Yoga for Women is not a choice today but a necessity to live a fulfilling life.
A woman goes through a lot of physical and mental milestones in life that are unique to them.
From accepting the routine of menstrual cycles as young girls to going through the whole process of childbearing, and eventually menopause. A woman’s life is full of transformations – each as majestic as if stepping into a new life.
We are not even touching the health risks she faces while going through them, anxiety being the most common. Just the process itself is no less challenging by any means.
Female Yogis are no exception. Even the most formidable ones can find themselves overwhelmed through each of these.
I am sharing the story of one such woman dedicated to Yoga, who achieved a lot at a very young age but still struggled with womanhood in one of its forms.
How she struggled with it, overcame, and now shines like a beacon for all the young women out there.
When I heard her story, I knew I had to share this with you because not only will you relate to it, but you will immensely benefit from it too.
So here we go.
From an Asthama Patient to an Artistic Yoga World Champion
Kadambari CP was introduced to Yoga at the tender age of 8. She was suffering from severe Asthama, and when nothing seemed to work, her parents took her to a Yoga Teacher.
While the rest of the world may have moved majorly towards modern medicine, Karnataka is one of the places in India where people still believe in the power of the Vedic lifestyle and Yoga as a part of it.
It was her father who made sure Kadambari took her Yoga education seriously, and surrender to the teacher came to her naturally.
Because she was exceptional at Asanas, her teacher, Gita Venkatesh encouraged her to continue her journey into Yoga, specifically Asanas. Kadambari agreed, seeing how Yoga had changed her life.
At the age of 16, in 2002 she won the world championship in Artistic Yoga, a milestone in her life & she continued her journey into Yoga with more enthusiasm.
Five years later, Kadambari got married and something caught her attention like it never did before. Her anxiety and irritability during her periods.
Traditionally in India, women move to their husband’s house after the wedding and we all can imagine how difficult it can be to adjust to a completely new environment. She says innocently, ‘It was only when I got my first cycle in my in-laws’ house that I realized how irritable I can be.’
Kadambari didn’t have a problem handling her periods physically. She has a set of Asanas and stretches which saved her from all kinds of normal problems like cramps, pains, etc. for years.
But she realized handling her suppressed anger and anxiety was something that has remained unchanged, even after years of her Yoga practice.
Not even was she practicing Asanas for years, but also higher practices in Yoga like Pranayama (Breathwork) and Shatkarmas (Yogic cleansing). Still, she found herself at loss regarding managing her mood swings at this time.
For the next 7 years, she kept trying to break into the ‘how’ of managing her mental state during her periods.
They say if you really want something from the core of your being, it comes to you. And Kadambari also found here breakthrough!
Behind every Successful Yogi is an Unrelenting Teacher
Many years passed by, and Kadambari decided to do her Sadhana (Yoga Practice) in Sivananda Ashram Madurai for some days. During her stay there she had her menstruation cycle, and her life took a turn.
Sivananda Ashram Neyyar Dam is known for bringing life-changing experiences to people. This is the place that gave me my first spiritual experience and Kadambari found her break-through here too.
During her periods there, she refused to follow the dress code of wearing white pants and that is when her Asana teacher did something that shook her.
He told Kadambari that no matter what she will have to follow the dress code.
Kadambari found it un-necessarily authoritative and requested him to leave her at peace and let her do what she wants in this difficult time.
However, the teacher was unrelenting and asked Kadambari why is it that she doesn’t want to wear white pants? How does it matter if she bleeds and everyone in the class becomes aware of it? They are adult enough to know and respect the natural cleansing process of a woman.
And Kadambari suddenly became aware of her own mental block of not being able to show the real side of a woman to the world – the SHAME attached to it.
Things we pass along as insignificant, comments like ‘Something seems wrong with you today’ and ‘Why are you so irritable today’ – always trying to dodge our discomfort and irritability with a fake smile.
We are conditioned not to show something is wrong, and especially WHAT IS WRONG in case of periods. We all know it because we do that every month.
Women are TRAINED into how to be their best and not let the world know, it is her period.
She started accepting herself in all her glory at that exact moment.
And when we accept ourselves, great things happen.
And as soon as She Found Herself, the Solution found Her too
Kadambari remembers fondly, ‘All women feel like being quiet and isolated during their periods because we always take it as a negative state. We start questioning ourselves – why am I feeling like this and that.
But the moment we start accepting that state of ours is the moment, we will start experiencing the spiritually elevated potential of that state.’
And it was only then that she was able to devise a whole Yoga routine to manage her mental state during periods – not forcefully, but naturally through simple yet deep Yogic practices.
In her words ‘We never do simple things because we think what will this simple thing do, but simple things are the most effective’.
For anger, she chose writing and for irritability, she chose awareness of her breath. To release the suppressed emotions, she chose Shatkarmas, and to manage the emotions she chose Pranayama.
Not just this, she says the quality of her meditation is the best during this period because of the elevated spiritual potential during this period.
Since then, she started practicing a special routine about a week before her due date that keeps her physically and mentally balanced during periods. With a combination of her special Asana sequence and the newfound Internal Yoga routine, she has finally overcome all physical and mental difficulties associated with periods.
She never misses her practice, even during menstruation and she urges and encourages all her female Yoga students also to do so. ‘We are strong, we can do it’, she says.
I myself have seen her teaching for hours together during her periods, with a smile and without a wrinkle on her forehead.
She has arrived.
Yoga for Women – What works for Her can work for You too!
As a dedicated yoga practitioner, it took Kadambari two decades to realize what she really needs to do, to not just come out of the pain of menstruation with flying colors, but also using its spiritual potential to the maximum.
And now she shares her learnings through her classes and workshops.
Call or WhatsApp +91-9716107609 to know about the latest workshops on Menstruation.
Till then, take good care of yourself on those special days and let your Inner Shakti shine!