Yoga & Menstrual Cycle: Finding Balance During Your Follicular Phase

For people who menstruate, your body follows a natural rhythm dictated by your menstrual cycle. Understanding and honouring this cycle can enhance your yoga practice, allowing you to adapt and align your movements with the unique energies of each phase. The follicular phase begins with the start of menstruation and ends with ovulation (typically day 1-14). The phase following ovulation up to the start of menstruation is the luteal phase (typically day 15-28). Let's explore how to tailor your practice during the follicular phase for optimal well-being.

Follicular Phase (winter):

This first part of the follicular phase from the beginning to the end of your period can also be seen as your "winter". As you enter this phase, your body may crave gentle, nurturing movements and you may feel introverted. This is the time to focus on a slower practice such as meditation or yin yoga with breathing techniques (pranayama) to support your body and mind during your period.

The following pelvic and hip-opening asanas can help ease cramps and promote healthy blood flow:

  • Balasana (Child's Pose)
  • Cat/Cow, Supine Badha Konasana (Butterfly) with a bolster
  • Bridge Pose with a bolster

And if you don't feel like doing anything, just don't do anything - simple!

Follicular Phase (spring):

The second part of your follicular phase, or your spring, starts from the end of your period up to ovulation. As your body is gearing up for ovulation, you may feel a surge of energy and creativity and you may feel more extroverted. This is the perfect time to embrace dynamic, energising practices that celebrate movement and growth, stimulating circulation and building strength.

  • Embrace flowing vinyasa sequences that sync breath with movement, allowing you to tap into your natural vitality and fluidity.
  • Sun salutations are a fantastic way to build heat and strength while also connecting with the rhythm of your breath. 
  • As oestrogen levels rise, so does your sense of balance and stability. Explore inversions and balancing poses such as Tree Pose and Warrior III to cultivate stability and focus, both on and off the mat.

By tuning into the rhythms of your menstrual cycle and adapting your yoga practice accordingly, you can cultivate a deeper connection with your body and honour its ever-changing needs. Remember, your yoga practice is a reflection of your inner rhythm. Tune in, listen to your body and honour its needs.

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