Get in the Flow
If you have a uterus, chances are you have a period. And if you have a period, chances are you hate it.
Menstruation comes with pain, inconvenience, mess, and emotional upheaval. Even worse, many cultures have shame or stigma about periods. If you’ve ever canceled a date because of bleeding, hidden a tampon in your hand so people won’t know why you’re going to the bathroom, gritted your teeth through cramps so you don’t have to admit why you’re in pain, or used euphemisms like “Aunt Flo” or “that time of the month,” you’ve been affected by cultural attitudes telling you that periods are embarrassing and unmentionable.
As professionally trained and certified Ayurveda instructors, we have a different attitude. We see menstruation as normal, healthy, and worthy of respect. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you reconnect with your body’s natural cycles, without anxiety or shame. We’ve included rituals and meditations for checking in with your body, herbal remedies to help with period symptoms, and advice for eating, exercise, journaling, and self-care that accounts for where you are in your cycle.
If you haven’t encountered Ayurveda before, don’t worry! All you need to know for this book is that we’ll be looking at your period holistically, as something that affects and is affected by your physical and mental health and everything else going on in your life. We’ll be talking about how your body uses and manifests prana, or life force, which is analogous to the concept of energy. We’ll occasionally use Sanskrit words, because Ayurveda is a practice that originated in India and has deep roots there, but we’ll always tell you what they mean for you and for your period.
One thing that makes this book different from other wellness books you’ve seen before is that we’ll talk about the Ayurvedic elements of earth, water, fire, wind, and space. The elements represent different sets of qualities.
* Earth: heaviness, slowness, stability
* Water: flowing, softness, empathy
* Fire: heat, energy, transformation
* Wind: movement, agility, dryness
* Space: subtleness, lightness, imagination
You may have some of these qualities as innate aspects of your constitution, and they can also be affected by your lifestyle and choices. None of the elements are better or worse than others, but sometimes they can get out of balance, which has ramifications for physical and mental health. As we delve into an Ayurvedic understanding of your period, we’ll talk about how you can balance and harmonize these elements. (It’s important to note that we’re not doctors, so please get a doctor’s input if your periods are consistently troublesome, and don’t take our advice over theirs!)
This book is for people with regular periods, irregular periods, heavy or light periods, painful or easy periods. It’s for period newbies and period experts. It’s even for people who don’t have periods at all because of hormonal birth control, pregnancy, hysterectomy, or menopause. (If you don’t have a natural cycle, we suggest you use this book by aligning to the cycle of the moon—full moon for
ovulation, new moon for menstruation.)
During your menstruating years, your period can take up as much as a quarter of your life—sometimes more. Our aim is to help you make friends with your cycle, so you can feel balanced and empowered all the time, even that one messy week a month. Let’s get flowing!
Love, Julia & Roos
Copyright © 2023 by Julia Blohberger and Roos Neeter. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.