Rituals for your cycle
Let's be honest the menstrual cycle is often something women do not love. Every month they get a visit from their Aunt Flo as my friends and I would say in high school. That's if we had the courage to talk about our periods in the first place. Over a females lifetime they can have over 400+ cycles. That's a lot of time to not enjoy your monthly visitor.
What are rituals?
Before we dive into monthly rituals for your menstrual cycle, what are rituals? Rituals to me are something you do with intention. Instead of thinking of it as a habit where you do it day after day and it feels as if you're checking something off your to do list a ritual has more intention with it.
Menstrual Cycle Rituals
The below tips are wonderful to do throughout your entire menstrual cycle. They will have slight adjustments based on where you're at in your cycle. But in general these are the big rocks to try and incorporate throughout your month.
Breathwork is an amazing ritual to incorporate throughout your menstrual cycle.
- Alternate nostril breathing is great to do during the menstrual phase. Breathe in through the left side of the nose plugging your right nostril, cover your left nostril and breath out your right side.
- Throughout the rest of your menstrual cycle you can practice any breathwork that feels good in your body- 4 square breath, exhale twice as long as the inhale, releasing the diaphragm on the inhale constricting on the exhale.
Make sure you take time to rest. Enjoy a bedtime by 10pm, and wake up around 6am most days of your cycle. In Ayurveda that is considered the best time to rest and digest.
During the menstrual & late luteal phase- you might feel the need to rest an extra hour during your menstrual phase so honor your bodies nudges to deeper rest when needed.
Meditation or Journaling
Take time to slow down either in the morning or evening. How can you incorporate a regular meditation practice into your life?
The menstrual phase of your cycle you become very intuitive and have many creative nudges if you're quiet and listen. So many times we miss the magic of this phase when we over-schedule, or consume social media non-stop and tune out our own inner wisdom. Meditation is one way to assure a little rest and connection to your inner wisdom.
Maybe during the follicular and ovulation phases of your cycle you feel more called to journal do that instead. I believe in finding what works for you, on that day is most important. If you're a cycling human you feel your emotions change daily. Honor that by adjusting how you connect with your inner wisdom. It might even be changing what time you meditate or journal. Take pause to see what works best for you on that given day.
Spending time outside in mother nature to help you calm down. This can help balance all 3 doshas. Mother nature all cycle long is a wonderful tool to incorporate into your daily practices or at least weekly.
I get it winter might not be the most enjoyable season outdoors but if you start getting out early in the season you're body adjusts to the changing temperatures. Trust me, I have been doing this the last few years and it really does work. You might need to invest in better quality outdoor clothes. A good jacket, mittens and boots really are worth there weight in gold.
Forest bathing, walking on a nature trail, biking, cross-country skiiing, snowboarding, swimming. Depending on the season and you're energy level during your cycle you can pick the activity best for you that day.
Enjoy healthy oils in your diet- avocado, sesame, olive oil. You can also add those oils into your skin as well. Oils during your cycle are wonderful for your skin.
During the menstrual phase if you run warm- coconut oil is a wonderful oil to incorporate in your cooking & on your skin.
If you feel a little ungrounded during your ovulation phase incorporate more grounding oils- avocado oil, sesame oil, lavender oil.
Castor oil packs
I love castor oil packs. I do them in the winter time once a week. It is a detoxifying experience and really helps my digestion and I just feel better after them. During your bleeding phase of your cycle you don't want to do the castor oil instead just have the warm hot water pack on your belly to help relieve cramps. Here is a link to a video explaining how to do a castor oil pack.
Moving your body
During your first two days of your cycle- rest is best. Ease back into your workouts with bodyweight exercises, and slow flow yoga.
The Follicular phase is a time to move your body in a fun, creative way. If you like to dance, do a fun yoga flow, or lift weights with a new twist- EMOM, AMRAP, or timed workouts. Have fun with movement.
The ovulation phase start to incorporate HIIT workouts, more intense running or biking events. Use your energy to up the intensity.
Finally the luteal phase you might continue with more intense workouts in the first half of the phase, and slowly start to take your intensity down as the luteal phase continues. This phase is truly about listening to your body and trusting yourself.
Create a list of rituals or ideas you want to incorporate throughout your cycle. What from the list above lights you up? How can you find your own non-negotiables throughout your cycle? I would make a list of 5-8 things that really call to your soul. During your Follicular phase start to map them out and put them in your calendar to do each month.
Wanting to dive deeper with cycle rituals?
Check out the self-care with each phase of your cycle free guide below! This is a beautiful 20 page book to reference throughout your month to learn how to truly listen to your body.