If you look at the classic yogic system, it is essentially created for the male body. They did not consider the female body because females never came for sadhana in those times. It was not possible for them to come, for various reasons biological reasons, social reasons, the way everything else was and because yoga was not taught in a studio, it was taught by some guru somewhere in some cave, in some mountains, some forest, a woman could not go in those days.
So largely, ninety percent of the yogic system was oriented towards the male body, not towards the female body. So many systems of yoga, which are being recklessly taught today could damage a woman’s body if not properly handled. One of the things that you are learning is mayurasana.
They told you not to do mayurasana? because that’s not suitable. It’s a peacock asana, not a peahen asana. So like this there are many aspects, some of them are very physical aspects, some of them more subtle, but they are there. There are certain things a woman should not do at all. There are certain things that she should not do at certain times.
So what she should not do at all? Generally in Isha Yoga we have not even looking at those things, except mayurasana and a few other things which are not in coming in touch with you. For brahmacharies we have a few things which which are not necessary for others. So during certain times what you should not do depends from one moment to another. It could be little different. Not everybody suffers those few days as much as somebody else.
For some people it throws whole… their whole life off the track. Some people go through it without much disturbance, either in their psychological or physiological system. So depending upon how a particular person is, mild adjustments will have to be made, but if we are doing anything which is very forceful, if we’re doing any practice which is forceful in nature, it is best to avoid it at those times, because any forceful activity could cause agitation in the body and in the mind, because at that time naturally body is seeking a certain amount of rest, a certain amount of quiet not agitated activity. There are certain other aspects which are more towards kriya than asana.
If you have learned to do asana in a very relaxed way, it’s all right to do everything. If you are still not there, it’s better to avoid a few things. But if you do asanas properly, the struggles that you are having with your monthly cycles should completely go away; at least the pain and the cramps and the works should just completely disappear if your sadhana is right. If it has increased after sadhana, you must wait for three months. After three months if it’s still not reduced then we must relook at your sadhana, how you’re doing it. What you’re doing may be okay but how you are doing needs to be looked at. With kriyas there are more restrictions. With asana there is not much restriction. There may be some practices which are physical postures and also kriyas they are the things that you need to be really careful about. Like we are doing surya kriya.
Surya kriya needs to be looked at carefully because if too much sun burns within you then it’s very good on one level but if it’s troubling you in your feminine aspect, then we need to re-adjust it, we need to re-jig it a little bit for you; it’s very important that it’s individual, there is no common prescription like that. But generally what’s being taught as Isha Yoga need not be avoided, it’s all fine, except the kapalabhati, everything else is fine, can be done.