How to know what dosha is affecting your menstrual cycle

March 30, 2021

I'm an Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor & Yoga Teacher who specializes in movement, mindfulness & mother nature to help you live a seasonal & cyclical lifestyle. 

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    What dosha is your menstrual cycle most like?

    If you're someone who has a monthly cycle there are qualities about your cycle that will give you clues on your current health needs, strengths and areas to improve. Each month your cycle brings you a report card so to speak of how that last month went for you.

    For example maybe you had more caffeine than usual and you noticed an uptick of cramps, maybe you had more alcohol and you noticed you had more mood swings. More salt, maybe you retained more water in your body. If you had a cycle with few cramps or side effects remember what you did that last month, maybe you had more veggies, maybe more fiber, more water, more sleep. It's always a great reflection point each month to take stalk on what came before your bleeding phase.

    Menstrual cycle

    vata Cycle

    The vata flow itself qualities are drier, darker blood and scantier flows with more clotting.

    Characteristics: Nervousness, pain that is mobile, or erratic, cramps, spacey feeling, sparse or scanty periods that often are darker in color, insomnia, constipation, bloating, low back pain and the beginning or before your period starts craving salty/savory foods.

     

    How to deal with excess vata

    • Warm, wet, grounding foods and practices in your daily routine. Examples food- soups, stews, bone broth, quinoa with black beans cooked in coconut milk. In your daily routines that can look like, pranayama practice, walking meditation in nature, or drinking warm teas and water throughout your day.

     

    • Rest. Rest is best the first few days of your cycle. If you feel like moving- restorative yoga or a slow walk will do the trick.

     

    • Abhyanga with sesame oil

     

    • Place 5 drops of nasya oil in each nostril, especially if prone to headaches.

     

    • Eat sweet potatoes, squash, avocados, salmon.

     

    • Vata PMS herbs- ashwagandha, shatavari, turmeric, aloe vera, brahmi, nutmeg, triphala

     

    • Good teas for vata type PMS- peppermint, rosehips, dried orange peel, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, ginger, saffron in milk.
    Vata dosha cycle

    Pitta Cycle

    The pitta flow: Heavy the first few days as the high heat brings a strong flow that tapers off.

    Characteristics: Crankiness, pain that is sharp, irritability, criticism of self & others, anger, rage, acne, hot flashes, excess bleeding, rash, inflammation and cravings for sweet & spicy foods.

     

    How to deal with excess pitta

    • Cooling, sweet and calming in terms of food and lifestyle tips. Examples- cucumber water, green smoothies, self-care practices, cooling face mask, or  swimming.

     

    • Rest- restorative yoga, or light walking. No competitive activities.

     

    • Avoid deadlines & competition. This increases the pitta fire element and leads to further imbalance.

     

    • Avoid caffeine, alcohol & pungent (spicy) foods.

     

    • Massage the body in coconut oil

     

    • Place 5 drops of nasya oil in each nostril- especially if prone to headaches

     

    • Eat bitter greens, asparagus, berries, coconuts, dates, oats, barley, ghee.

     

    • Herbs for pitta PMS- Shatavari, Aloe Vera, Turmeric, Licorice, Brahmi

     

    • Teas for Pitta PMS- Raspberry leaf, rose petal, fennel, lavender, ginger (fresh), saffron, nettles & dandelion.
    Pitta dosha cycle

    Kapha Cycle

    Kapha Flow:Starts slow and have a moderate flow throughout. Kapha flows can feel heavy, have mucous & moist with large clots. (quarter sized)

     

    Characteristics: Thick blood that might have heavy clotting, whitish color or mucous, dull pain, water retention, depression, lethargy, emotional, nausea and swollen breasts. Cravings for heavy sweet foods.

     

    How to deal with excess kapha

    • Light & warming in terms of food & lifestyle. Examples- Vegetable broth, easy to digest beans with light grain (quinoa, basmati rice)

     

    • Quicker moving yoga if you're struggling with your period to release. Open up the hips & groin with squats, lunges, yogi squat.

     

    • Emphasize pungent (chilies, radishes, turnips, raw onions, most spices) & astringent tastes (Legumes like adzuki beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, pinto beans, and soybeans,  apples, cranberries, pomegranate, artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, popcorn, rice cakes, crackers, basil, coriander, dill, fennel, parsley, and turmeric.

     

    • Massage the body with almond oil & dry brush to get the lymph moving

     

    • Place 5 drops of nasya oil in each nostril (especially if prone to headaches)

     

    • Eat bitter greens, asparagus, berries, coconuts, dates, oats, barley, ghee.

     

    • Good herbs for kapha PMS- Ashwagandha, Ginger, Trikatu

     

    • Good teas for kapha PMS- rosehips, hawthorn berry, orange peel, ginger powder, lemon balm, hibiscus, nettle, fresh lemon juice
    Kapha dosha cycle

    Conclusion

    If you have studied Ayurveda before you might see a trend. Your cycle is most likely reflecting the dominant dosha in your life. It might mean you're out of balance or you are feeling in alignment but you might have to make a few tweaks to reduce PMS symptoms to get yourself more in alignment with a pain free period.

    The best way to start noticing is tracking. Keep a journal for your next cycle. Day 1 starts on your first day of bleeding. Note how many days you bled for, how heavy each bleed was, and keep a food journal. You can start to notice how certain foods are affecting your cycle based on how you feel every 28 days.

    Wanting to know more?

    Check out my 8 week Hustle, Muscle & Flow program. This is a program geared to help you learn how to workout with your cycle. It is a DIY program with 2 coaching calls with me to help you balance your workouts with your cycle.

    Month 1- Strength Based program teaching you how to lift weights with your cycle.

    Month 2- Yoga, dance, bodyweight strength building teaching you how to dive into the feminine aspects of your movement practices.

    You can see which workout style suits you and your needs to continue a lasting workout program.

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    I'm an Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor & Yoga Teacher who specializes in movement, mindfulness & mother nature to help you live a seasonal & cyclical lifestyle. 

    categories

    Ayurveda

    Workout with your cycle

    Seasonal Living

    Hallmark Channel

    popular posts

    Should women do HIIT workouts all month long?

    What stories are you telling yourself?

    How to do a castor oil pack

    Hi, I'm Andrea