Everything in nature has a cyclical rhythm of growth & expansion, rest & retrieve, and we are no exception. We are cyclical beings. We ebb and flow.
When we connect to our self we begin to understand our own cyclical nature. With this insight, we can work with our own cycles to get the most out of days, months, years and life.
As a women, our hormones beautifully demonstrate the natural cyclical nature of our body. Different phases of the cycle can impact your emotional, mental and physical health with each phase having its unique strengths that help you to flow in alignment with yourself, your environment & nature.
According to Ayurveda, each phase of the cycle is also governed by one of the doshas. The doshas are a concept to explain the energetic systems that make up a person’s physiological, mental & emotional health.
The three doshas are Vata, Pitta & Kapha.
Vata is made up of the ether & air elements, governing all movement in the body and mind.
Pitta is made up of the fire & water elements, governing all transformation in the body & mind.
Kapha is made up of the Earth & water elements, governing lubrication, growth & structure.
According to Ayurveda, a Women’s menstrual cycle provides great insight and wisdom into the health of the woman.
What are the 4 phases of your menstrual cycle?
1. Menstrual Phase: The first phase of the cycle is when the lining of your uterus sheds causing menstruation. In this phase, your Progesterone & oestrogen plummet as does your energy. The menstrual phase is when your sex hormones are at their lowest, much like menopause.
Often women feel more sensitive and intuitive in this phase. When menses occurs your nadis & energetic system is more open, sensitive and receptive to energy. According to Ayurveda, menses is a very sacred and much-needed act. It is a way of the body cleansing itself every month. When menses does not occur a build-up of ama & aggravation of the Pitta dosha can manifest in the body. This type of pitta aggravation is seen in a lot of women who take the contraceptive pill and miss their ‘period’, ladies who are transitioning into menopause and have sporadic cycles & women who suffer from PCOS.
The menstrual bleed is governed by the vata dosha as vata is responsible for all downward movement in the body. If your vata dosha is out of balance you may experience associated bloating, constipation, fatigue, insomnia or heightened anxiety.
When entering the menstrual phase take time to rest, journal and connect to your inner wisdom. It is a time for introspection & reflection.
2. The follicular phase: After menstruation, Oestrogen & testosterone start to increase. The follicles in your ovaries, which contain your eggs, start to mature preparing for ovulation.
The Kapha dosha comes into play here as Kapha governs growth, strength and stability. In this phase of your cycle, you are building and strengthening the follicles & the endometrial tissue that lines your uterus.
You may notice that your mood, energy and enthusiasm for life starts to pick up too. With the extra strength, it is a really good phase to get all of your jobs done, lead a meeting, launch a project or make those ‘big’ decisions. It’s a time to take action. You will have a clear vision and be able to process your thoughts better. Towards the end of this phase as you progress into ovulation the Pitta dosha starts to take over. The pitta dosha governs transformation, clarity, sharp vision and intellectual processing.
3. Ovulatory phase: Oestrogen & testosterone peak helping the follicles to reach maturity. An egg is then released from one of your follicles and can survive for 12-24 hrs. This is the time that you are most likely to conceive if you have unprotected sexual intercourse with a male partner.
In this phase, you will feel energetic and boost more confidence, with that confidence you naturally desire to dress nice, look good and feel sexy. You get your sparkle mode on. This is a great time to socialise with your friends or go on a date with your lover (but remember that you will need some form of birth control if you are not planning on having a baby as this is the phase in which you are likely to conceive).
As the body is preparing itself for the transformation of ‘new life’ the pitta dosha becomes more dominant in this phase & throughout the luteal phase.
4. Luteal phase: Oestrogen and testosterone start to decline and progesterone starts to incline. In the first half of this phase, you may begin to feel more calm and relaxed as progesterone is our ‘keep calm’ hormone. This is a good time to finish off your tasks on the to-do list, then slow down and nourish the body with gentle exercise and wholesome foods in preparation for your menstrual phase. In the second half of the luteal phase, you may start to experience PMS symptoms as your hormones shift, especially if your progesterone to oestrogen ratio is out of balance, making oestrogen your dominant hormone. Symptoms may include headaches, breast tenderness, mood changes, bloating, skin outbreaks and anxiety. From the Ayurvedic perspective, PMS is a classic sign of pitta imbalance. Pitta is governed by the fire element which manifests as heat in the body and the mind leading to PMS type symptoms.
Your resting cortisol levels (stress hormone) are naturally higher in this phase so take time to prioritise self-care. Have a relaxing bath, read a good book or go for an enjoyable stroll in the fresh air.
Our hormones are always trying to communicate with us & guide us so that we can align with our natural biorhythm & the environment around us. When we understand how our womanly body functions we can adapt our activities, nutrition & environment to help support each phase of the cycle. This will allow you to feel more in control of your emotional, mental and physical health.
I encourage you to tune in and listen to the womanly wisdom inside of you.
Would You like to learn more about how your Womanly body functions?
My Women’s Health, Know Thy Self course will teach you all about the different hormones, hormonal conditions, gut health, stress & healthy weight management.
Book in for a 1:1 consultation with Harmony: