Day 23: Women’s Health (warning: may be lots of girl talk)

I have written a whole series of blog posts, answering a good friend’s question of “why is yoga good for me?”, ready to post daily while I am in San Diego so that I could be more present and just enjoy my time here with one of my dearest friends who I am infinitely proud of, and just want to gobble to pieces. BUT now it’s Saturday night and instead of posting the blog I had written for this evening, I am going to talk very briefly on womens’ health.

How cute are my hosts for the week?!

I do not and by NO MEANS consider myself a person to prescribe you any treatment, so this is just out of MY experiences and as I learn more about this stuff, the more it all begins to make more sense.

Ok, so listen up girls – we have GOT TO slow it down during our menstrual cycle. Our bodies are already doing SO MUCH. There is so much fire, heat, irritation, release during this time, our bodies deserve to slow the other parts down where we can. The menstrual cycle is effectively a monthly cleanse and is treated as such in the Ayurvedic tradition. As with any other cleanse, importance is placed on rest and rejuvenation. For this reason, for centuries, women in India have been given the opportunity to be relieved from their daily duties and go in seclusion so that their body may fully cleanse both on a physical and mental level.

I started my cycle early this month which isn’t a huge surprise with all these Sun Salutatins and therefore, my yoga practice looks a lot different than it usually does. I slowed it down, no bandas and no jump backs.

I’m listing a few Basic Guidelines for a Healthy Menstrual Cleanse that I got off the Banyan website:

  1. Eat a simple diet. You want to reserve all of your body’s digestive fire for the purpose of cleansing. Eating warm and thoroughly cooked meals and very little raw vegetables, will help this process. Try adding spices, such as ginger, cardamom, saffron, cumin, coriander, fennel and cinnamon.
  2. Honor yourself with rest and rejuvenation. Cleansing requires a movement of wastes down and out of the body and you want to make sure to keep the flow is not counteracted by upward movements, like excessive talking or thinking, sexual intercourse and even pranayama and yoga. These activities take up a lot of energy and your body needs any reserve energy towards cleansing.
  3. This is a great time for reflection and meditation.
  4. Hydrate. As with any other cleanse, hydration is SO important to move wastes. During your menstrual cycle, hydrate with warm teas such as ginger tea, lemon tea with honey or cumin, coriander and fennel tea.

Also, while many of us cannot take time off work every month to sit in a dimly lit room and meditate, we can turn the brightness down on our computer screens, cancel any unnecessary activities, avoid heat and cooking and pick up carry out to eat in the quietness of your home. Give yourself permission to take a day or two off from physical activity – do a YIN yoga practice.

These are just a few suggestions. This is a great time to give yourself permission to SLOW DOWN. Take it easy where you can. You may be surprised as to how much easier the rest of your month flows. Sorry, pun intended.

Torrey Pines Natural Reserve – STUNNING!

Ok ladies, that’s it for now! I’ll be back on track tomorrow but I am so glad to have been given permission while I am here in San Diego to TAKE IT EASY! Thank you thank you thank you! And PS this place is amazing!