What is Cycle Synching?
When I first heard of cycle synching it sounded like it would be something really complicated that required lots of knowledge and effort but in actual fact it turned out to be very simple and intuitive as well as having a massive positive impact on my health.
Cycle synching is quite simply the practice of adapting your lifestyle ie nutrition, exercise, workload and social commitments to match the different phases of your own menstrual cycle in order to support and optimise your overall health.
If you don't have a regular cycle, are peri-menopausal, menopausal and beyond you can absolutely still practice cycle synching, we just use the moon phases as a guide.
If you are using the moon phases there are some great free apps out there, I personally use one called "Moon Phase Calendar" which has a daily and monthly view for quick reference as shown in these images:
A great place to start is by tracking your cycle.
To do this you might use a journal, calendar, chart or even download one of the many apps available.
The idea is that by noting various things throughout your cycle you will begin to see patterns and learn more about your body, moods and energy which will in turn help you to plan your workload, social activities, exercise etc.
You can do this in as much or as little detail as you like.
My own prefered method is to use a monthly chart wheel which I have included at the end should you wish to try this method. I simply mark my bleed days, the date and a few words to describe my energy and mood.
You can of course go much deeper and use journal prompts to help you make sense of everything ie:
How did I feel today?
What was my energy like?
What was my mood like?
Is there anything bothering me or irritating me?
How did I interact with others?
Did I crave time alone or did I feel quite sociable?
How was my sleep? Did I feel rested?
Is there anything affecting my sleep?
How did I eat today? Was it healthy? Did I eat mindfully or on the run?
Each phase of the menstrual cycle corresponds with a moon phase and a season so depending whether you menstruate or not you may prefer to reference one or another term.
Menstrual phase - Menstruation
Moon phase - New Moon
Season - Winter
Day 1 of the cycle begins on the first day of your bleed if you menstruate otherwise it begins on the New Moon and this phase relates to the season of winter.
You will most likely find your energy levels are low at this time, you may even feel like hibernating away from everything ie. work and social activities.
Use this phase to rest, practice self care and
Self care ideas:
Take long baths
Practice restorative yoga / meditate
Eat nourishing foods
Take a nap
This is a good time to take stock and think about the month ahead.
This is the time for dreaming and ideas , just planting those seeds for now, there's plenty of time for action.
Menstrual phase - Follicular / pre-ovulation
Moon phase - Waxing Moon
Season - Spring
Just like spring this is a time when we begin to re-awaken. Our energy is on the rise and we can do more active practices and exercise.
We can begin taking steps towards our dreams and plans and really start to get the ball rolling by putting in the groundwork.
Anything goes in this phase, if you need rest then rest, if you feel more energetic go with it, just stay mindful that you're not overdoing things during this phase and actively make some "me time" still.
Menstrual phase - Ovulation
Moon phase - Full Moon
Season - Summer
This is the phase where we are most likely to feel our most vibrant.
Our energy is more playful, sexy, outgoing and social.
Ovulation is the phase when we are reading to conceive.
If you no longer menstruate, think more of how summertime feels for you, maybe we get out more and do more, feel more adventurous and step out of our comfort zones more.
As in any phase, if you need to take time out to rest honour that
Menstrual phase - Luteal / pre-menstual
Moon phase - Waning Moon
Season - Autumn
Autumn really is the best analogy for this phase. You may have lots of energy still at the start of this phase that begins to wane just like the moon as we journey closer to menstruation where the cycle begins again.
This can be a time of high emotions, mood swings and even physical
symptoms. Use this phase to start winding down and wrapping things up, just as you would prepare your garden and home for
Re-evaluate things, maybe your plans didn't go quite as you
imagined. This is the time to let things go that didn't work and maybe think about how you could do things differently in the next cycle.
You may feel like resting more and be less outgoing and social so really listen to that and take what you need.
Yin yoga is a really great practice at this time helping to release tension an stored up emotions.
If we live a more cyclical life that's in line with our energy we will start to notice more balance, not only in our energy but also our
hormones, mental health, relationships and productivity.
I hope you enjoyed this introduction to cycle synching, my name is Caroline aka Humble Warrior Yoga and I'm a yoga teacher who is passionate about empowering and supporting women on their perimenopause and menopause journey through Breath, Movement and Mindfulness practices.
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