The Woman’s Yoga Book, Bobby Clennell

Today I review a great book on yoga with beautiful illustrations. Finally, in One Invaluable New Resource, Everything a Woman Needs to Know about Her Body and Her Yoga.

Look around the studio of any yoga class and you’re likely to see more women than men, sometimes many, many more. Still, most women don’t know that a woman’s body and the cycles of a woman’s life require special adjustments in yoga postures.

Now one book gathers together everything a woman needs to know about the menstrual cycle and the cycles of a woman’s life. It’s The Woman’s Yoga Book: Asana and Pranayama for All Phases of the Menstrual Cycle, published by Rodmell Press.

Written and sumptuously illustrated by senior Iyengar Yoga teacher, Bobby Clennell, and drawing on her decades of experience in both teaching and practice, this comprehensive program of yoga supports menstrual health from menarche through to menopause. It also includes essential nutritional and lifestyle advice for those times off the mat.

This book empowers women to draw on the strength that comes from practicing women’s yoga. Bobby helps women to observe the monthly ebb and flow of recurring hormonal activity, so they can begin to understand the way the menstrual cycle plays out in their bodies and their emotions. With this awareness, a woman can fine-tune her yoga practice to coordinate with her own unique menstrual pattern.

This refined approach to yoga not only helps women avoid injury and fatigue. It also leads to vibrant good health, boosts fertility and leads women into a smooth transition into a trouble free menopause. The Woman’s Yoga Book is filled with treasures that you’ll use time and again. Among them are:

  • Detailed, easy-to-follow yoga sequences for each phase of the menstrual cycle, from premenstrual (poses to stabilize), through menstruation itself (poses to restore), the post-menstrual time (poses to rebalance), and the return to ovulation, by which time a practice can be built back to its full strength and variety.
  • Sequences to help ease and solve a variety of menstrual and premenstrual problems, including amenorrhea (failure to menstruate), menorrahgia (excessively heavy periods), and dysmenorrheal (painful periods).

Though solidly grounded in theory, this book is a practical, everyday guide–easy to read and easy to follow. It’s an invaluable resource for women, from beginning students to the most experienced.

Bobby’s background as a filmmaker and illustrator is evident in the drawings on nearly every page; they have a dynamic movement and rhythm of their own, illuminating the movements into and out of the various postures. More than 700 illustrations teach the yoga asanas (postures) alongside written directions.

For example, in the instructions for Salamba Sirsasana (Headstand Pose), Bobby’s illustrations clearly show exactly how to align the wrists, arms, shoulders, and head; how to draw the body up and onto the support of the wall; and how to achieve a graceful final posture.

Throughout The Woman’s Yoga Book Bobby invites women to join her in embracing the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being that comes with practicing yoga. With everything you need finally in one place, it’s time to begin the journey — now!

Bobby Clennell is a core faculty member of the Iyengar Yoga Institute of New York, where she teaches women’s and prenatal classes in addition to regular classes. She also teaches yoga workshops and retreats throughout the United States and abroad.

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