09 September 2016

Divine Periods

I believe that periods are magical.

Before you start screaming at me in your head, I must say that I understand that this may sound like some hippie yoga fluff, but please do read on. You can comment once you're done reading.

I believe that periods are magical. I find the process of each phase of the monthly menstrual cycle amazing and I feel blessed to have a body capable of such intelligence. My period reminds me of how divine my physical body is, as well as how strong and simultaneously fragile it is.

Perhaps I am also blessed to have, for most of my life, experienced periods with minimal cramps, though at many times the emotional stress, trauma and drama was almost crippling. Thankfully, the more I delved into my yoga practice, the less severe the premenstrual symptoms were, and the more awareness I was grateful to develop towards my body, emotions and even thought patterns.

My Prenatal Yoga teacher, Lina Ma, once mentioned that perhaps many of us feel sad right before our periods because at some level our body has figured out that we are not pregnant this month. Maybe a more physiological version of that would be that the body had spent the biggest chunk of its cycle preparing and chugging hormones for conception to take place, then it doesn’t happen and there’s some kind of chaos to let the uterine lining be pushed out of the body and the hormones back in order.

On a related note, menstrual cups are useful tools to help us get more in touch with our cycles, bodies and emotions. Not only do we get to examine the shedding more closely, but they also teach us to accept and embrace a part of us that is often looked at as “dirty”, and that we can easily just ignore otherwise. You really do get intimate with your own blood. This is how I noticed that on the third day of my cycle, which is usually the heaviest in flow, I feel the lowest. In addition, I have more pronounced cravings and feel over attached. I want more attention and more food and I find it difficult to accept distance and space. My tendency to resist detachment shows clearly. All of this makes me contemplate all those things I need to allow to flow out of me as the blood flows out out through my cervix; stress, sadness, fears, toxic thoughts, toxic behaviour, toxic possessions, etc.

In the Hindu culture, the goddess “Kali”, who represents Mother Nature, the Divine Feminine, courage, strength and empowerment, is also associated with the days of menstruation, she captures the energy of that phase of the cycle. Kali is said to take all the darkness away and cleanses us, she [destroys only to recreate, and what she destroys is sin, ignorance and decay. She is equated with the eternal night, is the transcendent power of time]*.

Perhaps I don’t agree with many cultures that consider a woman in her period as “impure” and cast her away till she is done, but I would also say that in light of the cleansing process that seems to be happening during that time, we deserve to take the time to go inwards and contemplate what’s going on, in whatever way we see fit.

Our bodies are amazing and the observation of what they are capable of can be very insightful once we start to pay attention. As a woman, I truly feel blessed to be able to experience my cycle monthly -effortlessly and without much interference or action from me- and have that as a chance to learn more about myself and improve areas that need attention.

May we all be blessed with love and kindness, to ourselves before anyone else. May we all treasure the miracles that we are. May there be peace. May there be peace. May there be peace.


*(source unknown)

1 comment:

M said...

Thanks for sharing on this topic that affects our lives and society more than we're aware of.. I have heard that there are cultures (some Native American and some Indian) where the whole village celebrates a woman's coming of age because it's a symbol of fertility and continuing life, and some Native American cultures highly valued the visions and intuition of females in their premenstrual time which I've recently been learning a little about.. So much more to know and im glad these convos are happening now..