Yoga For Your Cycle

Welcome to yoga for your cycle, this is a course that guides you through your energetic cycle. You do not need to have a monthly period to be able to gain from this course,I have designed it that it works with your energy rather than with a physical thing that is happening. It runs to a 28 day cycle which also matches the moon so can be followed with the moon if that feels better for you.

Day 1 is the first day of either your bleed, or the day you feel the most exhausted in your energetic cycle. Please take a look at the welcome video and also the extra course content that goes along side the practices as this will enhance your experience of the cycle and allow you to really honour and track your energy.

I have designed this so that it is repeated on each cycle, the fact that you will repeat the same sessions means you can sink further and further into their benefits as you get used to them, but it also is interesting when we show up for this course a second and third time, each cycle brings new awakenings, new focuses and different callings from within, so although the physical practice is the same for that day of the cycle, you will find that your experience of it will change each time.

Menstruation or Winter

This is stage is the beginning, it either starts on day one of your bleed or the day you feel most exhausted in your energetic cycle. If you are unsure of this you can use the moon as you initial guide so you would start this on the day of the New Moon.

Because the focus of this phase is to clear the blood/old energy out of the body, it is important to support your body through this elimination process. You may feel more tired than usual and have cravings for things like red meat or chocolate. These cravings are usually your body speaking and asking for iron-rich and magnesium-rich foods. If you are someone who suffers from premenstrual syndrome or painful menses, it may be ideal to start seed cycling on the first day of your period. Seed cycling is a simple system whereby you consume different seeds at different times of the month to support the endocrine system to balance hormones.

TO SEED CYCLE: Start at the follicular phase of your cycle. Simply take 1 tablespoon of either fresh ground flax seed or pumpkin seed daily from day 1 of your cycle to day 14. This will inhibit the production of excess estrogen and improve progesterone levels, whilst boosting omega-3 fatty-acid intake. On day 15 (luteal phase) switch to 1 tablespoon daily of either sunflower seeds or sesame seeds until the end of your cycle. Sesame blocks excess estrogen whilst sunflower seeds support the liver in the detoxification process.(Be sure to use organic, raw, freshly ground seeds.)

NOURISHMENT: 
+ Dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, sea vegetables, bananas and raw dark chocolate.
+ EFA rich foods like avocados, wild-caught fish, cod liver oil, hemp seeds and natto.
+ Plenty of water – half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces daily.

 

FOR CRAMPS:
+ Try a cramp bark tincture – take every 15 minutes until intense symptoms subside.
+ Eliminate coffee/excess caffeine during this time, and a few days prior, if cramping tends to be aggressive.

 

HERBS: Replenish and restore! Drink herbal tea or infusions of red raspberry leaf and stinging nettles to help with cramping and replenish iron into the body. Magnesium and B vitamins to diminish menstrual symptoms. For sleep support, chamomile or lemon balm. Enjoy some quiet time reading a book, doing deep breathing exercises or guided meditation.

MOVEMENT: Avoid high-impact workouts during this time. Focus on walks, gentle yoga or light stretching, making sure to avoid doing inversions in yoga because they reverse blood flow.

LIFESTYLE: The body is working hard, which causes fatigue, so make sure that you are getting extra sleep – about 8-9 hours a night – and enjoying restful activities that are not strenuous. Massage just before your cycle begins is helpful for promoting circulation. It’s also important to eat warming foods and stay warm during your menstruation/winter.

Follicular or Spring

This phase starts right after bleeding stops or 6/7 days after the start of your cycle. During this time it is important to make sure that you are nourishing your body to allow for deep recovery from the previous cycle stage, it's easy to think you should just get going now but this stage is about allowing those seeds you've sown to germinate and grow beneath the earth.

NOURISHMENT:
+ Nutrient-dense foods with a heavy dose of protein and healthy fats.
+ Root vegetables, oats, quinoa, millet, lentils, salmon, eggs, nuts and seeds, and oysters as they have a variety of minerals and vitamins to offer the body.
+ Healthy fats like ghee, avocado an coconut oil.
+ Focus on whole foods that won’t drastically increase blood sugar.
+ Substitute simple carbohydrates for complex carbohydrates to reduce blood-sugar spike.
+ Incorporate fats and proteins into every meal to aid your body in maintaining a healthy blood-sugar level.
+ Regular meals and regular meal times will help balance blood sugar.
+ Plenty of water – half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces daily.

HERBS: Drink nettles to rebuild the body.

LIFESTYLE: This is a perfect time to begin the creative projects and new activities. Deep, therapeutic massage will support you during this time.

Your energy will heighten as you get further away from your winter and towards your summer.

Ovulation or Summer

This phase typically occurs around the middle of your cycle, usually day 14 for most women, but for women on a 32-day cycle, it could be on day 16 as well.

 

This phase only lasts for one week while. During ovulation or your summer, you may feel warmer than usual as your body temperature increases by .5 degrees. If you’re trying to get pregnant – this is the perfect time! If not, be sure to protect yourself during this phase. Right after day 14, you may also notice a sudden, temporary drop in your mood as high estrogen drops off and progesterone has not yet kicked in.

NOURISHMENT:
+ Quinoa, lots of leafy greens, vegetables, rice and cold-water fish.
+ It is important to not cool the body too much, so avoid completely raw meals.
+ Consume a mix of cooked and raw foods.
+ Avoid heavy foods as they can often make you feel a bit lethargic.

HERBS: Try taking maca a few days before ovulation and a few days after to balance hormones. Shatavari will help to boost and support libido during this most active phase.

MOVEMENT:  Try hip-opening yoga postures such as bound angle and reclining bound angle pose, wide-angle seated forward bend, and fire log pose.

LIFESTYLE: This is a good time to socialize, meet up with friends, schedule a date night! Massage and acupressure can also help relieve any stiffness or soreness.

Luteal or Autumn

This phase begins about one week after ovulation and continues until the end of your cycle/the day you start to bleed again. 

NOURISHMENT:
+ It is important to increase protein and healthy fat intake as well as warming foods as your body gets prepared to do a lot of work.
+ Brown rice, root vegetables, salmon, beans, avocado, ginger, turmeric, and curries.
+ Plenty of water – half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces daily.
+ Avoid things like alcohol and caffeine during this phase, since they will increase PMS symptoms and drain the body of much-needed nutrients for the upcoming bleeding phase.

 

HERBS: Start sipping on herbal teas and infusions daily like raspberry leaf and cramp bark if you experience cramps before or during your period. Burdock root helps to remove excess hormones that have built up in the body by gently detoxifying the liver. Triphala works to cleanse and detoxify the digestive tract. Take this a few days before menstruation to support elimination, relieve constipation and help support your body’s detoxification abilities.

 

FOR BLOATING OR EDEMA: Drink dandelion root tea daily.

 

MOVEMENT: Light exercise is encouraged during this phase to help balance mood and hormones. Just be sure to stay away from anything too strenuous as it will deplete the body.

 

LIFESTYLE: You will naturally notice your body wanting to slow down and you may feel more introverted. It is important to listen to these cues and give yourself ample space.

 

Indulge in activities like journaling, massage, meditation and yoga.