Follicular Phase Tips
What is going on during the follicular phase of your cycle?
- Typically days 6-11 of your cycle on average (this will be unique to you)
- Estrogen continues to rise and the body prepares to release an egg.
- Nutrition & Stress Goals-Balance estrogen, Reduce oxidative stress enjoy flax & pumpkin seeds and nettles tea is wonderful to provide extra vitamin and nutrients to prepare for ovulation.
- Workouts- This time in your cycle you are 3x more likely to tear ACL as estrogen rises the joints have more laxity. That doesn’t mean you will get hurt.. This means strength & stability exercises are key!!
Pranayama for the Follicular Phase
The Follicular Phase is associated with the kapha dosha in Ayurveda. A great shat kriya practice (cleansing practice) for kapha and this phase in your cycle to get things moving up and out is kapalabhati.
This is one of my favorite shat kriaya practices to do in the mornings in particular. Do not do during bleeding phase of menstrual cycle, pregnancy, high blood pressure, diarrhea, fever, cough, or have asthmatic attacks.
Benefits of the practice:
Opens the lungs
Clears the sinuses
Massages the abdominal organs
Eliminates mucus from the windpipe
Brings clarity of thought
Helps stabilize imbalanced sleep patterns
It aids in concentration & focus
To do this practice bend forward at the waist and place your hands on your knees, or you can sit in an upright meditative position.
Start practice diaphragmatic breathing for a few rounds and ground yourself into the present moment.
Take an inhale in through the nose to prepare and forcefully exhale out your nose as you pull your belly in & up and sharp exhales out through the nostril with a quick inhale through the nose in between the exhales. (You should sound like a train) Do this 30x, or 2- 5 minutes.
When complete pause and practice diaphragmatic breathing. Repeat a second & third time if you feel called.
**You want to do this on an empty stomach ideally as it is a churning action of the belly & digestive juices.
Ayurvedic approach to follicular phase
Ayurvedic approach to follicular phase is similar to common practices but with a twist. In Ayurveda we look at mind/body/soul approach to health.
The follicular phase is associated with the kapha dosha. It’s a time where energy should be rising and bowel movements should hopefully be flowing.
A few ideas to try during this phase:
Move your body- since it is the kapha phase and kapha responds well to movement that is why we recommend so things don’t get stuck & stagnant. If bowel movements are a bit slower make sure you have movement built into your routine.
Try something new- Again this helps break up stuck & stagnant kapha energy that can occur at this time. Usually you have an adventure side at this time in your menstrual phase it’s a great time to embrace it!
Finding an inner peace- Whether preparing for pregnancy in the coming ovulation phase or not this is a great time to ground your energy knowing that the next phase can leave us feeling a bit unhinged when not grounded in our own energy. It be a pranayama practice or a daily meditation practice to keep you balanced as you enter the ovulation or pitta phase of your cycle next.
Yoga for the Follicular phase
During this phase it’s all about building strength and stability while pacifying the kapha. The follicular phase is a good time to get moving and that will help kapha from getting stuck & stagnant.
Poses that reduce kapha are:
Here are 5 poses that you can sprinkle into your practice during this time.
Inversions- Any pose where your head is below your heart from downdog to Plow pose or Headstand.
Reclined Hero’s pose
What are you favorite yoga poses to help pacify the kapha dosha?
Walk in Nature
This is a tip straight out of my Divine Body Wisdom book in the follicular phase for the summer season.
Walks in the flower gardens are balancing to all 3 doshas- pitta it helps ease their intensity, vata it helps ground them into the present moment, kapha the beauty motivates and inspires them.
Carving out time to walk in your own garden. Don’t worry if your garden looks like mine this year it might make you cry and become frustrated so going to a park, or arboretum is perfectly acceptable.
What you can do is check-in with your 5 senses. Notice what you hear, see, smell, touch, and taste (if applicable). Really let your senses explore what would feel good in your body.
If you want to make an afternoon date with yourself grab your journal and write, or draw pictures of what you see. Immerse yourself in the experience mind, body, soul all connected.
My Experience and how do you feel at this time?
I would love to know how you experience the follicular phase? For me it’s often my favorite phase. I feel energetic, I’m ready to try new things, and ready to tap into the creative ideas that occurred during my bleeding phase.
What is your experience with the follicular phase is it one you enjoy, or do you try to pack too much into your schedule and it feels overwhelming? Let me know 👇🏼
Join the free 5 day coaching program
Wanting to explore the menstrual cycle even deeper don’t forget to sign-up for my free 5 day Menstrual Cycle Immersion live coaching program starting Sept. 5th-9th. We will be diving deeper into each phase and helping you feel more in alignment with your cycle and learn how to stop having nagging PMS & period pains each month.