Saturday, February 18 2017, 01:59:18
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  • She Says

Shreeya Kishanpuria Agarwal

IWB Intern

This Woman Films Herself Bleeding During Her Yoga Practice 

  • IWB Post
  •  February 15, 2017


“I knew a bright red blood spot on pristine white pants would make a statement in a society that rarely takes the time to actually read — that catching people’s eye with something a little more shocking might be necessary to snap them out of their social media scrolling.”

If this is your routine social media scroll through, then please pause a moment and reflect. That’s all she asks. That’s all an article that is honest, powerful and breaking-your-taboos deserves – a moment of reflection to channel a better response. It’s never about bringing a consensus on an issue but sparking a positive conversation.

Yoga instructor Stephanie (Steph) Góngora is moving through her usual routine in her Instagram post. Handstands, arm balances, and hanumasana. Only, there’s blood all over her white pants.

She is in her periods, is practicing yoga and is bleeding profusely. Steph’s video is an answer to her self-inquiry – why do we care?  Constantly enveloped in worry about leaks and the subsequent embarrassment, Steph finally decided to embrace this natural process that gives our species continuity and initiate conversations on an otherwise taboo subject.

We don’t talk periods. Shrouded in black thaili, we are never taught to discuss menstrual cycles directly. It wasn’t until I graduated that I acknowledged it in front of the male members of my family. Coming from “Tabiyat theek nahi hai” to “I am down” took a long time.

Why shy away?

Steph’s video asks important questions. The right way or the wrong is disputable. But like she says, in an age of social media scrolling, perhaps this is the only way! To give shocking headlines that make a reader stop and click.


I am a woman, therefore, I bleed. . It's messy, it's painful, it's terrible, & it's beautiful. . And yet, you wouldn't know. Because I hide it. . I bury things at the bottom of the trash. I breathe, ragged and awkward through the cramps, all the while holding onto this tight lipped, painted on smile. . Tampons? What are those. We don't say those words out loud. Hide them. In the back pocket of your purse, in the corner of the bathroom drawer, at the very bottom of your shopping cart (please let me get a female cashier). . Events or engagements get missed. I'll tell myself it’s the PMS, sure, but it has more to with the risk of being "caught," at what…I'm not quite sure. . And I’m lucky. . Over 100 million young women around the globe miss school or work for lack of adequate menstrual supplies, & fear of what might happen if the world witnesses A NATURAL BODILY FUNCTION. . WHY? . Because hundreds of years of culture have made us embarrassed to bleed. Have left us feeling dirty and ashamed. . STOP PRETENDING. Stop using silly pet names like Aunt Flo because you're too afraid to say "I'm bleeding" or "vagina." Stop wasting so much effort hiding the very thing that gives this species continuity. . START talking about it. Educate your daughters. Make them understand that it can be both an inconvenience and a gift, but NEVER something to be ashamed about. Educate your sons so they don't recoil from the word tampon. So when a girl bleeds through her khaki shorts in third period (pun intended), they don't perpetuate the cycle of shame and intolerance. . This #StartSomethingSunday , I want to highlight @corawomen . . Cora Women is a 100% Organic tampon company. . But that’s not all. They are also breaking barriers. Making it ok to talk about periods, even on social media. Providing personalized, delivered tampon/pad orders right to your door. AND for every box purchased, donating a box of sustainable pads to girls who can't afford menstruation products. . Fuck yeah. That's the kind of stuff I can galvanize behind, no money or even product needed. Just a mission I support on a topic we should ALL be talking about. . More ⬇️

A post shared by Steph Gongora (@casa_colibri) on


Steph’s attempt is commendable. Does that mean stop using pads or tampons? No. Does that mean to talk more about it and create a safe space for women to speak about their periods? Yes.

This past month has been very educative. From reading about an artist using her menstrual blood to nourish Tulsi plants, an eco-conscious woman adopting menstrual cups to reduce waste and now this. Women are discussing blood flow and how!

But there’s something else that needs due consideration. Firstly, the taboos are greater in areas without internet access and where people don’t understand social media. Secondly, is it appropriate to use the medium and culture of yoga to talk about it? Yogis discourage inversions and certain yogic poses during periods. Inversions cause the blood to flow against the natural flow of body and in certain cases overstretch the uterus causing heavier bleeding a few reports suggest.

I wonder then, is there a more positive method of education? We resort to drama and attention to make our points loud and clear and heard. Is it that difficult to listen to each other?

Nevertheless, considering this is how we, as a species, are progressing (and unless we settle down in our hurried lives) well done Steph!

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