Normalising reproductive cycles, sex, fertility, natural hormonal balance
Celia Roberts – Yoga, Meditation, Ayurveda, Clinical Yoga Therapy™
Notes from Reproductive system clinical yoga therapy session on Fertility, Painful menses, Normalising cycles, Candida and Natural Hormonal balance.
Are your cycles connected to the Moon cycles?
What affects your fertility?
Do you have a pain free cycle?
What controls menstrual timing and synchronicity?
What makes you most attractive to the opposite sex?
What time in your cycle is the most easiest time to injure yourself?
And when is the best time to have sex for fertility and in what position?
Connecting to Moon cycles and the natural environment
Take the time to reset your menstrual clock naturally.
It is no coincidence that the menstrual cycle of a woman is 28 days and the moon cycle is exactly the same. For some reason, we often feel as humans with a higher consciousness that we are beyond the natural cycles of life or have unconsciously disconnected from them. And yet, staying in contact with the moon and even the sun affects our cycles, our fertility.
Moreover, yoga helps us to regulate our cycles, and provides natural the hormonal balance for both men and women. Yoga enhances the internal connection to this moment with its strong focus on breath and body. It greatly enhances the mind-body connection and our connection to the natural environment. The greatly increases our chances of fertility and reduces symptoms of PMS (not to mention menopause as well)!
Did you know that FERTILITY is connected to light exposure?
Light is proven to affect fertility. In fact, those living closer the equator are more fertile. 28 day cycles can be returned back to normal with simple exposure to bright lights. One study showed that the cycle could be regulated with light exposure to a simple 100 watt light bulb on nights 14-17 as counted from last day of the woman’s last period. Light is also good for shortening very long menstrual periods and reducing symptoms of PMS, which are likened to seasonal affective disorder.
In Ayurveda, natural sun light exposure to the abdomen for 10 minutes daily is recommended for IBS, cycle regulation, fertility and PMS, all of which are all inherently linked.
Look below for a youtube visual sequence to assist…
How can I bring back my absent periods?
If a woman is undernourished or overexercises and her periods will cease. The lower body fat ratio will affect her fertility and eradicate menses. This can take up to 4 years to return to normal! It is important to notice that if we are skipping cycles, we take every opportunity to normalise them as soon as possible. Fertility and cycle skipping is usually looked upon in Ayurveda as the need to increase Kapha through gentle yoga, warm foods, and increasing kapha type foods eg good dietary oils and fats. The aim is often, but not always, to reduce Vata and Pitta in the reproductive organs, and the overall diet and lifestyle. Book into see a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner to learn more.
Menstrual timing and synchronicity
In the home and families in which we live we come across “Entrainment”, whereby a dominant woman’s pheromones will control menses of all those in the home. In the dominant female, the pre-ovulation pheromones will induce ovulation in women who have not yet ovulated and the post ovulation pheromones induce delay of ovulation in others. Women who live and work together will often experience synchronicity or entrainment in their cycle.
Attraction between the sexes
Men find ovulating women more attractive in smell. However, when a woman is menstruating her face becomes more symmetric and therefore attractive to the man. Frankly, the man correctly chooses his mate as attractive to him based on her ability to reproduce (menses) and then uses his nose during the ovulatory phase to possible reproduce and have sex. Studies show that men prefer the smell of a t’shirt of an ovulating women rather than non-ovulating women.
Opposites do attract, as women are attracted mostly to the t’shirt smell in a man if he has entirely different immune system from their own. Sad to say, birth control medications will have a negative and opposite effect. When using birth control medications, women sniff out the wrong immune system for creating a healthy child. Birth control medications undermine our natural cycles and hormonal balance – best to avoid them where possible.
Effects of stress on menstrual pain
One high level stress period can cause more pain in the next cycle. Practising restorative yoga during this time and reducing stress will reduce the pain of the next. The menstrual cycle is a time to rest and take care of all stressors and be still.
