Female reproductive disorders generally fall into two general categories: (i) those relating to the fertility cycle and (ii) others which do not affect the monthly cycle. There are of course some which cross over and share causes, symptoms and remedies
Both the general and the therapeutic yoga approach to health is that firstly, each person uses observation, interpretation and action upon themself. Out of this will come greater understanding as well as good results. In effect, this will make you the greatest expert on your body and its behaviours. Failing such an approach, or should any problem persist or become serious, then you should consult a qualified health practitioner. But unfortunately, we see today that many women are so unsure of and unfamiliar with their bodies, that they just impulsively rush off to the chemist, the general medical practitio-ner or the gynaecologist for conditions which can often be more easily self-remedied.
The 3 tools I have suggested are:
(i) Observation. In the previous section on Natural Fertility Awareness, I have outlined the importance and the methods of self examination.
(ii) Interpretation. It can take quite some time of observation to get interpretation right (even doctors learn this), but regular and early observation will certainly lead to an earlier and more accurate interpretation, either by yourself or a medical practitioner. Most interpretation is learned by trial and error and that is to no-one‘s shame.
(iii) Action. Always try the simple, natural things first. And this is where yoga comes in to it. No-one is suggesting to solely use yoga exercises on a rampant infection where medication is indicated. Yoga Therapy should be used well in advance of, and, if possible, in conjunction with, allopathic medicine where necessary.
All 3 of these tools should go hand in hand. A bit of one, a bit more of the other, try again, get it wrong, try again, get it right, ah ha – the answer. The earlier you start, the earlier you learn. The Yoga Therapy approach is twofold in that these same 3 tools should be applied firstly, and most importantly in prevention, and secondly if needed, as a cure.
The concept of preventative health is, men-tally, accepted by everybody – a stitch in time saves nine – who would disagree? But unfortu-nately, such good ideas are rarely carried out on a day to day basis. So the way in which yoga teachers approach this innate human shortcom-ing is to suggest to students that they get into a habit of doing some daily yoga sadhana (practice). Daily yoga practice is the easiest and simplest way to implement a routine of all-over physical and mental preventative health. If you have a particular ailment which needs more frequent or immediate attention, you adjust your daily routine along those lines. If you know that PMS might strike, you divert your techniques in that direction. You might decide to give skin problems a month of special attention, or tiredness, or anger, or whatever. Gradually you will build up a routine of observation, interpretation and action upon your body’s, your mind’s and your whole life’s symptoms, all of which will make you the greatest expert and most qualified doctor of yourself.
So many common female reproductive disorders are simply the result of factors which we can do something about ourselves. Body ignorance, irrational fears, childhood condition-ings, self loathing, day to day stress, repression of sexuality, repression of maternal instinct, an unfulfilled sex life, an unfulfilled domestic or workplace situation, emotional neglect, poor diet, sedentary existence, poor sleeping patterns, overwork, excessive stimulation, constipation, low level infection, sexually transmitted diseases, restrictive clothing, poor posture, and the list goes on. If you can recognise any one of these potential health factors in your life, then yoga can offer you a way of doing something about it.
For any woman’s health issue, but particularly for reproductive disorders, it is important that lifestyle activities are considered as possible contributing factors. Every day contains a minefield of things which are collectively working against our health and well being. Modern fashion and modern living often forces us in the opposite direction to our natural state, continually constricting our bodies. Not just day to day activities we do “out there in the world”, but also internal