Ayurveda and the Menstrual Cycle

Ayurveda and the Menstrual Cycle

Because sometimes we just need to pull out the red wine and chat about what’s really going on in our bodies.

My story goes back to eighth grade when I had my first cycle, that at times left me hanging for months and even years. I didn’t know when it was coming and when it did, it seemed as though life would leave me jagged. Eventually, when I was in High School I decided to go on the pill. This was all fun and games until I found my yoga practice in college and realized I had no control over my emotions. After my sophomore year, I called it quits, but it took me about 3 and a half years before getting things back in order.

I remember the first (and only) time I went to a Mind Body convention full of naivety. I had heard somewhere that kinesiology could solve period drama but upon discussing this with people at the booth, they knew nothing of the sort. I was disappointed and frustrated and once again felt confirmed that I would always have this irregular cycle.

About a year later, I began studying Ayurveda sans the intention to get my cycle in order, but solely to become more balanced. As life would have it (hehe) the more balanced I became, the more regular my period was (I tell this scenario about a lot of conditions I have had.)

As I paid attention to my balance throughout the month, my period would evolve into a PMS free (rager) party . If I’d slacked off that month, didn’t do the Ayurvedic daily routine, exercised less, ate a lot of sugar, drank too much etc. I would get cranky, emotional and have too many cramps. So I followed the signs and made it into a game. What I took away from it, was that the women’s cycle is a fascinating way to measure your health. If I did (and sometimes still do) get stricken with PMS, I use it as an opportunity to take my health to the next level. For realz.

Now, not only do I have regular periods, but I also enjoy them. In fact, I’m very close to getting them in line with the full moon cycle – a new challenge! (Pitta moment). Ayurveda believes the full moon to be the perfect time to begin your cycle, for just as the moon is full, so to is your body.

While I could give you a slew of recommendations for during your period I believe in focusing on a month-long approach (don’t run yet!) Listen to your body and your dosha, feed it what it wants to eat, let it sleep when it wants, and exercise to the point where you feel open-minded and your creativity flows. Most of all be patient. It was a long journey, but sticking with it and not getting discouraged when it was off, but instead intrigued to get it back, helped to keep the momentum. Stay away from the pill even when temptation tickles your mind. You feel more alive and aware when you know artificial tablets aren’t interfering between you and your health.

When you are on your cycle, I highly recommend slowing down. Our bodies are doing a lot of work so it’s important that you don’t schedule anything extra. Keep a daily routine of some sort, even if its brief. Avoid over exercising or any exercise if that makes you feel more relaxed. I also avoided inversions like the plaque while getting my cycle back in order. Take a nap or simply do nothing. Get enough sleep at night and eat light but nourishing foods. Avoid sweets as best as you can (the more in balance you are – the less intense cravings will be.) Most importantly savor the release and how awesome our bodies are for having a built-in cleanse system. Who needs juice?

For more in-depth information on the Ayurvedic view on the menstrual system check out this article by Dr. Douillard. And a healthy tablet recommendation to help get you back on track.

How about you? Has your system changed over the years or do you have any must dos? Questions? Share in the comments!

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