A disease can only take hold in a woman when her shakti is depleted and her rhythms are out of sync with mother moon – Sri Swamini Mayatitananda
As Women our menstrual cycle brings with it the gift of a deep connection, a connection to mother nature, a connection to the feminine. This gift allows us women the opportunity to evolve through self awareness and self realisation each month, the chance to raise our consciousness.
Connecting to the Shakti, the feminine essence.
If you observe nature you will notice the multitude of rhythmic cycles. There is the 24-hour cycle of the sun as it revolves around the earth: as each day becomes night and then becomes day again. There is the rhythmic cycle of each season, the heat of summer, expansion, fertile, time of action and extroversion. Autumn, a transition season, a time to detox the body and a time to start to turn inward in preparation for winter. Winter, the depth and darkness of the year cycle a time for hibernation, nourishment, inward focus, reflection and contemplation. With spring comes another important time to detox the accumulation and stagnation of winter, energy and creativity starts to be projected as we become more active and outdoors and the energy builds back up to the summer peak.
We have these same cycles in ageing;
Maiden = Urge to be – Spring energy – Kapha
Mother= Place to be – Summer energy- Pitta
Crone= Creates space to be- Winter energy – Vata
Ayurveda is the practice of observing nature’s rhythms, living with awareness and aligning ourselves with them. We honor the cycle of the sun by sleeping at an appropriate hour. We acknowledge the shifting seasons by favoring a seasonal diet. We honor the phases of our lives by being students as children, striving toward our ambitions as adults, and the art of being present and contemplative study as we age.
As women, we have additional senses of rhythm that connect us to the cycles of the moon. Each month, a woman’s body has the ability to cleanse and rejuvenate itself through her menses.
A 28 day lunar cycle is the same as a women 28 day menstrual cycle.
Our ancestors in tribal life with a deep connection to nature and it’s cycles; women bleed together with the new moon and ovulated with the full moon.
These days most women’s cycle is flipped and out of balance due to stressful daily lives, artificial lights at night and electronic fields in the home. Or perhaps the evolution of the modern women requires her to be more active in her role in the community that she bleeds on the full moon which softens the pull for internal inquiry.
Ayurveda teaches that this cyclical sway of energy exists inside each woman to cause her to wax and wane between experiences of self-inquiry and interactions with the external world.
Being aware of the current moon phase during your cycle will help you connect. Spending regular time in Nature will help your cycle sync with the lunar cycle.
See how the following applies to you if your menstrual cycle, If your Week one isnt with the new moon you will find you are either more connection to your internal rhythm (which becomes your week one during menstruation) or if you arnt menstruating you are more connected to the moon phase as it influence’s you mentally, physically and emotionally. If your cycle is irregular, missing or an issue; these practices and awareness will help you to understand your monthly cycle as you as an embodiment of the divine feminine wax and wane with the moon inside you.
Take note on your cycle, moods and realisations over the next month, judge it against the current moon phase and start to become aware of your personal moon cycle.
In Ayurveda, the shakti prana of every woman exists in her womb. Her strength is found here and affects her on every level of her health. The cycles, the wax and wane, the natural emotional flow of the female is regarded as sacred. Ayurveda teaches that it is interwoven within a woman’s DNA to be an emotional being that fluctuates in emotional experience. This emotion is what makes her beautiful. It births her psychic nature, attunement with the cosmos, intuition and empathy.
These 28 days are broken up into 4 weeks. Each week has a different energy, a different purpose in the evolution of the feminine. Honouring your Rhythms each month will reduce and then alleviate any menstrual issues. you will feel more connected to yourself and nature. You will also have a new awareness and understanding of PMS and alleviate having any menopause issues later on.
Week one- Day 1-7 – Crone- South- Vata phase
New moon (Winter energy)
During the new moon time, the natural period of menstruation, women are invited to take advantage of their sacred time of natural purification by going inward, extending meditation, refraining from intense activities, and allowing rest.
“Thinning of the veils”, Yin/feminine energy, bleeding, letting go, shedding old stuff, low energy, inward energy, transformation, space and quite time.
To honour your cycle and this intensive “detox” process it is time to rest deeply for at least the first day or two of your bleed. Allow all your energy to be internal, avoiding as much physical, mental and emotional stimulation and exertion.
This is hard in the modern world but any effort is better than none. To utilises this powerful and sacred time to honour yourself, connect with your needs and not the needs or wants of others. Be true to yourself. If you don’t look after yourself first you wont have the energy and capacity to look after others throughout the rest of the month. Menstrual conditions like clotting, pain, cramps and brown spotting and blood are from not honouring your cycle and resting the first couple days your moon cycle the month prior; which is an imbalance in apana vata.
Week One- Physically – The endometrium is shedding the old lining, The pituitary produces LH & FSH to start producing follicles in the ovaries ready for next months ovulation.
Recommended tools: Ritual of releasing, writing and burning what you need to release. A powerful time for contemplation and to set intentions and affirmations; Planting the seeds for this cycle ahead. detox the body, light nourishing, easy to digest foods. Rest the body and rest the mind. Massage yourself, have a rejuvenating bath. Nadi shodhana breathing practice, heart and womb meditations, meditative contemplation. Journalling: what do I release and what intentions do I have for this cycle?
Week two- Day 7-14 – Maiden- East – Kapha phase
Waxing moon (Spring energy)
Like coming out of hibernation, stepping back into the world and nourishing the new insights and ideas that you gained from week one of retreat and contemplation, The intentions, self-inquiries, and inner contemplations acknowledged during the new moon time begin to build in power.
