In today’s modern world, time is usually perceived as linear and is defined in the form of past, present and future. However in Vedic culture, as in many ancient cultures worldover, time was seen to be cyclical. The natural cycles of the seasons, the Sun, Moon and other celestial bodies were honored and a deep connection was felt between the cycles of the human body and mind with those present in nature. This cosmic truth is expressed in the Sanskrit phrase, ‘Yat Pinde Tat Brahmande,’ meaning, ‘Whatever is in this body is in the cosmos too.’

The Moon is connected to the mind and emotions, and represents the feminine, cooling, creative energy, versus the masculine, heating energy of the Sun. Just as the sea’s tides are governed by the Moon, the human body, which is predominantly composed of water and fluids, experiences similar ebbs and flows with the changing cycles of the Moon, having an impact on both body and mind.

The feminine cycle follows the cycle of the Moon. Generally, menstrual cycles aren’t much spoken about and certainly aren’t headline-grabbing themes. But, despite the monthly PMS discomfort faced by many women in the form of cramps, headaches, mood swings and more, within this process lies the sacred potential for the creation of new life, as well as the opportunity to align with the rhythms inherent in nature.

The menstrual cycle runs for 28 to 29.5 days, and it takes the Moon that exact length of time to complete one cycle around the earth. In medical astrology, the Moon is said to influence the release of hormones like estrogen and progesterone. It is believed that when the menstrual cycle is in sync with nature’s rhythms, estrogen builds up in the body during the fortnight of the waxing Moon, up until Full Moon when fertility is at its peak and ovulation happens. Just as the Moon is full to capacity at this point, ovulation is a point at which the female body is fully ripe with creative potential as the eggs are released for possible fertilization.

During the waxing fortnight the lady may have more energy, confidence and creative expression, whereas during the waning Moon PMS symptoms may be experienced and there is a greater need for rest and reflection. The New Moon aligns with the menstruation phase during which the body is cleansed and a new cycle begins. In the Vedic tradition, menstruation is a time when women are excused from their work, chores and rituals and are encouraged to simply rest and relax. This facilitates the body’s release and gives space for recuperation before the new cycle begins.

Just as phases of the Moon have been observed and followed for activities such as sowing seeds, harvesting crops and for spiritual ceremonies throughout the ages, ideally the female cycle aligns with the rhythmic cycles of the Moon. However, aspects of modern living such as long working hours, high stress levels and interrupted sleep and food patterns can knock us out of sync.

Here are 4 things you can do to take care of yourself and bring your natural cycles in sync with nature.

Strengthen Mars and the Moon in Your Chart

Mars is the significator of blood, and the Moon is the significator of water, as well as the ovaries and uterus. The placement of these planets in your chart and which planets aspect them can determine whether you will experience irregularity and pain in your menstrual cycle. Strengthening these planets in your birth chart through rituals can help you ease the pain and discomfort and regulate your cycle.

Strengthen your Moon by listening to or meditating on Sri Rudram, the vedic chant that honors Lord Rudra, a form of Lord Shiva, the all pervading divine consciousness, on Mondays. Alternatively you can listen to Chandra Ashtothram, the Sanskrit chant dedicated to the Moon. Whenever you can see the Moon in the sky, silently watch and meditate on it.

Strengthen your Mars by taking care of your younger siblings, and by chanting or meditating on the Mars Ashtotram – the Sanskrit chant dedicated to Mars – every Tuesday. Angaraka Kavacham is another Sanskrit chant that creates an armor of protection from problems caused by the planet Mars. Lord Angaraka is a name for Mars.

You can find personalized rituals based on your own vedic birth chart on the align27 app.  

Practise Moon Salutations

Chandra Namaskar, or Moon Salutations, can be beneficial for pregnant women, women in menstruation and women in general. Practicing this series of yoga postures helps in channeling lunar energy, which has cool, relaxing, and creative qualities. It also stretches the spine, hamstrings, and backs of legs, and strengthens the legs, arms, back, and stomach muscles.

Chandra Namaskar is best practiced on an empty stomach at or after sunset, especially when the Moon is visible, and particularly on a Full Moon day. Start with the left (lunar) side of the body, and then repeat the sequence with the right side of the body. It is fine however to do it at any time of the day.

Start the practice with a feeling of grace and gratitude towards the energy of the Moon.

See the Chandra Namaskar (Moon Salutations) and Astrology article for steps on how to do this. 

Full Moon Meditation

During the next Full Moon do a Full Moon Meditation to align with its cooling energy. You can find a Full Moon Meditation on the Sattva Mantras and Meditation app. Meditation activates the pineal gland which is associated with the Moon. The menstrual cycle is a Moon-based cycle, and meditating on the Full Moon connects and aligns you with its soothing nature.

In the body, the Ida Nadi, which is associated with the Moon, is the energy channel that runs down the left side of the body and is connected to the right side of the brain – the side responsible for creativity, intuition and the female reproductive organs. In medical astrology, the Moon is said to influence the release of hormones like estrogen and progesterone.

Engage in some R&R

During menstruation, to allow for hormonal changes in the body, give yourself a break from any unnecessary work, and just relax and take it easy. There is a downward flow of energy in the body at this time, so it is best to avoid any activities that would interfere with this, including spiritual rituals such as Pujas and Homas (fire ceremonies) which are naturally energy-rising activities. Stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water or herbal tea.

Holistic Tips for Pain Relief During Menstruation

Practise these Mudras

To help ease menstrual pain, you can practise the following 3 mudras (hand positions). In each position take a few long deep breaths with your eyes closed, and relax.

Surya Mudra – Fold the ring finger, and rest the thumb on the nail of the ring finger. Put the palms on your lap facing upwards.

Shakti Mudra – Fold the first two fingers over your thumb. Touch the tips of the two ring fingers together, and touch the tips of the two little fingers together. Place your hands in front of your navel.

Vata Naashak Mudra – Put the tips of the index and middle finger at the base of the thumb and let the thumb sit gently on the folded fingers. Stretch out the little finger and the ring finger, keeping them together. Gently place your hands on your lap, facing upwards.

Make these Changes to Your Diet

During your period, avoid eating meat so as not to aggravate your emotional turbulence. When animals are sacrificed they go through a range of emotions that are stored in the cells of their body, and it is suggested that when humans consume the meat, it can increase aggression and emotional instability. In addition, cut out white sugar completely and instead prefer dates, honey or jaggery which can take care of your sweet craving without causing imbalance in your system.

To help ease period pain, Ayurveda suggests soaking a teaspoon of Fenugreek seeds (Methi) in a glass of water overnight. Drink it the next morning, with the seeds if possible.  

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