Would you do this? f you’re a woman that doesn’t pay much attention to your monthly cycle, apart from knowing it’s nearly here (PMS) or that it’s happening (bleeding), then prepare for a Lunar Cycle 101. Sketch over some of my current beliefs with me and I’ll take you on my womanly journey. You can help me decide whether I’m making a big mistake or not?
The perfect lunar-hormonal specimen?
New moon bleed
When we menstruate (Day 1 of a cycle when we start to bleed) it’s like our own personal winter. We tend to want to withdraw into our own space (hibernation), be quieter, less social and have less mental and physical energy for demanding tasks. It’s also a time of introspection, and strong intuition. This lower personal energy can coincide with the moons lower energy – the new moon.
Full moon to ovulate
We ovulate half way through our cycles, e.g., on about day 14 of a 28 day cycle. The moon is also having a 28 day cycle. If you bled on a new moon, you will ovulate (release a ripe egg from fallopian tubes) on a full moon. Ovulation can be thought of as our own personal summer. If we are hormonally balanced, energy levels can peak, we have more energy for intense physical and mental challenges, feel more confident, and bask in the fruits of our endeavours – just like a juicy summer. This higher personal energy is in alignment with the higher energy of a full moon.
Lunar energy..isn’t this just more woo-woo?
I was speaking with a practising medical doctor the other day who told me that women’s cycles are often out of sync with the moon. Not just because of the more obvious (see below) but because we live in societies where increased exposure to light (computers, street lights, devices) mean that the body cannot detect the lunar phases.
Common reasons for being out of lunar-cycle-sync
Taking birth control pills that determine when your period will come, or having IUD fitted
Hormonal imbalances that deregulate cycles e.g., PCOS, endometriosis, peri-menopause
Post-partum – can take two years for hormones to fully settle
Stress – cortisol effects your menstrual hormones
Exposure to environmental toxins e.g xeno-oestrogens in plastics and cans
Being around other menstruating women who aren’t lunar-synced
If this is new for you, then I’ll just ask you to notice your energy and sleep quality around a full moon. And the mood of yourself and others. Many people note that they sleep less and have more energy. This is also the time that if caught unaware, you can feel frazzled. Many mental health workers and police have told me that they notice an increase in unpredictability at this time, and in urban situations, there is more drunken rowdiness.
If you choose to consider what I’m saying, then full moon=high energy ovulation, and new moon=low energy menstruation.
So what exactly are you about to do Claire?
I am the opposite way around to this. I bleed on a full moon. In the few days before, and during my period, I often feel the need for more rest. I look forward to a long deep sleep but alas, the full moon energy keeps me awake and alert! I feel pulled by my own lower energy, yet pushed by the full moon higher energy. I end up feeling pretty frazzled from not getting enough sleep in the time when I need most restoration (hint, if this is you too, meditate or get stuck into creative tasks).
When it comes to ovulation, mine happens on a new moon. At this time when my energy levels should be peaking, I look forward to hitting the yoga mat for some challenging asana practice and getting a lot of study done. However, the new moon is upon us, and so I feel more inclined to take it steady as she goes. I am still efficient yet don’t feel like I am hitting my peak.
So what if I could swap things around; bleed on a new moon, and ovulate on a full moon. The low energy of my menstrual cycle (bleed) meets the new moon, and my higher energy (ovulation) syncs with the full moon!
Would I feel any different? Would I restore deeper with a better sleep during my period on a new moon? Would I be advantageously more energised and alert during my ovulation on a full moon? Would I really be more attune with Mother Nature and my own rhythm of life?
I don’t know! As a Women’s health coach with a heavy interest in hormonal balance, a yogini open to the rhythms of our environment and a university educated genetic scientist, I have to do this experiment on myself! And if you’re wondering where this all began, I’ve been tuning into the excellent teachings of Sara Avant-Stover, the way of the happy woman, you can find her on the web. I wonder if she would encourage this?
Look out for my next post when I’ll tell you you what my options are for making this lunar-cycle-sync. In the mean time I really want to know what you think? What are your experiences – are you in Sync with the moon? If not, can you identify why?
Yogasync me! Got PMS? Try this sequence just for you: