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Yoga, Flow, and Aunt Flo: Toward a Feminist Yoga Practice (Guest Post by Margaret)

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Welcome back, Margaret, fellow professor and yoga practitioner:

I love cults, reading about them, writing about them, even joining them—how else did I become an academic? Unfortunately, fellow members of my latest cult, yoga, have a few habits that strike me as deeply sexist. Most stem from the treatment of menstruation, commonly referred to in the yoga studio as “moon time.” Using this euphemism, however grounded it may be in a mostly mythological understanding of the body, gives me that yucky am-I-living-in-a-tampon-commercial sensation that made me avoid yoga for too many years. So first of all, please don’t call it moon time.

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What else? Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do on my period. When was the last time a woman choked on her own menses after too many moontime headstands? I think it coincided with women losing their uteruses mid-marathon. If women can’t handle inversions while menstruating, then there would be a regular exodus of lady astronauts from the international space station. Look it up, it doesn’t happen.

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