Meditation and yoga during your period can support your cycle and connect you more intensely with your body. We talked to various experts about tips and tricks for your period and shared valuable information for you on Instagram for a week. If you missed it, no problem. We have summarised the most important information for you briefly and concisely so that you can refer to it at any time.
In the following, we speak of an average cycle of 28 days, based on the cycle of the moon, which circles the earth once in 28 days. On average, most menstruating people have their period or bleed for between 5 and 7 days. These days, many suffer from cramps and heavy bleeding. How nice would it be if you could celebrate these quiet and introverted days with mindfulness?
We want to give you simple and holistic ways to support your period sustainably. Because sustainability is not only important to us for hejhej products, but also for periods and feminine hygiene. Sustainability is understood on the one hand in the sense of “long-term changes”, but on the other hand, you can also spend your menstruation in an environmentally friendly way, e.g. with as little plastic as possible. We explain the positive effects yoga can have during your period and in harmony with your cycle.
The model of the 4 seasons of your menstrual cycle – yoga during your period
We menstruating humans are cyclical beings. We are connected to nature and its rhythms. During our 4 phases in the menstrual cycle, our physical energy, our mood, as well as our thoughts, change. If we are aware of this, we can adjust our workload and the expectations we have of ourselves, thereby maximising our well-being and productivity. It also makes sense that we adapt our yoga practice to the four phases and not simply reel off the same programme every time.
Julia is a yoga teacher with a focus on Feminine and Fertility Yoga. She wants to support you in your femininity with yoga and help you to become more light. Julia introduced us to the 4 phases of the menstrual cycle and tips for your yoga practice. In the following, we have briefly summarised the 4 phases.
Your inner winter. A rather low energy level. You may feel more introverted and prefer to lie on the couch and have your peace and quiet. Winter is characterised by cold and darkness. No flowers are blooming. Silence is in the air.
What does this mean for your yoga practice:
Yoga styles during your period: Meditation, Yoga Nidra, Yin Yoga (listen to your body, how deep you want to go into the stretch), Restorative Yoga. Avoid standing exercises that require you to tighten your abdomen too much, because during bleeding it is pleasant when the abdomen is rather loose and relaxed and can take up a lot of space. During this time, aids such as a yoga belt or yoga bolster are great for your yoga routine. Try relaxed yoga for period pain, because you and your body know exactly whether you want to do yoga despite your period. You can also really relax with, for example, the hejhej-eyepillow on your eyes.
Follicular phase (phase after the period)
Your inner spring. Small leaves and flowers start to sprout. The sun appears, the energy level slowly rises, the lightness returns.
What does this mean for your yoga practice:
The intensity of your yoga after your period can slowly increase again, listen to your body here.
Your inner summer. The energy level is at its peak. In parallel, your estrogen levels are highest during this time. Everything is in bloom and the juices are in the plants. The colours are bright and joy is in the air.
What does this mean for your yoga practice:
Feel free to try challenging yoga sessions here too. Backbends to open the heart. To emphasise your femininity, feel free to incorporate more circular movements into your yoga practice, e.g. circles with your chest to open your heart, or with your hips or whole spine. Now is the time to incorporate dance elements into your yoga practice.
Luteal phase (time after ovulation until menstruation)
Your inner autumn. The energy level slowly drops again. Leaves and flowers are slowly dying. PMS (premenstrual syndrome) symptoms occur. Feelings are mostly emotional and resemble a rollercoaster ride. Make preparations for the winter.
What does this mean for your yoga practice:
Include inversion poses in your pre-period yoga as these asanas can help you balance your hormones. Meditation and asanas relax your belly and allow it more space. Also diving more into Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra again. Allow relaxation.
It is important to say that the model of the 4 seasons and the 4 phases of your menstruation is a theory. Read about it and learn. Then feel into your body and see what applies to you. In the end, do what is good for your body. Practice the asanas that give your body what you need at the moment. Julia advises you to try out this theory and the yoga tips for about 3 months and then see what effects it has on your body. What was particularly good for you? What has changed in your body and mind? Decide for yourself what is helpful for your menstruation and what maybe not.
In this video Julia shares her knowledge about Feminine Yoga and the 4 seasons in detail:
Go with your energy and not against it and you will be able to glide through your everyday life with ease. Yoga during your period can be very beneficial for your body and your mood. As Julia told us, meditation practice during your inner winter is really beneficial. She has recorded a short but super relaxing Feminine Meditation for you on our Instagram and YouTube channel. Learn from her what exactly feminine meditation is and how you can support your cycle with meditation and yoga during your period:
Yin Yoga during your period
Yoga during your period can help you relieve cramps, relax and naturally regulate your menstruation. By relaxing your abdomen, the blood can flow better and the pain can be relieved. Yin yoga in particular promotes the passive regeneration of your body and mind. Therefore, in this style of yoga, the exercises are held longer, usually 3 to 5 minutes.
The hejhej-bolster can help you stay in the poses longer because holding it for a long time can release blockages and tension. Yin encourages your female energies. Also the patient and the love for yourself. If you’d like to learn a few exercises, read our blog article about 5 great yin exercises with your hejhej-bolster. Placing an eye pillow on your eyes in Savasana can also relax you greatly. Or you warm it up briefly and put it on your belly. Heat relaxes and works perfectly against your cramps.
Nicole from aboutthatflow is a yoga and meditation teacher & founder of kindclub. She wants to inspire you to move and feel yourself and your body more deeply. Nicole has recorded a Yin session for you on our Instagram and Youtube channel, where you can find relaxation for your body and mind during your menstruation or whenever you crave it. Try yoga for period pain!
