Today in our Blog post we’re going to talk about how you can sync Yoga with your Inner Winter (Bleeding time of the month)to respect, honour its own needs, strengths and challenges.
Before starting to practice menstrual cycle awareness, I was never enthusiastic about getting my period; it was a time of slowness, tightness, headaches, stomach aches, and other premenstrual symptoms.
But when I started to integrate MCA more and more in my life, everything shifted. And now I am completely, and 100% in love with each phase of the Menstrual Cycle. It’s a tool that allows me to humble down, to get to know not only my limitations and boundaries, but also its own power, strength and challenges. The more we pay attention to the 4 different phases, the more we can feel and experience the cycle like an entity, speaking through and for us.
And if you are like me, and feel uncomfortable in getting the period, especially the second half of the month, you would prefer to skip it and you struggle to slow down, rest and restore – I wrote this Blog Post exactly for you and help you in shifting prospective.
Let’s dive deep.
Why is important to start tracking your Menstrual Cycle
The menstrual cycle is composed by 4 different phases, or seasons: Inner Spring (Follicular Phase), Inner Summer (Ovulation), Inner Autumn (Pre-Menstrual Phase) and Inner Winter (Bleeding Time). Let’s see why it’s important to start tracking the ebbs and flows of your cycle:
1. To get in contact with the different seasons, their different energies, strengths and challanges
And as I said before, each season comes with a set of strength and challenges. In order to start a conversation with our body and empower ourself we need to know these aspects to ride the waves of our life.
2. It reconnects to a cyclical way of living
The second reason why I believe that the tracking the cycle is very important is because it reconnects to a cyclical way of living and our cyclical nature. We live in a society that the thinks that time, resources and growth are linear and we need to always strive towards constant growth.
In reality we know very well that it doesn’t work like this. Everything we experienced on planet earth goes through different cycles. As women, we experienced our cyclical nature every month from day 1 until day 28 of the cycle.
3. Check out our overall health
It’s a very effective way to understand how your body reacts to the external environment and if we need to pay attention to specific changes or symptoms. If yes, if we notice something different in the way we have our period each month, then we can call a specialist and get maybe an appointment for a visit for.
4. Women’s Empowerment Tool
Every women, in my opinion, should have yoga and Menstrual Cycle Awareness in their empowering toolbox, as a way to reclaim the ownership, the wisdom and the connection with our body. After thousands of years of being controlled, we couldn’t have a deep, profound and proud relationship with our body.
And now is the time after thousands of years of patriarchal society to reclaim the ownership, the connection, and the conversation with our own body to understand how powerful we are.
Now I want to focus and in zoom in, in a specific time of the cycle, which is the bleeding time, the inner winter. Day n. 1 of Your inner Winter is the first day of your new cycle.
It goes from two to five days of bleeding -it depends how heavy your flow is – and it has its own strength, challenges, characteristics and needs.
Let’s dive deep in what happens on a physical, emotional, and mental level, physical.
Physically – we feel the need to slow down the body. We need more quietness and silence around us. Tensions that have been accumulated in the pre-menstrual phase, are finally being released normally in day 1. When we release these tensions, we feel whole, supported and nourished by the entity of the cycle. When we bleed, we let go something not only on a physical level, but on an emotional and mental level.
Emotionally/Mentally – Emotionally and mentally it’s time for separation, especially in the first two days of the cycle. It’s the time where we really feel the need to be separate from society. It’s a time where as much as we can, we want and need to delegate and postpone what is not serving us in that moment.
The days before your Period (and when you track it, it’s not coming as a surprise anymore), it’s a great time to start and have a communication with the members of your family and coworkers, to let them know that you are about to bleed and enter the inner winter. A time for rest, restoration and inner retreating.
I totally understand how this difficult can be, especially if we are managing so many things on a day-to-day basis, have kids and or a high demanding job.
What I normally encourage my students to do is to start implementing 1% more awareness & action each cycle. We can delegate 1% more each month, see what happens and discover where our balance is.
Spiritual/Personal Growth – The inner winter is absolutely a time where we naturally goes into separation and retreating ourselves. So it’s a time for reflection about the previous cycle, what is working in your life and what’s not. And maybe set up an intention for the next one, the next cycle.
It’s a time where we can ask clarity of direction and track your dream.
It’s also an absolute interesting time to reflect on renewal: we let go part of ourself and we start to bleed. We have open wounds that in a range of five days will be healed. I invite you to start paying attention to what you were letting go and restoring in this five days of the inner winter, emotionally and mentally.
Sync Yoga with your Inner Winter
During the Inner Winter, I encourage my students to slow down the body to recover, to recharge the energy, until you feel ready to move again.
This approach is very unique because it changes every month; sometimes we feel more energised, sometimes we feel absolutely totally drained of energy. It’s important to approach this work without expectations: see the cycle as an orientation map. You know what it’s about to happen, in which season you’re about to enter, and this prepares you mentally physically and emotionally. On the other hand, see what comes up every month and adjust your approach around it.
When you observe the Need of slowing down and resting and taking care of ourselves, I encourage you to practice yoga styles that honour that need, such as:
Yin Yoga: https://corpogiardino.ch/30-evening-yoga-practice-invite-calmness/
Restorative Yoga: https://corpogiardino.ch/restorative-sequence/
and my favourite Yoga Nidra
Yoga Nidra is the beautiful, nourishing and supportive Yoga style you can start to implement in your life (remember the 1% rule?). At the end of this Blog Post you can download a Yoga Nidra Session guided by me during the last Winter Online Retreat in Corpo Giardino – Yoga Practices.
Yoga Nidra is a systematic method of completely relaxation: lay down on the floor, surrounded by lots of blankets, pillows ready to listen to the guidance of the teacher. It’s a process based on our body’s innate intelligence and biological ability to sleep.
We reach a deep state of rest in our body, so that we can renew and restore our energy and rebalance our nervous system. I encourage my students to stay awake during the practice, but if you fall asleep, there’s nothing wrong with that. Trust that this is exactly what your body needs in that moment.
Next time you bleed and you enter in the inner winter, make sure that you block some space in your calendar, especially in the evening. Get comfy, take all the pillows and blankets you have at home, maybe an Eye Pillow or bolster, yoga blocks – whatever you need in that moment – and practice the Yoga Nidra you can download at the end of this Blog Post.
I consider the Inner Winter as a magic moment for me and my personal practice; a moment where I can enjoy quietness, stillness and being supported. Absolutely a game changer, as I used to keep pushing during my bleeding time as I was stuck in the belief that I didn’t deserve to slow down.
I suggest you from my heart is to start to pay attention to what you feel during the Inner Winter and you will be surprised how much power, wisdom and empowerment will emerge from it.
Download the Yoga Nidra Session and let me know in the comment section below how you felt by implementing this Practice in your Inner Winter.
DOWNLOAD THE YOGA NIDRA SESSION HERE