Yogi bleeds through her pants to raise period shame awarenesss

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Steph Gongora is a yoga practitioner and Instagram star with over 250,000 followers. She’s getting a lot of headlines for a video she posted, which you can see on People and Instagram, in which she does yoga poses while bleeding through her white pants. I think it’s a sophisticated ad for an organic line of tampons actually, but she seems to roll that back toward the end of her post and I can’t figure out if it’s sponsored or not. Anyway she writes that she’s only leaking a little, not free-flowing, and that she wants to reduce the stigma and shame around our periods. Here’s what she wrote and the video is on Instagram. She’s impressively strong and flexible:

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? Shhh. 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.

F-k yeah. That’s the kind of stuff I can galvanize behind, NO money OR product needed. Just a mission I support on a topic we should ALL be talking about.

THIS IS JUST A LEAK, NOT FREE BLEEDING

[From Instagram]

Do you know what this essay reminds me of? That scene in Carrie where they’re throwing pads and tampons at her in the locker room after she gets her period. It’s like something we’re all conditioned to hide and be ashamed of and the little sheltered girl needs to learn shame. Whether this post is an ad or not she brings up some good points. There are so many days when I wish I could just tell people, men and women (not everyone, just the people I’m dealing with that day) that I feel like total sh-t because I’m on my period. I’m going through perimenopause now and it’s pretty bad, it’s like my period is fighting my body. Plus I’ve been getting it every three weeks instead of four for some reason. At least I work with great women and we chat about our periods because that’s normal. We’re supposed to keep quiet about it, even if it affects everything we do, and not talk about it whereas it’s socially acceptable to discuss less debilitating medical problems like a cold, for instance. Instead, we only tell our female friends and most trusted female co-workers in hushed tones after we’ve taken them aside. I don’t know how this can change though, because once we start saying “hey I’m menstruating” we become the weird ones, the Carries who don’t know or care about social norms. At least we’re talking about it.

Excerpt from STARTING A YOGA PRACTICE, the newest book from @thebeginnersguidetoyoga , launching tonight via the link in my bio. ✌🏽 . . . “Today, my Yoga is much different than it first was. On the physical side, it’s much more thoughtful, careful. I still value and cherish my Authentic Movement practice, but I also structure in specific warm ups, strengtheners, and cool-downs. I never skip Savasana (that’s the best part), and I listen to my body, which becomes easier day by day. . . Off the mat, things have also changed, and I have no doubt they will continue to evolve. There’s the obvious differences like moving with more awareness. Better posture and less pain. But there’s also other aspects, vibrating right under the surface. . . I might not do daily Puja, and I might never offer fire ceremonies to the sacred feminine, but there’s a feeling of centering, of acceptance for who I am. A small bloom of contentment that lives right beneath my sternum and seems to allow me to step back from situations, process, and only then, react. . . I feel more connected to the world around me, both it’s inhabitants and elements. It might sound silly, and at this point, I have trouble even putting some of these changes into logical words and phrases. But there’s a sense of community that Yoga has helped me build. Confidence that I personally can build MY community how I see fit. . . Knowledge that there are so many fascinating people out there, all on their own journey, and acceptance that only some of them fit into my story. That even our disconnection is a connection in the ultimate web of things, and that I must continue to work on myself should I want to be of any assistance to others. . . I guess what I’m trying to say is that Yoga has infiltrated even the smallest rooms of my life. How I move, how I think, how feel, how I act in this world and with the people that inhabit it. There is still so much growing to do, and I look forward to it with the reverence and respect it deserves.” . . . 📷 @lifeinanimage

A post shared by Steph Gongora (@casa_colibri) on Jan 11, 2017 at 12:56pm PST

      

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