Once you get to know the month’s cycle, you can use your knowledge and acceptance to bring about balance in your life.
A woman’s menstrual cycle – just like the moon – consists of three different phases and from an Ayurvedic perspective, each phase represents its own energy. Once you become aware of the three phases and their individual energies, you can gain strength by leaning into them.
Humans are closely connected to the changing of the seasons and the rhythm of the day and the more we follow nature’s own cycle, the closer we come to ourselves. The month – like the day and the year – has its own cycle and follows the rhythm from new moon to full moon and back again. And just like the moon, if you are menstruating, you have your own monthly cycle, too, which consists of three different phases, each with their own energy. Acceptance is the first positive step and this is the key to balance. When you become aware of the lunar cycle and/or your own menstrual cycle, you can move with the energy that each phase represents and use it to create more balance in your life. According to Ayurveda, each of the three phases is related to one of the three doshas, Pitta, Vata and Kapha, and the energy they represent.
When we talk about a woman’s monthly cycle, we calculate the start of her period from the first day of menstruation. The Pitta phase starts in the middle and is the period of ovulation. For example, if you have a 28-day cycle, then your Pitta phase starts in the days up to day no. 14. If you are not menstruating, then you follow the lunar cycle and here the Pitta period is in the middle of the month and starts at the new moon. During this phase, the energy is extroverted, dynamic, about getting things done, and full of optimism and energy. You will find that during this phase, you are sharp, can see the big picture and are good at taking the lead and throwing yourself into new challenges. Feel your extroverted and positive energy in this phase. This is a good time for doing activities that require a little extra of you. Biologically speaking, it is also the period when the woman is ready to be fertilized and this can easily be transferred to other things – in other words, this is the period when you are ready to be fertilized with new ideas and tasks.
From around day 21 until day 28, there is a gradual transition to the next period, which is Vata. Hormonally, it means a decrease in the production of progesterone and estrogen. You experience the feeling of stability decreasing a little, and the inner grounding being more easily shaken. You can compare it to the hour before dinner in a circadian rhythm. Your energy is declining, and you feel the urge to withdraw a little and perhaps even become a little more introverted, too. When you enter Vata, it’s the phase up to your period or if you follow the moon, it’s when the moon is close to being full. It can be a good idea to slow down a little here, to give yourself breathing space and peace and quiet. This sensitive phase is completely natural. Rather than fighting the sensitivity you’re experiencing, you can gain much more by accepting it, leaning into it and working WITH it instead of AGAINST it. The Vata phase is associated with the spiritual and you can choose to see being more sensitive as a gift because it enables you to better feel yourself. To find peace to reflect, look inward and take stock of the period you have just been through. It can feel anxiety-provoking when the protective layer between you and the world is pulled away, but it allows you, for example, to more easily feel if you are compromising yourself in different contexts because your emotional reactions are so brutally honest during this phase.
After a few days of cleansing menstruation or a few days after the full moon and toward the new moon, you are in the Kapha phase. It’s a time comparable to a detox. The first part of the phase can be draining, and you may feel weakened and fatigued. If you are menstruating, you may recognize the feeling of cleansing quite physically and you may find that your periods vary in strength from time to time. It can be a sign of how you have treated yourself during the cycle up to then. If you have been pushing yourself, you may feel that you’re menstruating more heavily than usual. Allow yourself to be slow and a little heavy. Give yourself time to rebuild and recharge – both physically and mentally. In the latter part of this phase, focus on rebuilding in the same way as after a detox or a long winter. You can benefit from supporting it with a nutritious and Ojas-full diet – read more here.
Depending on which dosha energy you are most influenced by and on how your balance is, the three phases will also be affected by that. The energy you most have may challenge you. For example, if you are a Pitta, then the Pitta phase can be “too” powerful or if you are a Vata, you may feel that it’s very easy to move out of balance up to and during your menstruation or the full moon. So, your own dosha can be strengthened when you hit the corresponding period and how much you are in balance – or not – will also be more expressed.
Take yourself as your starting point and see how you can use your own cycle or the moon to live more in balance with yourself and where your energy is. When you become more aware of the energy and honor the cycle, you will experience all the periods as a gift to you – even those in which you are extra sensitive. You may benefit from marking your periods in your diary and trying to plan your activities according to the three phases where possible. By acknowledging your cycle and using your knowledge of the phases, you can come closer to yourself through nature’s rhythm.