Learning to work with the hormonal fluctuations of your cycle is one of the greatest life hacks available to women. Once you understand how to recognise and respond to your hormonal peaks and valleys you can access greater levels of productivity, intensified states of intuition, increased sensuality, amplified creativity and vivid personal reflections.
Understanding the complexity of your cycle brings you greater awareness and acceptance of your natural ups and downs. This allows you to know yourself as predictable, consistent and reliably changing as opposed to ‘irrational’ or ‘unpredictable’, which we women are all too often labelled.
In addition to the ease this understanding creates in your day to day life, knowing yourself this intimately deepens your connection to the natural birth, death and rebirth cycles of life. As well as connecting you to the power and intelligence of your own body, which work to bolster a personal sense of harmony and empowerment.
The phases of your cycle can act as guides for how to use your energy, as Ana Davis discusses in her book, Moving with the Moon: Yoga, Movement and Meditation for Every Phase of your Menstrual Cycle and Beyond.
One aspect of your cycle I recommend exploring is the opportunity to harness the fertile energy present around the time of ovulation. You can do this by consciously using it to create; to paint, write, dance, garden, build, nurture relationships and so on.
Later during your bleeding phase when your hormones – and therefore your energy levels – are naturally at their lowest, you might consciously make space for rest. This phase can become your invitation to respond to your own needs and take the time to do the things you don’t always make time for. Perhaps you could meditate, give yourself a foot bath with delicious oils, sip warm tea, fall into the pages of a good book or simply treat yourself with tenderness. If you can’t manage this on the first day of bleeding, offer it to yourself on the second or third day. Taking rest at this point in your cycle makes space for important inner reflections to arise. It also helps to prevent dipping into – and potentially draining – your energy stores for the rest of the month.
Quite quickly you will befriend your bleeding phase by making these small changes and creating room in your schedule for down-time. Then perhaps you can begin to see menstruation as a powerful gift. We know this might seem a stretch as it is rarely recognised this way in most modern societies. In the past, however, and still in some existing tribes that live close to nature, it is believed a woman is more powerful spiritually and has heightened intuition during her bleeding phase. Some native tribes seek counsel from women during this time as well as guidance to connect them to higher powers.
We encourage you to reconnect to this way of perceiving your menstruation.
This article by Rosie Matheson is an excerpt from our Online Level 1 Yoga for Fertility Teacher Training Course manual.
Rosie Matheson is a senior Bliss Baby Yoga teacher trainer who facilitates our specialised courses throughout Australia and internationally, including Japan and Italy, and also Online. Rosie is the co-creator of our Bliss Baby Yoga Online Level 1 Yoga for Fertility Teacher Training course and a featured guest teacher for our Online Level 2 Yoga for Fertility Teacher Training course. She is also a mentor who facilitates our end-of-course video calls for our Online Prenatal & Postnatal Yoga Teacher Training course, Online L1 Restorative Yoga Teacher Training Course and Online Yoga for Fertility Teacher Training courses. Rosie also offers Online 1:1 Mentoring Sessions and Personalised Yoga Classes to support you in your teaching, or your journey to conception and parenthood.
If you are passionate about supporting those on their journey to conceive, we also recommend our Supporting IVF with Fertility Yoga Online Module.
Further Reading related to this topic:
- Self Care for All Phases of your Menstrual Cycle by Ana Davis
- Top Tips for a More Easeful and Enjoyable Period by Ana Davis
- Self care for menstruation: a necessity, not a luxury! by Ana Davis
- On Fertile Ground: Yoga for Fertility (with Womb Meditation Script) by Ana Davis & Rosie Matheson
- Understanding Fertility Yoga by Tanya Neate