Time for a new perspective on your period? We caught up with yoga teacher and Ayurveda practitioner, Anja Brierley Lange to discuss how your period is the perfect time for taking time out to boost your wellbeing. Here Anja talks us through a rest and retreat formula to try on your period!
Everything is cyclical. In our daily cycle, we have a time of being awake and productive, and a time to slow down and sleep. The seasonal cycles invite us to be out and about in the summer but hibernate in the winter. If we start to look at our monthly cycle the same way, we can begin to take a new perspective on your period.
Throughout your cycle, your hormones alter. This can impact mood, productivity and physical wellbeing. These changes during menstruation make it even more important to look after yourself. Sometimes rest and rejuvenation are important to avoid feeling burned out.
Here is our formula for your period rest and retreat
In the lead up to your period, see this as a time to prepare for the start of your bleed. It’s helpful to do a food shop before your period starts so you have food in the house. It is also helpful to cook and freeze nourishing meals so all you need to do is to warm them up when you are on your period.
Wholesome recipes which are easy to digest are a good choice on your period to prevent bloating or worsening cramps. This includes soups, stews, casseroles and the Ayurvedic classic Kitcheri. This is a simple mix of rice, mung dhal, a few herbs and if desired, seasonal vegetables.
To be prepared for your period it’s also advisable to keep all your essentials in a box. This can include:
Hot water bottle or heat pads
Well, it is a classic! Hot water bottles can help to release muscular tension and cramps.
There are so many teas with ingredients that can help relieve PMS symptoms. Here are a few amazing ones:
An antispasmodic and warming spice to relieve cramps.
Great for extra iron which is lost through your bleed.
Soothing and relaxing, which is good if you have particularly bad PMT.
This is a uterine tonic for painful or heavy bleeding.
This is often used for scanty and painful periods. Another special womb herb!
This has a special affinity with the womb and good for pain or delayed menses
If you have a reproductive health condition or suffer from heaving bleeding or cramps on your period, then preparation is essential. It can help give you back even a small amount of control, so you don’t get stressed out by a frustrating situation such as not being able to locate your heat pads/hot water bottle when you need it most!
And now the rest…
This might be the most challenging part. In a perfect world, you would take time out to do nothing. Just rest, chill out and rejuvenate. However many of us have work, social occasions and family life to juggle. But you have to give yourself permission to rest when you need to.
Your energy levels can dip on your period so alongside feeling nourished, it’s important to remember to strike a balance between keeping busy and finding time to rest and look after yourself.
If you need a bit of help with the deep rest, try a Yoga Nidra. Yoga Nidra is literally translated as Yogic Sleep. You are lying down in Shavasana or any relaxing neutral position in bed or on the floor with plenty of blankets to stay warm and comfy. Yoga Nidra is a very specifically guided meditation creating deep rest, rejuvenation and relaxation in body and mind. It is said that 30-45 minutes of Yoga Nidra is equivalent to 4 hours of sleep. We love Yoga Nidra and have several free recordings here you can try. We specifically like the Red Tent recording for when you’re on your period.
Finding what works for you on your period is #PeriodPowerful! For more period tips and talk follow us on socials @totmorganic!
Anja Brierley Lange is passionate about womb wellness, pelvic floor awareness and women’s health. She is an Ayurvedic practitioner, yoga teacher and has additional training in yoni steam, clinical aromatherapy, flower essences and reiki. Her passion project sacredpelvis.com is an online course in pelvic floor awareness. She is the founder of yogaembodied.com and she is active on Instagram as @anja_yogini where she would love to hear about your experience with your period rest and retreat formula.