Women are not small men!
Our needs are different and our physiology is most vibrant when our health practices honour that difference rather than deny it.
Understanding how the patterns of our sex hormones alter our physiology is key to figuring out how we can make health choices (like exercise and nutrition) that best support us during the different stages of our cycles.
We know different hormones are at play at different times in our menstrual cycle. Often though we don’t understand how these differing hormones actually affect us and how we can optimise our health practices to make the most of the various stages of our cycle (thus supporting our overall health).
To imagine that we have one consistent state – to ignore our need to flow, shift and change WITH our cycle – is to work against our basic physiology, making our female bodies wrong!
When we work against our cycle we unhelpfully stress our bodies, adding systemic inflammation, down regulating metabolic function, lowering overall system resources and generally getting less value from our training, nutrition and self care practices.
Beyond this I see women getting frustrated at their bodies, at feeling somehow lesser than, feeling depleted, frustrated and overwhelmed.
It doesn’t have to be this way. I would like to offer you another way. One where we honour our shifting states and make choices based on the needs of those states.
As our physiological needs shift so to must our practices. Rigid health prescriptions that do not respect where a woman is in her cycle will ultimately undermine her health.
I’m not just talking about mood changes but how different stages of our cycle can alter our energy, hunger, physical appearance, food cravings, sexual drive, sleep patterns, dreams, digestion, sociability, brain function and movement potential (e.g. strength, endurance, aerobic capacity, mobility, grip).
These changes are REAL and deserve our attention.
Our culture has a tendency to ignore, hide and even override these beautiful changes occurring in our bodies. Making these changes inconvenient, unacknowledged and even shameful. All to the detriment of our health.
Here is an example of two movement practices that reflect two different stages of my cycle.
Ovulation: Part A
The first part of this clip is typical of my movement choices around ovulation, particularly when my estrogen and testosterone levels are peaking (while the sedating effects of progesterone are low). At these times my body wants more physical challenge, more yang movements. I crave to punch out strength work and push my edges.
At these times in my cycle I’m physically stronger, my capacity for work load is high (e.g. chin ups are walk in the park). Libido is humming, hunger is low and I’m a little more aggressive. I look leaner. I’m more confident, energised and highly social.
But… this is only one aspect of my cycle.
Mid Luteal Phase: Part B
Contrast to the above is my Luteal Phase (particularly around day 21 of my cycle) is a time I choose more soft movement flows. My body softens, my energy is lower and less edgy, my grip strength drops, my body needs more nutrient dense carbs, libido dips and my body craves more gentleness (yin) in my movement practice (e.g. my chins ups all but disappear and couldn’t care less). I’m more receptive, more open and need more time to myself. My body needs ‘energy in’ practices. It is time to fill my cup.
This too is only one aspect of me because I am ever flowing and shifting, just like my cycle.
My needs, priorities and supports require a fluid dynamic response. I need to make choices that nourish me dependent on where I am at. Rigid health practices and dogmatic programs will not serve me long term.
You too deserve health practices that respect the needs of YOUR dynamic, flowing, shifting body. Is it time to listen to YOUR cycle?
Do you know how to respond to the various stages of your cycle?
Do you know what is most nourishing for you from stage to stage?
Do you want learn to listen to the needs of your cycle? To work WITH your cycle, in real and practical ways?
then check out: WILD WOMAN WELLNESS WORKSHOP (9 June 2018)
Or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org