Yoga and Menstruation: the Woman’s cycle
By Ulyana Michailov ND • August 17th, 2011 • 15727 Views
The ultimate difference between a man and a woman is her ability to conceive and birth children. With this gift of conception and giving life comes the challenge and acceptance of the menstrual cycle. It is a personal monthly experience, some of which can bring about a positive reflective and intuitive state of mind, or it’s opposite; stress, resistance and pain. Many teenage girls find themselves in a position where they dread the beginning of many years of hassle. Your first period can influence your attitude to your period. These first few sensitive years set the pace on what maybe a challenge for their fertile years. Many women have struggled with their cycle since the dawn of time and some haven’t, it’s a woman’s thing.
The menstrual cycle has four phases:
According to Ayurveda, the follicular stage is when Kapha is most active. The pituitary gland releases follicle- stimulating hormone (FSH), which develop follicles (groups of cells that contain immature eggs). Follicles produce the hormone estrogen, which causes the lining of the uterus (endometrium) to become thick in preparation for the possible embedding of a fertilized egg. Usually only one of these follicles develops into a mature egg.
The ovulation stage right up until menstruation is Vata predominant. The rise in estrogen during the follicular phase leads to the secretion of the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). This in turn increases the pituitary gland’s production of both the luteinizing hormone (LH) and FSH. The abrupt rise in the LH triggers ovulation, which is the releases the egg from the ovary. The egg is swept into the fallopian tube and moved along towards the uterus. If fertilization does not occur the egg will disintegrate over the next 6 to 24 hours.
This phase the corpus luteum releases large amounts of progesterone and minimal estrogen. These hormones contribute to the further thickening and maintenance of the lining of the uterus. If fertilization does not occur the corpus luteum breaks down and progesterone levels decline, which degrade the lining of the uterus.
This is the phase many women may experience physical and emotional changes including tender or lumpy breasts, fluid retention, bloating, mood swings, tiredness or anxiety; known as premenstrual tension.
The bleeding stage is considered Pitta predominant. Menstruation occurs when the broken down lining of the uterus sheds and lasts generally from 3 to 7 days. The length can also differ from one cycle to the...
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Location: Adelaide, AU
Ulyana Michailov is a naturopath and acupuncturist from Adelaide, Australia. She also holdsqualifications in herbal medicine, nutrition, and traditional Chinese medicine. Growing up Ulyana would consistently seek out the wilderness; she still describes herself asa “hippie at...