Testosterone in men and women
We must be careful in asana practice not to overly increase the testosterone in women, as it increases the male characteristics and may reduce periods. Women who practice strong asana practice or vigorous hot yoga maybe likely to reduce fertility, as with any exercise program that becomes too much or too strong. Testosterone, however, can increase libido in both men and women – inversions and backbends will assist in increasing testosterone where needed. Doing exercises that focus on strengthening the core and also practicing meditation will assist. In a study done conducted in 1974 at the Benares Hindu University, a dozen men with an average age of 23 underwent six months of vigorous yoga training. The poses they started with were cobra, seated twist, wheel, and full lotus, and progressed to locust, bow, shoulder stand, and plow. The end result was an average testosterone production increase of 57%.
Testosterone levels are barometers of moods and mindsets, surging when one wins and lowering with loss. Testosterone is highest in men who have jobs in law and the acting professions over ministers. Testosterone levels in men decline naturally as they age. In adult men, low testosterone may lead to a reduction in muscle bulk, loss of body hair and a wrinkled ‘parchment-like’ appearance of the skin, mood disturbances, increased body fat, loss of muscle tone, inadequate erections and poor sexual performance, osteoporosis, difficulty with concentration, memory loss and sleep difficulties. Yoga assists in keeping testosterone levels high in men by keeping stress levels low. Simply put, stress produces cortisol which inhibits testosterone production, so practice yoga to de-stress.
Balancing levels of testosterone in males and females of all ages is important and naturally is best.
Best times for sex
In Western societies, the most popular time for sex is 11.00pm and second most popular time is 8.00am. Sunday is the most popular day! Furthermore, sex is most frequent on 8th day of menstrual cycle. Fantasies are very strong for women just before ovulation, due to high oestrogen levels. Men have higher levels of testosterone in late Autumn – which accounts for soaring birth rate in late Summer.
In Ayurveda, early winter and late winter are considered the best seasons for reproduction. Early evening is considered the best time to have sex, with the woman lying on her back and the man on top, in the Shiva- Shakti position. This is considered best for fertility and to keep the doshas in balance – ie vata, pitta, kapha.
Woman who exercise vigorously, regularly can have 2-4 times the rate of scanty periods (oligomenorrhea) or no periods at all (amenorrhoea). Oligomenorrhoea is accompanied by significant bone loss, and estrogen is depressed, and cortisol levels become high, but this is rapidly reversible. Fortunately, Yogasana is an acceptable method of recovery.
Menstrual cramps and pain
Women have much stronger coupling of pain in visceral organs then men do. This means that women with IBS often experience headaches, chronic pelvic pain, including period pain. During the menses there is localised damage and so the release of prostaglandins locally causes pain. The prostaglandins sensitize local nerve endings to send pain signals to the brain and seal off the bleeding areas. They then constrict arteries very strongly and the arteries can go into spasm and generate feelings of menstrual cramps. Lower Bain Pain during menses is said to be referred pain originating from the uterus. Choose restorative postures during this time and avoid inversions.
Vaginal Thrush and candida often changes with the hormonal cycle and gets a little worse just before the period. Try and regulate your hormonal cycle through herbs, spices and foods with the help of an Ayurvedic practitioner. A one little hint of advice is to give reduce all inflammatory foods – sugar, wheat, dairy, coffee, sweet foods including fruit and alcohol. Improve your gut microbiome with varied organic foods.
How do I practice and refrain from injury during my cycle?
During the ovulation phase (which we connect to the Full moon phase in Ayurveda), the oestrogen levels are high and progesterone levels are low. Low levels of oestrogen have weakening effects on our ligaments and so we can stretch further but more prone to injury during this time. The full moon is often when we have the most energy in our cycle and in practice. Be careful not to overstrain with your hormonal surge. Those on birth control pills do not have same risk of injury around this time.
Practice daily (11.08 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdBRwtBofl0&t=140s
More information to come on the following topics…
- PMS – Do you have vata, pitta or kapha PMS?
- Menopause, Ayurveda and Yoga.
Book in for a private session: https://celiaroberts.com.au/private-appointments/