily living more clearly. I see how the yamas and niyamas are present in my every moment and watch when I am in sync with them and when I am not. In that sense, my life is an experiment one where I am the process and the scientist.