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In This Chapter

> What is beauty?

^ How yoga can help you through PMS and menstruation ^ Pregnancy and new motherhood yoga ^ Yoga for menopause

This chapter is for all you female yogis (yoginis) out there! Being a woman means certain things biologically and certain things culturally, too. We experience menstruation as our first rite of passage into womanhood, many of us experience childbirth, and eventually we experience menopause. We're also raised in a culture obsessed with beauty, youth, and the female body. Women have many unique challenges, and yoga can help with all of them by helping to keep us fit, strong, clear-thinking, and joyful.

Beauty really isn't skin-deep. In fact, it has nothing to do with your skin—not really. Beauty begins much deeper, so it's no wonder that many beautiful women don't believe they're beautiful. If you haven't found your inner self and aren't in touch with who you are, you won't be able to perceive your true beauty, even if you just signed a modeling contract. Your inner beauty has nothing to do with your hair color or facial wrinkles or cellulite or breast size. These are transitory features of your soul's container. These aren't you.

The most important first step any woman can take in dealing with the issue of beauty is to practice ahimsa, or nonviolence. Nonviolent acceptance of yourself, not only physically but mentally and spiritually, too, is yoga's dictum. Don't commit violence

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