Moving With Your Menstrual Cycle
Why there is so much Power in your Period?
What’s your favourite season?
- Is it the cool, dark nights of winter?
- The blossoming of spring?
- The vibrant energy and long days of summer?
- The magical mist and golden tones of Autumn?
When you observe these transitions of Mother Nature, can you feel the change in energy they evoke not only in your environment but in your body too? This is because they reside within your menstrual cycle, an incredible tool of self-development, growth, and acceptance.
Connect with your Cycle
The culmination of cultures has seen the wisdom of women buried to simply survive. But this wisdom is on the rise again as women (and men) around the world are observing how powerful creating a lifestyle around a menstrual cycle can be for long-term mental, emotional and physical health.
There are many layers and approaches to cultivating a relationship with your menstrual cycle, but let’s start with the Inner Seasons:
Inner Winter - Menstruation
This is the first day of your bleed where your hormones are incredibly low. This requires good communication with your body to feel what it needs.
Inner Spring - Follicular
Hormones are rising and the energy is building. This is a great time to learn something new as you have the capacity to digest and understand.
Inner Summer - Ovulation
Confidence and clarity are at their peak with testosterone in the mix. This is a time of power and strength, make sure you use this energy to enable an easy transition into your Inner Autumn.
Inner Autumn - Luteal
A time for your emotions to rear up and tell us exactly what they think of your choice of lifestyle. This is a time for de-loading physically as well as emotionally, so you can step into your next cycle with a sigh of relief and refreshed perspective.
Exercise within your Cycle
Due to the fluctuations in hormones, the way your body responds to exercise and movement changes throughout each season. But does your current routine allow for this?
At the moment, everyone crams as much as they can into one day, which is the circadian rhythm (24hr clock). However, women also live on the infradian rhythm, in other words, your monthly cycle. Using this approach gives us more time to focus on specific health goals, reducing stress and alleviating many of our now “normal” symptoms.
The biggest battle women face today is squeezing their physiology into an archaically demanding lifestyle not fit for our evolution. Instead of downing tools and questioning, if this is the only way, women push harder with the belief that they haven’t got it right. That THEY are the problem. This is where creating a relationship with your menstrual cycle and its cyclical approach can help.
How to Follow a Cyclical Approach
Exercise and self-care are the first things to go when life becomes even more bloody crazy. The first step of moving towards creating a relationship with your cycle is to find out how long your cycle is and on what day you ovulate. You then will know when you’re moving into your next phase. You are then able to alter your exercise routine to suit the Inner Seasons.
Don’t know how to track your cycle?
My favourite apps are Premom, a home ovulation testing, and Wild.AI, which has exercise support for your cycle. Journalling and writing down how you are feeling are also good so you can track habits and how you can support them.
Below is a very basic approach to get you started with moving with your menstrual cycle and inspire your creativity.
How to Move with your Menstrual Cycle
I offer the Do Whatever The F**k You Want Days around your period. This can help reduce stress and more importantly put a bit of fun and frolicking back into your routine. When was the last time you frolicked? I love free movement/dance, and yoga is of great benefit.
Build energy in your Inner Spring with HIIT style sessions, it is crucial to inspire energy not drain it. Inner Spring brings the opportunity to learn a new skill, adding in animal movements (primal flows) to challenge your mind and body, plus it creates a great session.
Put in the power around Inner Summer with focused weight sessions to reduce injury and overwhelm. Slow it down and work with your natural power of strength building. I love working on my handstands so I work on upper body strength and movement.
Mobility, and calisthenics around Inner Autumn supports the body de-load and anchors those emotions that can arise around this time. Your body is in a catabolic state due to levels of hormones, so lifting heavy and going hard will eradicate what you’re aiming for.
Your menstrual cycle shouldn’t be a burden, pain, or inconvenience as ultimately it’s what makes you more you. Creating a relationship with your cycle can open up fulfilment in many other areas of your life, but most importantly a positive relationship with yourself.
If you would like to take a deeper journey into this approach of sustainable health and wellbeing, please join me on my next Prøject Wøman online course starting 5th July. Find out more: https://abiadams.co.uk/courses/project-woman/
Article by Abi Adams