June 5, 2019

Should You Practice The Five Tibetan Rites Exercises When Menstruating?

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  • Should You Practice The Five Tibetan Rites Exercises When Menstruating?


The monks who practiced the original Rites were celibate and male. There were no instructions given regarding menstruation!

However, my experience and the feedback of many of the women I have taught, is that T5T seems to improve the symptoms of menstruation. Some women report less bloating, moodiness, anxiety, cramps, and sore breasts. Others say they feel less congested, and the flow is improved.

I believe that because you are doing a little bit of yoga & core training (T5T) every day - your body becomes conditioned to it - and you benefit from the cumulative effects of regular practice.

The monks said that the purpose of the Rites is to get the chakras (energy centers) of the body spinning rapidly and evenly again. The chakras are located above major nerve plexi (bunches of nerves) and the major endocrine glands of the body. In this way, they are said to improve hormonal function.

An example of this hormonal stimulation is that I taught one woman who reported an increase in the production of her breast milk!

During menstruation, some women's physical energy is not as strong as usual. In this case - maintain the pattern of your practice so as not to lose the motivation of the daily ritual - but perhaps to do less repetitions. Or revert back to one of the easier versions of the postures. However, some women experience increased energy during their period - so there is no one-size answer to fit all! 

Exercise is good for you, and in fact is normal! Our sedentary lifestyle has turned exercise into an option! 

Certainly, if you have a condition that requires you to receive treatment from a doctor - you should definitely discuss this with him/her. There are some people who have underlying conditions such as cysts that have become aggravated through practicing the Rites (or doing other forms of exercise). If you experience any irregular spotting, then you should see your doctor.

If you are exercising so much that your period stops, then that is not healthy. You would have to be working out at a very high intensity for this to occur from exercise alone.

It is worth considering that in many rural cultures, women work while having their period. They also work right up to the day before giving birth and return immediately after delivery! Of course, their bodies are conditioned to ongoing physical labor, while those of us in urban communities need to be more cautious. The point I am making here though, is the human body is pretty tough!


Personally, I share the opinion of Barbara Benagh - a yoga teacher, seminar teacher and columnist on Yoga Journal

..."Since I know of no studies or research that makes a compelling argument to avoid inversions (eg. Rite No 5) during menstruation, and since menstruation affects each woman differently and can vary from cycle to cycle, I am of the opinion that each woman is responsible for making her own decision.

The bottom line is that hatha yoga is full of contradictions and varied opinions, leaving each of us ultimately responsible for our own choices. Pay attention to your body and discover what works and what doesn't — not just during your period but every day."...

Geeta Iyengar (yoga expert) says that the practice of Uddiyana Bandha (the 6th Rite) should not be done during menstruation. 

I do not incorporate the 6th Rite in any of my teachings as the monks said you must be celibate to practice it. Rather than express (waste) their sexual energy in a sexual manner; they used this powerful energy for creating higher spiritual awareness by channeling it up the major energy lines of the body. Read my article for more in-depth information.

The bottom line is that the Rites appear to help stabilize the periods. I have not had one report of ongoing increased blood flow or stopping of menstruation through practicing the Rites. What I do hear about is people saying that they are less moody, have less cramps, and reduced bloating - but maintain a craving for chocolate!!!

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© This work is the intellectual property of its author and is fully copyrighted. It may not be copied or republished in any medium (including but not limited to electronic and print media) without the express permission of the author. All rights are reserved.

Carolinda Witt

Author of a number of books about The Five Tibetan Rites, including "The Illustrated Five Tibetan Rites," and her bestselling T5T Five Tibetans DVD. Carolinda has been practicing and teaching the Five Tibetan Rites for 23 years. She is one of the world's foremost experts on the Five Tibetans Rites, and has further developed the original teachings to create a safer, more in-depth method of learning the Five Tibetan Rites called T5T® (The Five Tibetans.) Adding natural full breathing and core stability to increase vitality, and strengthen the lower back and neck.

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