Nourish your body – what your body craves
We show you 3 important ingredients that you should take shortly before and during your period in order to celebrate these special days with peace of mind and ease. These ingredients can all be absorbed through the diet and therefore do not usually need to be supplemented. If you experience severe pain or PMS (premenstrual syndrome) symptoms, it may be worthwhile to do a blood test and look for these micronutrients, among others. In consultation with your doctor, you can then supplement individual nutrients to relieve symptoms.
We have summarised the most important facts about iron for you:
- Almost every food contains iron, but usually in very small quantities.
- There are some plant foods that contain slightly more iron than others.
- Meat is the easiest supplier because that is where the iron is most readily available to the human body.
- Therefore, the availability of iron must be taken into account, especially with plant-based foods.
- Tannins can inhibit iron absorption. They are found in black tea, coffee and red wine.
- Vitamin C and organic acids (citric acid, lactic acid) increase the bioavailability of iron.
Our tricks for improved iron intake:
Sourdough wholemeal bread: the acid improves the iron absorption of the wholemeal bread
Soaking of cereals and pulses: Phytates are reduced, they inhibit iron absorption.
The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends a daily intake of 300 mg of magnesium for menstruating persons over 25 years of age. Magnesium has an relaxing effect and can therefore reduce pain. Magnesium is predominantly found in plant foods. Legumes such as beans and peas contain a lot of magnesium. It is also found in abundance in whole grain products made from wheat, spelt, barley, rye, oats or buckwheat, as well as nuts.
The term vitamin B6 covers various vitamin-active compounds, such as pyridoxine, pyridoxamine and pyridoxal.
B6 helps the body make the calming neurotransmitter GABA.
Alcohol, liver disease and the use of oral contraceptives (“the pill”) can increase the need for vitamin B6.
Vitamin B6 is found in pulses, as well as in potatoes, spinach leaves cooked, broccoli cooked, peppers raw.
Your meals in the days before and during your period should be warming, comforting, healthy and nutritious, as well as digestive. Here, like to remind yourself of your inner winter, your first phase in the cycle. What would you like to eat in winter? A short meal inspiration could look like this: Pulses (soaked) with vegetables (e.g. peppers, broccoli or spinach leaves) and wholemeal rice topped with a squeeze of lemon juice.
In addition, a warming breakfast of oatmeal (cooked with water), banana, nuts and perhaps wheat bran as a topping or cooked into the porridge.
In summary, we would like to tell you that you should pay particular attention to a balanced and wholesome diet these days before your period. Listen to your body, eat intuitively. Learn from yourself. After your meal, feel whether it did your body any good? Do you feel lighter? If so, write it down and repeat it in 28 days.
Herbs against menstrual cramps
Herbs can also provide symptom relief during the period. For us, the power of herbs is so inspiring. We are very happy that the founders of Komjun in Cologne, a holistic centre focusing on women’s health and femininity, told us about herbs during menstruation. Komjun stands for connection. Connecting – with each other, with yourself and with nature. Learn about your pelvic floor from Jana from Komjun and which herbs can support you in your cycle from Elena.
For severe cramps during the period
Pour milk over the goose finger herb (vegetable milk is an alternative). The fat in the milk makes the essential oils dissolve better. Add 150 ml milk to 2 teaspoons of goose cinquefoil, cover and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drain and enjoy! Like to start with 1 cup a day 2-3 days before menstruation. During menstruation, you can also drink 2-3 cups a day.
In case of very little bleeding
A tea made from mugwort, motherwort and lady’s mantle. Pour 200 ml of water with 2 teaspoons of the herbal mixture. Like to start with 1 cup a day 2-3 days before menstruation. During menstruation, you can also drink 2-3 cups a day. Herbs act to regulate sex hormones and promote blood flow.
In case of very heavy bleeding
A tea made from yarrow, lady’s mantle and shepherd’s purse. Pour 200 ml of water with 2 teaspoons of the herbal mixture. Drink this tea only during menstruation, then again like 2-3 cups per day. Women’s mantle also regulates the hormone balance here. The herbal mixture also has an astringent effect, i.e. it contracts and thus stops bleeding.
Besides using the herbs as a tea mixture, you can also use medicinal herbs for yoni steaming. If you’d like to hear more about it here, listen to the IGTV on our Instagram channel that Elena recorded for us. Elena also explains where and in what quality you can best buy your medicinal herbs.
Pelvic floor training
Jana from Komjun recorded several short sessions on exciting pelvic floor exercises. Learn how to feel, activate and relax your pelvic floor. Actively relaxing your pelvic floor can help relieve cramps during your period. Again, yoga can help relieve period pain. Here you can directly watch a video for your pelvic floor. You can find two more videos directly on our Youtube channel.
Sustainable period – Fairstainable bleed
On average, menstruating people have their periods for 40 years. This means you may bleed for around 2,370 days in your life. If you use about 3 tampons a day for this, you can easily imagine the mountain of rubbish each one creates for monthly hygiene. Therefore, it is also very important for us in this area to deal with our menstruation as sustainably as possible. And luckily, there are already many more sustainable options on the market these days: organic tampons, reusable panty liners, menstrual cups, period underwear, etc.
The start-up Einhorn from Berlin combines design with fairstainability (fair & sustainable). With their products, they are not only committed to sustainability, but also to its social impact. Get to know the fair period products from Einhorn and find out what exactly sustainable menstruation actually means. In this article on Unicorn’s Fairstainable bleed, they explain their mission and draw your attention to your sustainable period.
We hope we have been able to introduce you to a lot of new and exciting information this week and that one or two things have inspired you to think about new and wonderful things!
Spread the words out loud!
We would like to thank Julia, Gina, Jana, Elina, Nicole and the Unicorn team for your wonderful contribution to this great week!