Yogis We Love: Yoga for Hormones & Fertility with HER Yoga
Her Yoga Practice is the first in Hong Kong to offer yoga, tailored for women that is geared towards fertility and healthy hormones. While babies are not on the cards for any of us at ro/an, balanced hormones and stress relief are welcomed with tea on the side.
Is your cycle regular? Is your fight-or-flight response messing with your hormones? I for one, know nothing about my cycle: a combination of laziness, and having been on the implant for six years (followed by traumatic months of bleeding sporadically and having to pay many avocado’s on toast’s worth of money to remove it). So when we found out about Her Yoga Practice, we were immediately curious...
The first thing that struck me with Claire is how personalised her approach is. Upon booking a class, she sent me information on her practice’s focus, which is the female body and the endocrine system.
There is a lovely communal vibe to Claire’s classes: It starts with a sharing session and ends with tea. The first half of the class is more dynamic, though still gentle as it is Hatha based, good for pre-ovulation. The second half of the class is restorative, for the progesterone hormone. All the while, there is an emphasis on stretching the hips, deep-belly breathing and my old friend, visualisation. Overall, I left the class feeling restored, and expecting a great night's sleep (which I had).
For this blog post we wanted to share our chat with Claire about her practice and her secret skills….
Claire, what can one expect from your classes?
Movements, breathing and meditation targeted to support natural hormonal variations through the month. Some students can witness immediate benefits including increase of libido, relaxed lower abdomen and being able to feel their uterus. Other more long-term benefits that my students have experienced are a healthier menstrual cycle with diminished premenstrual symptoms such as fewer period cramps. You will also be welcomed to a truly amazing community of women who support each other, and getting far far away from “the competition” mentality. We are not here to achieve any advanced postures like headstand, but instead open up ourselves in a “receiving mode”.
What has been the biggest shift you have noticed in your own cycle or yourself since practising Healthy Cycles & Hormones Yoga?
Connecting with my cycle on a deeper level - without judgement. It also helped regulate my cycle after stopping the contraceptive pill that I took for nearly 15 years! Today, whenever I get some hormonal imbalances symptoms, I know where it comes from and I know how to treat them. Without blaming myself that I didn't do the right thing the month before. I also feel more at peace with my body & I embrace my feminine energy more than ever before. I feel this is so important especially in a world mostly dominated by masculine values. More than ever before, we need more women embracing and making space for their feminine power, now is the time!
What do you love about teaching?
Without a doubt the connection with the students. It starts before we meet in the studio as I send a questionnaire to new students, to make sure that the class will be adapted to their conditions or symptoms.
This is very important as my classes are therapeutic and some students come to increase their chances of getting pregnant, or to help with their pre-menstrual symptoms or conditions like endometriosis, PCOS, hypothalamic amenorrhea so I discuss some very intimate topics. After receiving the questionnaire, I get to share some of my knowledge around women's health and yoga in order to help them with whatever they are going through and it creates a very special relationship that I truly cherish.
In my classes, first-time students introduce themselves briefly to the group and then all students start by sharing how they feel today. I believe that it’s important to take a moment to tune-in to ourselves & also it allows me to fine-tune the class depending on my students' feedback.
What are the best poses to alleviate cramps?
The best one is: supported Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose)
Are there certain poses you shouldn’t do while menstruating?
There are a lot so it would be too long to give you the entire list!
I have two: Savasana and the Triangle pose. Savasana as it’s truly the one when you get to witness your monkey mind and take detachment from it. Triangle pose as it embodies perfectly the Hatha yoga philosophy and it’s incredibly beneficial for women.
Favourite book you’ve read in the past month?
I’m currently reading “Wild Power: Discover the Magic of Your Menstrual Cycle and Awaken the Feminine Path to Power by Alexandra Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer. I love to keep learning and discovering new things, as it allows me to be a better teacher at the service of my students.
I know it’s a basic one but I just love going up to the peak. It’s very close to my home and so convenient to be in nature so quickly. I am not a big planner and I like doing things spontaneously so going to the peak whenever I feel like, fits me perfectly.
Organic almonds that I buy in bulk from Live Zero in Sai Ying Pun.
Night owl or early bird?
Without a doubt - early bird! I’ve always preferred sunrise to sunset. I love sunrises as they are so poetic by representing the endless possibilities of a new day. This is so magical when I go for a run early in the morning around Sun Yat Sen and witness the sunrise in between the buildings on Kowloon side.
Favourite place to hang out?
Going for a walk down on the harbour or on Bowen Road.
Best place to find peace in HK?
It’s a yoga-teacher type of answer but - inner peace is where you find true peace!
Interested in learning about other HK Yogis? Check out our experience of Navakarana Vinyāsa here