We recently introduced a ‘yoga for women’ class to the Camden schedule as part of our schedule change in November 2019. For this blog, we’ve asked our ‘yoga for women’ teacher Petra Coveney to share a bit more about this new class. Learn more about why this class exists, how it differs from other yoga classes, the benefits and what to expect. Booking details are also shared below.
Why would we want a women-only class?
The first reason is that you asked for a women-only class. A significant number of triyoga students requested the opportunity to practise yoga in the company of other women, either for cultural or religious reasons, or simply a personal preference.
Secondly, creating a women-only space allows the teacher to focus on yoga poses, breathwork and meditation that are specifically tailored to the menstrual cycle and a woman’s fertility life cycle – from puberty to menopause. While yoga generally benefits women, being able to tailor your practice to the stage of your menstrual cycle can help relieve pre-menstrual tension (PMT), abdominal cramps, lower back pain, headaches, fatigue, low mood, stress and other psychological symptoms associated with hormone fluctuations.
Equally, it can help women find a sense of balance as they navigate the menopause and help reduce symptoms.
How is ‘yoga for women’ different?
The acclaimed teacher Bobby Clennell says the monthly cycle as “…a constant dance of creation and renewal played out in our bodies.” It makes sense then to attune our yoga practice to these cycles.
Working intuitively with the natural circles and spirals in our bodies, we practice poses that include circles and spirals to mobilise the hip joints, stretch and relieve tension across the inner thighs and groin where we can hold emotional anger and resentment, gently ease the muscles across the pelvic girdle, open across the chest into supported backbends, soften into deep-held yin poses, and relax into nurturing restorative poses.
Sharing yoga in the supportive company of other women can be a nurturing and nourishing experience. We practise breathing and meditation that cultivate a sense of kindness and self-compassion.
What to expect at a women’s only yoga class
In the ‘yoga for women’ classes, we practise a different sequence each week to match the monthly and lunar cycle. Each of these sequences aims to nurture and nourish us as women.
– There is a moon flow for calming an anxious mind, soothing the body and restoring energy.
– The sun sequence builds strength and stamina while releasing hormonal surges of irritability and rage and cools excessive hormonal heat with pranayama breathwork.
– The earth sequence includes uplifting poses and breathwork to energise and lift low mood, helping you to reset your mindset for the month ahead.
Women supporting women
These 75-minute classes include a women’s circle at the start where women can share experiences and a sense of community. These circles are guided by you and, in the past, have included women asking about PMT and perimenopausal symptoms.
As a teacher, there is something quite extraordinary and special about teaching a group of women whose ages span the generations. It reminds us that this is the way it used to be in close family and community networks, when women passed down advice and support to each other.
Living in a busy, disparate city like London, often far away from our families, we can sometimes crave a sense of connection with other women in safe space. ‘Yoga for women’ is your space. Come and join me every Sunday at triyoga Camden from 3.45 – 5.00pm.
Petra Coveney is a triyoga teacher who is also a member of the British Menopause Society. She runs workshops supporting women through menopause and has launched a menopause yoga teacher training course which is accredited by both the British Wheel of Yoga and Yoga Alliance. You can follow Petra Coveney on Instagram @PetraCoveneyYoga and @Menopause_Yoga