Every evening the waxing moon gains in size. Every accumulation represents a different aspect of the divine feminine that is within each woman
Week two is time to start Integrating, implementing and expressing, strong and clear, feel the Rise In energy, moving into the light, enthusiasm and vitality for the new cycle ahead.
Week Two Physically- oestrogen thickens uterine wall, follicles maturing in the ovaries preparing for ovulation.
Recommended tools: Ritual of awareness and acknowledging the creativity and divine feminine energy rising, nourishing and embodying this, time to get a massage, steam your womb to release any of the blood that remains from your menstruation. Allowing the creative energy to rise, starting to work on projects and expressing external energy. A more physical daily practice will come naturally as your energy rises. Focus on Building and nourishing. Journalling: How am I nourishing myself and allowing my creative projects and expression to rise?
Week three-Day 14-21 – Mother – North- Kapha phase
Full moon (Summer energy)
The full moon has its energetic advantages. It calls us forth to activity, ceremony, new projects, overcoming obstacles as the light of the full moon illuminate’s the shadow aspects making them visible.
The seeds we planted (intentions) at the new moon are now in full bloom and ready to be harvested. Energy peaks at this time with personal power, self confidence, strength, manifestation, creation, fertility, passion, shining, heart energy, outward energy, with high creativity start putting ideas into practice. This is the best time to express a new project. Libido is highest at this time, as ovulation occurs. Connect with friends and love ones.
Week Three Physically- Fertile Phase, Ovulation; an egg is released spiking progesterone which raises your basal body temperature.
Recommended tools: Ritual of awareness and acknowledging the creativity and divine feminine energy as it peaks, nourishing and embodying this, express yourself, nourish yourself, connect with sisters, Allowing the creative energy to be expressed. A more physical daily practice will come naturally as your energy peaks. Ashtangha yoga & Kapalabati breath.
Journalling: Give thanks for what is or what you want to see come to fullbloom. Give thanks for the creative and fertile peak of feminine energy of the fullmoon. Give thanks for the opportunity of a fertilised egg and what that represents for you. What is being illuminated for you?
Week four- Day 21-28- West- Maga- Pitta phase
Waning moon (Autumn energy)
As a post ovulation “come down”, energy is being drawn inward and “What is not ok, is not ok”; hypo sensitive emotionally, physically and mentally.
Feminine inward drawing energy, subconscious connection, patterns and conditionings come to light, feeling deeply, be not do, prioritise, sensitive time, Truth time.
Use this time as a gift, women have this time as a precious and sacred time for self realisation, raise awareness and consciousness, honour your body, to heal the feminine, let go and allow the sacred energy to flow. “breathe yourself back into yourself” great time for reflection, mediation and yoga.
Be present, aware of your body and your emotions so you “respond not react.”
Week Four Physically- Oestrogen and progesterone drop for menstruation.
Week 4 is the main focus for healing, evolution and conscious self awareness; as women this shows up as ‘PMS’ but really it’s our heighten sensitivity, our intuition, our ’stuff’ coming to the surface, our suppressed emotions, our skeletons in the closet, a connection to the subconscious- our samskaras.
Recommended tools: Ritual of awareness and acknowledging the healing that needs to take place. steam your womb to prepare for menstruation; allowing the warmth and healing stream to initiate a gentle flow. Allowing the energy to be more internal. Honoring your needs and listening to your body. A less physical daily practice will come naturally as your energy is becoming more internal in preparation for menstruation.
Journalling: What do I need to release this cycle ? What patterns are showing up? What do I need to do to heal, evolve and move through the issues or emotions arising? do I see a pattern each month?
A sacred time to journal, feel our emotions but not become our emotions. A sacred gift that men don’t have, an opportunity for self realisation.
By taking advantage of this natural fluctuation, by resting more during new moon and participating in externally motivated activities during the full moon, we heighten our shakti prana and enhance our inner harmony.
Modern times have demanded that many of us turn our backs on this beautiful process. It is interesting that the very thing that makes a woman sacred is culturally viewed as an inconvenience. This has made many young women ashamed, and even disgusted by her natural bodily processes. It has also left a wake of confusion regarding the emotional rhythm a woman experiences every month.
Every month, a woman has the natural ability to shed toxins, emotions, and physical blocks that no longer serve her. Her body cleanses and rejuvenates itself during her menses, during the period of the dark moon. When we do not take advantage of this time, we threaten the vital shakti prana that exists inside us. We disturb our energy levels and we step out of sync with the natural harmony that attempts to guide us.
Menopause symptoms are a build up over your reproductive years of not honouring your cycle, resting on your bleed and the week prior to menstruation; Week four, not releasing emotions, allowing them to build up until menopause when they all explode out, like a volcano.
Wise words from Eckhart Tolle on the female Pain Body
“The collective dimension of the pain-body* has different strains in it. Tribes, nations and races, all have their own collective pain-body, some heavier than others, and most members of that tribe, nation, or race have a share in it to a greater or lesser degree.
Almost every woman has her share in the collective female pain-body, which tends to become activated particularly just prior to the time of menstruation. At that time many women become overwhelmed by intense negative emotion,..If you are able to stay alert and present at that time and watch whatever you feel within, rather then be taken over by it, it affords an opportunity for the most powerful spiritual practice, and a rapid transmutation of all past pain becomes possible.
The suppression of the feminine principle especially over the past two thousand years has enabled the ego to gain absolute supremacy in the collective human psyche. Although women have egos, of course, the ego can take root and grow more easily in the male form than in the female. This is because women are less mind-identified than men. They are more in touch with the inner body and the intelligence I of the organism where the intuitive faculties originate. The female form is less rigidly encapsulated than the male, has greater openness and sensitivity toward other life-forms, and is more attuned to the natural world.” – Eckhart Tolle “the power of now” & “A new earth”