Getting stuck doing the same daily or weekly yoga practice is too easy. But if you are being honest with yourself are some sessions more of a struggle than others? Do you find yourself pushing yourself hard some days when your body craves a softer practice? We have become so conditioned to keep moving at the same frantic pace all of the time that we have lost connection with our body’s actual needs. This is why I have designed a Yoga Calendar for the Menstrual Cycle. To help you reconnect and listen to the changing energies in your body over the course of a full cycle.
We are all cyclical beings. Men follow the daily 24-hour clock, whereas women have a 28(ish) Day Cycle. Women (and all beings born with ovaries) have a natural ebb and flow to their energies over the course of the month, following the rhythm of their Menstrual Cycle. For example, women are not designed to do powerful yoga every week, this will certainly be beneficial in some weeks but detrimental in others.
We all lead busy lives and can often view our weekly yoga class or daily home practice as a luxury, so we have to “get the most out of it,” or we feel we are wasting our time. This kind of attitude needs to change so that women can begin to listen to their bodies and honour their natural rhythms with a practice suited to them on any day of their cycle. Women can safely get the most out of their yoga practice not by cutting back on their practice but by adapting it. Not feeling stuck in the same routine, but having the freedom to give their body what it needs rather than what they think they should be giving it.
28-Day Yoga Calendar for the Menstrual Cycle: The Detail
This FREE Yoga Calendar for the Menstrual Cycle contains twenty-eight 5-15 minute Daily Yoga Practices (including rest days which are just as important as the practices themselves) one for each day of a textbook 28-day cycle. I have included meditations, breathwork, and yoga asana flows on the mat and on the Chair, designed to help you work with your body’s changing needs as your cycle progresses. All you have to do is download the calendar, click on the link you want to practice, and away you go.
Week 1 – Menstruation – Inner Winter – Days 1-6
The Menstrual Cycle begins on the day that your full bleed arrives. This is Day 1 of your period. Your energy will be at its lowest level. It’s time to rest and restore for the cycle ahead. Slowing down your yoga practice with more meditations, chair yoga, and slower mat-based flows will nourish your body and give it what it needs to rest and repair at this critical point in your cycle. And if you want to rest for more days, then this is what you should do. This calendar is a guide only, it does not need to be followed exactly. It is for you to use as you need to, with the freedom to adapt and change your practice to what you need it to be.
Week 2 – Follicular Phase – Inner Spring – Days 7-11
The second phase of the menstrual cycle begins the day after your bleeding has finished and ends around the time of ovulation. We can begin to step the pace up again to work with the rising energy in the body during this phase. It’s time to add some fun and playfulness back into your practice. Flowing vinyasa yoga and trying new yoga postures are all welcome during this phase. Remembering not to rush to pick up your energy too quickly. Think of yourself like the tender shoots of early Spring. There is still a lot going on underneath the surface. Build up the pace gradually to allow yourself to bloom during the next phase fully.
Week 3 – Ovulation Phase – Inner Summer – Days 12-17
The third phase of the menstrual cycle is around the time of Ovulation. Oestrogen and Testosterone peak as the egg is released. Energy is high, and you are invited to ride this wave and up the intensity of your practice if that is what your body is calling out for. Stand tall and work on strong poses to work with this outer confidence. Being mindful if you have pushed yourself too much during Menstruation or the Follicular Phase. Be kind to your body during this phase and keep your practice lower if you feel fatigued due to Inner Summer burnout.
Week 4 – Luteal Phase – Inner Autumn – Days 18-28
The fourth phase of the menstrual cycle is the luteal phase and this is when things can start to get tricky again. Hormones are starting to decrease again with Progesterone becoming the most dominant. This phase often starts strong and then you need to really slow it down on and off your yoga mat. Adapting your yoga practice during this phase can really help to alleviate many of the different symptoms of PMS.
28-Day Yoga Calendar for the Menstrual Cycle – How to Use it
You can begin to use this calendar at any point in your cycle, you don’t have to wait for your next period to start. Simply assess where you are in your cycle and start from that day on the calendar. e.g. If you have just finished bleeding move straight to the Follicular phase videos. If you are feeling your Inner critic starting to show up again then head to the Luteal phase section.
Please don’t feel that you have to follow this calendar exactly. We all have a cycle that is unique to us, and this often changes from cycle to cycle as well. This calendar is here to act as your guide, to help you move towards listening to your body more and choosing the practice that you need on any given day of your cycle. Just like the seasons in nature, we can often get a wet and windy day in summer, so you might feel more drawn to a Luteal Phase practice, and that is ok. Give yourself permission to enjoy this freedom to select the yoga practice that is right for you.
If you don’t follow the textbook 28-day menstrual cycle (and the vast majority of women actually don’t), then please don’t let this put you off using this calendar. This is where the practice of Menstrual Cycle Awareness comes in. This is a daily practice that when completed over a number of months will help you to tune into your natural rhythm and then select the practice from the calendar that is suited to you on that day.
Similarly, if you taking hormonal contraception or no longer have a natural cycle for whatever reason, you can also use Menstrual Cycle Awareness or use the Phases of the Moon to help guide your practice. The moon has a cycle of 29.5 days, so its fits in really well with mirroring the energies of the Menstrual Cycle.
- New Moon – Menstruation
- Waxing Moon – Follicular Phase
- Full Moon – Ovulation
- Waning Moon – Luteal Phase
Please feel free to contact me with any further questions about using this calendar or adapting your yoga practice to move with the flow of yourunique menstrual cycle.