When Stephanie Góngora posted a yoga video selfie on her Instagram account showing her menstrual flow leaking through her white yoga pants, she knew the image would be provocative. But she knew it was a monthly occurence that many women who practice yoga dread. She posted the video to show other women that rather than being ashamed of their blood, they should embrace it as part of their practice.
Góngora has posted many yoga how-to videos on her Instagram account, casa_colibri. The video she posted on Feb. 6 showed her continuing with her yoga sequence even as her blood began to flow through her white pants. She even broke another yoga taboo which says women should not do inversions during their “moon days.”
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 ⬇️
In a feature in Cospomolitan, Góngora explained that she knew posting a public video showing a bright red stain from her vagina while wearing pristine white yoga pants would make a statement. But she felt is was an important one to make in a society which still makes women feel like they should hide the fact that they bleed every month.
She said the idea started when friends were approached by an organic tampon company who donates tampons to girls for every box sold. Although they wanted to support the company with sponsored posts, they also felt uncomfortable about being part of the message that says women have to keep their periods a secret.
So, the next time she had her period, Góngora continued to film even when she felt the blood flowing.
“I was initially uncomfortable since I, like most people, generally prefer to remain clean and dry. However, it was discomfort without full blown icky-ness or disgust, and it was greatly overshadowed by a quiet sense of contentment. I was confident in my intent — to not feel ashamed of the blood seeping through my pants — and that made me confident in my actions,” she said.
Góngora admits that allowing her blood to flow naturally every time she practices yoga during her moon days probably will not become a regular habit, however, she felt successful in getting women to become less ashamed about this natural occurence. The video has since been viewed more than 204,000 times and Góngora said that she has recieved thousands of messages as well from women sharing their leak stories and their inital feelings of embrarrassment. She also shared that others vocalized their disgust at her post.
But for both feelings of shame and anger, she said only when examining their feelings did many who opened up to her share that those emotions instead directed into anger and frustration towards a society that raised women to be uncomfortable with their menstruation and see it as a dirty.
” I do hope that this cycle of shame and intolerance around the very thing that gives our species continuity can, one day soon, stop, she said.”