Know Your Flow
As I begin to introduce our new Myofascial Fertiltiy & Yin Yoga classes, our “Womb Love Yoga Flow”, I thought I’d start by focusing on some Womb Love 101
First up, both our Womb Love Bodywork and our upcoming Womb Love Yoga Flow are based around the four phases of the Menstrual cycle; Menstruation or your bleed; the Follicular phase; Ovulation; and the Luteal Phase. So we can tailor a program to suit your time of the month, it’s important you let us know where you’re at! So, a little bit of theory.
Understanding your cycle can not only help us in tailoring your sessions, it can also help you improve your menstrual health and wellbeing and work as a foundation for further inquiry into improving your Fertility with working with Fertility Awareness Professionals.
The Menstrual Cycle is a series of natural processes that you body goes through. Our body’s hormone levels rise and fall depending on whichever phase of your menstrual cycle you’re in. It’s these hormones that can also affect mood and energy levels.
The length of a menstrual cycle can vary from 23 days to 35 days (Average 28 days). All women are different, so your own cycle may be shorter or longer and not all cycles are normal.
There are four stages or phases of our cycles, Which phase are You?
• Menstrual Phase - Restore - Winter - Days 1-5
The first day of your period is the start of your menstrual cycle. Low levels of both oestrogen and progesterone cause the lining of the uterus, the endometrium to break down and sheds in the form of menstrual blood, You may feel low on energy and have aches and pains.
Our Womb Love Bodywork will focus on the lumbar/sacral areas of you back, your abdomen, reflexology and your head and neck. We will also incorporate Rebozo massage. Our meditations will focus on shedding emotions and negativity which no longer serves us. During a Womb Love Yoga Flow session we will focus on a flow activating our Liver, Large Intestine & Spleen meridians. We will do lower abdominal twists to release physical and emotional toxicity.
• Follicular Phase - Gather/Awaken - Spring - Days 5 -13
After the last day of your period, your body prepares for ovulation. Follicle-stimulating hormone or FSH stimulates your ovaries to produce a matured egg. The maturing process produces oestrogen which makes the lining of your uterus thicken with nutrients and blood, so it will be able to provide the egg with the support it needs in case of pregnancy. As the oestrogen levels rise, so does our mood and energy levels. During this phase you might also notice more discharge clear or white sticky mucus - this is normal and often when charting this is used to identify what phase you’re in too. If you chart your Basal Body Temperature or BBT, you may find that it is slightly lower than during your menstrual phase.
Our Womb Love Bodywork will incorporate sacral/lumbar work, abdominal massage and womb massage. Our goal is to increase nutrients, oxygen and hormonal flow to your womb and overies. Our meditations will focus on energy and positivity and building solid foundations. Womb Love Yoga Flow will concentrate on the Kidney, Liver and Lung meridians.
• Ovulation - Opening to Possibilities - Summer - Days 10-18
This phase typical happens about 13-15 days before your period. During ovulation, the matured egg is finally released into the Fallopian tube and travels to the uterus. Luteinising Hormone or LH triggers ovulation. The egg can survive for 12-24 hours. During this time, if it comes in contact with sperm, it is fertilised. This is generally around 2 weeks after the first day of your period. Like your period, the timing of ovulation can vary cycle to cycle and you may have the odd cycle where you don’t ovulate at all.
If the egg isn’t fertilised it begins to degrade, but if it is fertilised, it travels to the uterus over the following 6-12 days to possibly implant for pregnancy. If you’re tracking cervical fluid, you’ll find that just before ovulation the cervical fluid will change to a wet slippery substance that resembles egg whites, to post ovulation when the fluid is mostly dry sticky and decreases in volume. Your BBT rises after ovulation and stays raised during this phase This is in response to progesterone which is released after ovulation occurs.
Both our Womb Love Bodywork and Womb Love Yoga Flow will focus on you feeling nurtured yet vibrant with focus on circulation and energy. If you are on any Ovarian stimulating protocols please inform us as any twists or womb massage can be avoided due to sensitivity and avoid risk to the follicles.
• Luteal Phase - Post Ovulation or Implantation (assisted) - Embody - Autumn - Days 15-28
Progesterone builds the lining of your uterus in support of a fertilised egg. HCG or Human Choronic Gonadotropin is produced and this is the hormone that is tested for with a home pregnancy kit. If the egg isn’t fertilised oestrogen and progesterone levels drop, and as the lining isn’t required, it breaks down and menstruation begins. Due to the levels; of progesterone, you may feel moodier, easily irritated and experience sadness or feel anxious.
This phase is also known as the two week wait.
Womb Love Bodywork will be tailored to meet your needs, depending on natural or assisted ovulation, and if there is a a chance you may be pregnant (ie if you’re trying to conceive). We will avoid any womb work, but will concentrate on the sacral, lumbar, abdominal areas. Digestive massage is a great benefit during this time. Our meditations will concentrate on alleviating stress, releasing positive and happy hormones. During our Womb Love Yoga Flow we will concentrate on bringing yin energy into the womb, and is a more quiet, focused restorative flow.
Please let us know if you are under any Fertility Assistance Protocols including IVF, assisted ovulation etc; if you have an IUD inserted or have had any recent abdominal surgery including diagnostic laparoscopy.
When you arrive at your Womb Love Bodywork Session or Womb Love Yoga Flow class, you’ll get a chance to discuss your needs with me before we start, or grab a Flow Card from the front reception indicating your phase.
Myofascial Fertility and Yin Teacher Training Manual - Dr Amanda Waadyk and Phoebe Cole
Dr Amanda Waadyk - Angea.com.au
Fertility Massage Therapy Training Manual - Clare Blake