Do you embrace menstruation or dread it? Unsurprisingly, even conscious women find it a challenge to navigate their bleed and their fluctuating hormones with ease each cycle. What the female body calls for during this time often conflicts with the constant demands of masculine-dominated modern day life.
PRAVAYAMA talks to Nadine Lee who has recently launched her eBook ‘Menstruation Magic‘ which explores everything from science to magic of menstruation, and helps women embrace the magic of their cycle.
The Hatha and Tantra Yoga Teacher, Energy Healer and founder of Tantric Alchemy shares why menstruation is linked with the moon cycle, why it is a sacred time and why it’s better to ‘consciously menstruate’.
Nadine shares how honouring our body-temple and becoming attune to our sacred femininity could avoid PMS, and what rituals and yoga practice she recommends during our bleed.
Synching Our Cycle With The Moon
A woman’s menstruation cycle is strongly tied to the cycle of the moon. The more in tune we get with our body’s natural rhythms, and attune to our natural environments; we begin to notice our menstrual cycle naturally syncs up with the cycle of the moon.
The human body is made up of mostly water, and like all water on the earth, it synchronises with the moon. In the past when people lived in sync with nature, and when moon was the only source of light, they were aware of this connection, and as a result women’s cycles were naturally in synchronisation with the moon.
Bleeding on a New Moon or Full Moon
The natural time for a woman to bleed is during the New Moon – when the night sky is the darkest, thus signifying to go internal and retreat. In sacred feminine traditions, it’s said a woman who bleeds with the new moon is in a phase of deep inward reflection on her journey.
In modern times, we are finding that this is not so common as there are many factors that disturb this natural cycle such as hormones and chemicals in our food, artificial light, increase in psychological and physical stress, and of course, the contraceptive pill heavily interferes with our natural balance.
Some women also bleed on the full moon, which is said to be when a woman is more in a ‘creating projects’ phase of her feminine journey. During the full moon the female energy is directed outwards (more yang/masculine dominant), as opposed to the dark phase (new moon), when a woman is focused inwards (yin/feminine dominant).
The menstruation during a full moon gives an opportunity to express oneself externally and some great creations and inspirations can be experienced during those days.
It could also be that more feminine-dominant women bleed on full moon, to balance out by drawing on the masculine polarity in the illuminated moon. And women bleeding on new moon are more masculine-dominant, to balance out through drawing on the feminine polarity in the dark moon.
Honouring Our Body-Temples
Through honouring our menstruation, we are honouring our femininity, our sacred sexuality and our body-temples as women. As we re-build our connection to our blood and menstruation, we break free of years of suppression around being a woman, around having a woman’s body, around a woman’s sacred sexuality.
It is a tiny step that impacts us on a huge conscious level and therefore the collective consciousness. Think about how many women and men see a period as a burden, this is indicative of our patriarchal society, which is not supportive of a woman’s body, her emotional rhythms and her cycles.
When we begin to apply a conscious practice around our menstrual cycle, we reconnect to our feminine spirit, our emotional body, our intuition and our creativity. When consciousness is applied to menstruation, we also adopt a more healthy cycle, in the form of natural products like Menstrual Cups, Eco Pads, Sponges etc., which all have way less negative impact on the earth, by reducing waste.
“As we re-build connection to our menstruation, we break free of suppression around being a woman, having a woman’s body, around a woman’s sacred sexuality.”
What PMS Might Be Telling US
When we are menstruating without consciousness, we are depleting such vital energy. So we end up feeling depleted, frustrated, disconnected, grumpy, we have heavy periods, cramps and become irrational – the exact symptoms of PMS.
I believe the pain associated with our bleeding time is actually a huge signal that our bodies are literally screaming at us to stop, slow down and listen. We are so conditioned to be constantly ‘doing’, from such a lack mentality, that there is never ‘enough’ – that we are so disconnected from our inner abundance.
We are sold the idea we always need more, and so we are always working more and harder to get there. To take rest, many feel guilty. This is the sad reality of the masculine dominated society we live in.
However, as the feminine rises we see through this illusion. By taking at least the first day of bleeding to stop, retreat, rest and feel what our body is trying to tell us…we may be surprised what true abundance begins to manifest, in the form of new ideas, creative projects, inspiration from a calmer place versus rushing, or working from a place of lack.
Yoga During Menstruation
During the bleeding phase of our period, it is best to retreat, rest and take it slow. So no vigorous activities. Yoga is okay, but I would avoid any of the more challenging practices such as Vinyasa, Hot Yoga, Bikram, Iyengar, and Ashtanga.
I would suggest the Kundalini Yoga Kriya on ‘Balancing Sexual Energy & Menstruation’. As well as gentle Yin Yoga. Your body is extremely sensitive during your bleed, and is open energetically, so it’s good to have your own home practice instead of going to a class, as you need the time to rest and be at home.
My yoga practice actually moves to more of a Bhakti Yoga during my bleed, so more devotional singing and dancing. This feels more beautiful on my body and spirit. It allows emotions to move more freely through my body and express.
Conscious Menstruation and Rituals
There are many rituals we can do throughout and during our cycle. Once we understand what is going on in our bodies we can work with our cycle rather than against it. I explain all of this in my eBook ‘Menstruation Magic’ available at the Tantric Alchemy shop.
A simple ritual to do during your bleed is to simply offer your blood back to the earth. It’s a sacred ritual; an offering saying ‘thank you for all you provide us with’ – the ultimate re-connection to the great feminine, mother earth. And it’s asking her to take all that is not serving you, in the form of your blood, and to release it so to allow for new abundance and creativity to flood you in your next monthly cycle.
Nadine Lee holds a background in women’s fashion, magazines and advertising. Exploring these realms of unhealthy femininity, superficiality and emphasis on external beauty only reinforced her suffering from eating disorders and depression.
She spent just over 4 years in the corporate jungle, after she bravely answered the call of her heart towards Holistic Health & Yoga. She began as a qualified Nutritionist specialising in women’s eating disorders and body image. However, she found the missing link was always in sexuality.
From here she was introduced to the Temple Arts & Tantra. She later spent many years in India, training in Tantra and Hatha Yoga. For the past 10 years she has been devoted to transformation, and has apprenticed with shamans, Tantriks and spiritual teachers. She is highly gifted in seeing others potentials, and is passionate about creating sacred spaces for others to also awaken to their essence. Her company Tantric Alchemy is the umbrella for all such offerings.
She runs a successful online store where she sells her Tantric Alchemy Menstrual Cups, Ritual Chalices, eBooks, Guided Meditations & Jewellery. She also runs global wellness, spirituality, and sexuality retreats.
Nadine is also the creator of Shakti Yoga Dance. This is a feminine embodiment practice that allows sacred spaces for women to explore the core archetypes of the feminine psyche through a modern day approach and integration of ancient tantric and shamanic practices.