Let's Talk - Periods [part 2.]: Honoring Your Sacred Menstrual Cycle

by - August 27, 2019

In the previous post, we focused on understanding what greater meaning our menstrual cycles have and how beautiful it is to be a woman. Instead of fighting against the flow of our cycles, we learned how to flow with them.

Let's look at something else together, through the period cycle, all of our inner imbalances can manifest themselves as cramps, fatigue, moodiness or headache. This is because the body recognizes and processes information and feelings that you are usually and otherwise unaware of. But that is not all!

Welcome Your Own New Moon
Any form of a new beginning requires great strength and willingness to let go of the old that is no longer serving us. Just like during the new moon, letting go is a big part of our menstrual cycle which is physically expressed through the release of our womb’s blood. 

Having a loving approach towards your cycle will make all the difference in the world. A great place to start in establishing the initial loving connection between you and your cycle is by connecting to your body and its feminine energy. Yogic practices such as Kundalini, Mula bandha and meditation can help in tapping into your inner goddess and unleash your creative and sexual energy. Do you wonder how?

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Awaken Your Inner Goddess Within
♥ Our senses are heightened, making us more aware and conscious
♥ The focus of our energy turns inwards (self-care, downtime)
♥ Our nights become dreamy (we dream more frequently)
♥ We become more intuitive and receptive (welcome life)
♥ We are able to let go (bye old patterns, habits and thoughts)

My Story
I was put on a birth control pretty much from the very beginning of my sacred cycle. I remember how my very first bleeding brought tears to my eyes and my mother lovingly laughed telling me it is a beautiful natural thing and there is nothing to cry about.

Back then, at the age of fifteen, I only understood my period on the physical-biological level and from what I was told. Growing up wiser, a few years later, knowing I was on birth control since day one and forgot what my life was like without it, I decided to stop. I could hardly remember my painful cramps and back pain, due to which I started birth control in the first place. And so I waited and waited for their return, but neither the symptoms nor my period had returned.

I had to go through a cycle of injections to restart my body's natural cycle. After about six months without losing a drop of blood, my period returned and I made myself a promise to take birth control again. I still didn't quite understand my cycle and its importance or cared much about my period. Just like most young women, I hated 'that time of a month' when my skin got covered in acne, my breasts and everything along with them became extremely sensitive, times when I could sleep for days curled up in a bed suffering cramps and discomfort. 
Since going plant-based, changing my eating habits and falling in love with yoga, my menstrual symptoms became a little more bearable and I'd turn to yoga to help relieve body-discomfort. I learned to track my cycles and use a natural form of birth control. 
However, it wasn't until after my miscarriage in 2017 that I began to really understand that my cycle goes way beyond the physical measures. (Read about my pregnancy loss: Awaiting The Rainbow (Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month)

I went from full-hearted self-hatred towards myself and my body for failing me as a woman, to slowly and gradually learning to honor and love my body once again and respect it through all its phases. I learned to feel and observe rather than ignore and be resilient towards my feelings and my body's needs. 
Here is what I learned...
It is OK to take some alone time (give heads up to those around you)
Respect your period and your moods
Bring your attention inwards - be still, be silent, meditate
Be kind to yourself
Relax in a hot soothing bath (with essential oils or Epsom salt)
Move mindfully, practice gentle yoga or a walk in nature
Nurture yourself with nourishing foods
Slow down - rest, sleep and rejuvenate
Reflect on your symptoms (how can you naturally elevate them and what is their root cause?)

Mindful exercise:
During the first few days of your period, just before you go to bed - write, draw, journal or paint your thoughts, dreams, and feelings.
♥ What you have been holding on to?
♥ What is no longer serving you? 
♥ What can you let go of?

Finding Balance Can be Easy
Throughout our period, our body's energy begins to flow downward, releasing life and toxins from the body. This is why inversions, for instance, during yoga practice should be avoided. It’s a counterproductive action to the body’s natural flow. Since the uterus walls contract slightly to loosen blood flow, we may experience cramps. But there could be more to it...

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Aside from the spiritual and mindful approach - cramps, backache, breast tenderness, and headaches before the cycle can, for example, be linked to prostaglandin production and imbalance. Some women may experience these symptoms for 2 weeks before the menstruation – that equals up to about half of their lives! Prostaglandins (hormone-like chemicals) received from fatty acids, help by promoting smooth muscle contraction and blood vessel dilation. This makes it essential for a smooth, less painful menstrual cycle and as a way to achieve balance.

Eat Your Cramps Away
Two weeks before your period is supposed to arrive, try to include foods high in essential Omega-3 fatty acids in our diet:
flaxseed oil
• walnuts
• hemp seeds
• soybeans
• dark green leafy vegetables (kale and chard)

Here are a few affirmations you can try:
♥ I love being in my body
I am centered and grounded
♥ I am able to let go of fear
♥ I know I am eternally safe

With all this information in mind, approach your next cycle differently. Honor its sacredness and your body's needs. Choose love, balance, kindness, and understanding. Learn how to truly listen to your body and act in ways that will honor and support its sacredness.

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