‘Moving with the Moon – Yoga, Movement and Meditation for Every Phase of Your Menstrual Cycle’ by Ana Davis
Book review by yoga teacher and author, Eve Grzybowski
It would seem, then, that it’s a fitting time to return the feminine to yoga. Hot yoga and power yoga may have their place, but they don’t necessarily allow for the sensitive biological imperatives of a woman’s cycles and life stages.
For the most part, women tend to override their cycles to carry on with family and work responsibilities, often to the detriment of their health. Women have been conditioned to take on the dominant cultural view that they are capable, competent and should accomplish as much as possible. This view may carry over even into how women practice yoga. The risk with this mentality is that women eventually become out of touch with their cycles and seasons, and perhaps even unacquainted with them.
This disconnectedness can lead to health problems on all levels: mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. Problems with menstruation, for instance, apart from pain or discomfort, can create difficulties with fertility. Menstrual awareness may pave the way for freedom from difficulties with menopause later in life.
Now, a new book, Moving with the Moon: Yoga, Movement and Meditation for Every Phase of Your Menstrual Cycle, provides guidance that has the potential for revolutionising the way women practice yoga.
The author, senior yoga teacher, Ana Davis, has been developing her brand of women’s yoga for over 20 years. She has taken every opportunity to learn about and develop her passion for working in this specialty. Ana’s own pregnancy led her to found Bliss Baby Yoga which includes: prenatal and postnatal, fertility yoga, women’s yoga, and restorative yoga.
Moving with the Moon is a tutorial on what it means to be a woman—in relation to nature, to female biology, to the planet. It’s a book that encourages women to come home to themselves, to develop sensitive listening to their own biorhythms.
Ana has created a richly resourced book—470 pages—from which we can learn to integrate many modalities and practices: Ayurveda, mudras, asana, pranayama, relaxation, visualisation, yoga nidra and restorative yoga.
More than anything, the message of ‘Moving with the Moon’ is one of empowerment. It comes from Ana’s own experience of coming home to her own feminine being. The book is a beautiful roadmap on how we can all live a life in tune with our natural rhythms, one that leads to fulfilment and creativity.
Eve Grzybowski is one of Australia’s best-known and beloved Yoga teachers. She has been practicing and teaching yoga for decades. Eve has founded two yoga studios in Sydney, has published two books, ‘Teach Yourself Yoga and ‘The Art of Adjustment’, written many yoga-related articles, as well as her weekly blog, ‘Yoga Suits Her’ at eve yoga.com. In recent years Eve has concentrated on training Yoga teachers and deepening her understanding of Yoga therapy. Eve lives in country NSW, teaches in the Yoga Shed on her property, as well as in other parts of Australia.