Much of what we are taught about our bodies is based on the experiences from a male perspective. Yoga is no different as it started out as a male only practice, so, like modern medicine, much of the advice women are given is based on what works for a male physiology.
As women our bodies are different…..sounds obvious, I know, but sadly this is often overlooked in our practice. Learning how to flow with our monthly cycle, hormonal fluctuations and the phases of the moon adds a deeper connection with not only our body, but also our feminine essence.
This is not just for menstruating women, but ALL women. Whether you bleed or not you are a cyclical being, unlike men who are linear, and honouring this in our yoga practice empowers us to align to our natural rhythms.
Syncing with Cycles
Women have always had a deep connection with the ebb & flow of nature and the seasons, with the earth and moon being referred to with feminine pronouns, however our lives rarely create space to connect with our natural rhythms.
Your yoga practice is an incredible way to do this. Start to track how you feel throughout the lunar cycle and explore how adapting your practice to the phases of the moon and the seasons can be a powerful way to reclaim your feminine energy.
Read on to discover the interconnectivity between women's cyclical lifestyle, the moon phases, our menstrual cycles, and the natural rhythms of the seasons. From this, you can start to explore how the top four moon phases align with your menstrual cycle, and how adapting your yoga practice to align with natural rhythms of the seasons can elevate your overall well-being.
TIPS TO SYNC OUR CYCLES WITH THE MOON AND THE SEASONS:
Waxing Moon - Follicular Phase + Inner Spring
At the time of sharing this blog, we are in the waxing phase of the moon – she is growing bigger in the sky each night before she transitions into her fullness, having moved from the stillness of the Dark Moon. This is a time of energy and expansion – be careful not to go headfirst though – imagine yourself as the bear easing out of the cave after hibernation, as you step into this phase, gently building up more energy. Strength and stamina are key during this phase, so think of dynamic vinyasa.
Also, given this is the phase where we most easily connect with our masculine energies, most traditional yoga classes will meet your needs during this phase.
Waning Moon - Luteal Phase + Inner Autumn
Then once again we transition into the next phase……Just as the trees in the Autumn shed their leaves, during the Waning Moon we are being called to release that which is no longer serving us. Where is your energy being leaked? Taking time for a slower, more inward practice at this time can help you to reflect on what you need to release. Practicing on your own allows this reflection, so have your journal nearby to jot down any insights that come up as you flow. Slow your practice down, avoid anything that feels physically taxing or strenuous – now is not the time to practice crow pose!! Listen to what your body needs – she will guide you. Inversions during this phase are great too as they support with balancing your nervous system. Yin yoga is also wonderful during this phase.
Full Moon - Ovulation + Inner Summer
Just as the moon shines brightly in the sky, this phase is very outward and all-embracing. It is creative, so have fun with your flow – what feels good as you move YOUR body?
This phase is connected with the heart & gratitude, so heart opening asanas are perfect for this phase. Beginning your practice by grounding down through your womb centre is a beautiful way to connect with your feminine energy. Free your pelvic bowl and sacral area as you transition through your practice; this is a sensual phase, embrace it!
Find the joy and celebrate yourself for showing up. It is also a sociable time, so a great time to attend yoga events or classes to connect with likeminded people.
Dark Moon - Menstruation + Inner Winter
Whilst the New Moon is often cited as being associated with this phase, for me that is not the complete picture. The Dark Moon is often overlooked, much like our menstruation needs are overlooked in our culture. This phase comes just before the New Moon when she vanishes from the sky….it is a time for stillness, deep reflection and rest before we begin again at the New Moon.
You may notice your energy has waned during this phase – naps definitely count just as much as exercise during this time!! It is a phase to really embrace meditation, pranayama and restorative yoga.
Some Additional Tips For You To Include:
🌙 Get Tracking! - Whether you bleed or not, tracking how you feel at different phases of the lunar cycle can be a game changer for adapting your lifestyle & yoga practice.
🌙 Listen to Your Body – You may find that you feel the opposite in a particular phase than what is written here. That is great as it is your unique rhythm that matters.
🌙 Trust Your Feminine Intelligence – If something doesn't feel right for you, do not force yourself. Instead check in with the phase you are in & see what comes up instead.
Introducing Adele Wimsett:
Adele Wimsett is a women's hormone expert and founder of Harmonise You. Her passion is helping women to live a life in harmonic flow rather than pushing relentlessly against the tide. Her teachings and offerings help you learn and balance your hormones so that you can improve your sleep, energy, libido, cognitive function, mood and relationships.
Adele recently spoke with our Soul Sanctuary founder, Cat Meffan, as part of our 'In Conversations With' series on all things HORMONES and how this connects with our menstrual cycles and inner wild.