Ayurveda & The Menstrual Cycle: The Luteal Phase

Welcome back to the final piece of our 3-part story on Ayurveda & The Menstrual Cycle.
We have woven our way through the 3 Doshas; Vata, Pitta, & Kapha - Ayurvedic terms for the elements and states of being.
We have deepened our understanding of the Menstrual Phase; a highly Vata time of release and turning inward. 
We learned about the Follicular & Ovulatory Phases; where the Follicular phase is a juicy time led by Kapha, and Ovulation is engulfed in the transformative fire of Pitta. 
Now, we follow with the completion of the journey: The Luteal Phase.

If the menstrual cycle were a symphony, this would be the harmonious prelude to the grand finale. It's a time of anticipation, introspection, and embracing the wisdom that lies within. The stage is set for a beautiful interplay between the deeper elements of our being, guided by the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda.

The luteal phase, spanning from ovulation to the onset of menstruation, is a time of heightened sensitivity and intuitive wisdom. It is a moment when the body's rhythm begins to slow down, calling us to turn inward and listen attentively to its whispers.

Imagine this phase as a twilight hour, where the sun casts a golden hue upon the landscape, painting the world in gentle warmth. In Ayurvedic terms, the luteal phase is governed by the Pitta Dosha, which lends its unique qualities of heat, creativity, and clear vision to this transformative period.

The Luteal Phase is split into two separate hormonal interactions, each about 5 days long. The first, Post-Ovulatory hormonal flux, and the second Point of Non-Conception hormonal dip leading to the day before Menstruation.
Post-Ovulatory Luteal Phase
During the first half of Luteal Phase, immediately following ovulation, the body prepares itself for the possibility of pregnancy. The ruptured egg follicle from ovulation transforms into a structure called the corpus luteum, which releases progesterone, a hormone responsible for thickening the uterine lining to maintain a potential pregnancy. 

During these early days of luteal phase, the Pitta dosha, with its fire and transformative power, takes center stage. Pitta infuses us with a radiant energy that fuels our creativity and clarity. It is a time when we can harness this fiery force to bring our visions to life and express our innermost truths. We feel less energetic during this time, because the transformation is becoming internalized, Pitta is ready to transform cells into life!

However, as with any dance, balance is key. Too much Pitta can ignite a wildfire within, leading to irritability and intensity. It is important to nourish and cool the flames of Pitta during this phase. Enjoy cooling foods and beverages, such as juicy watermelons or soothing herbal teas, to temper the inner fire and find equilibrium. We will cover this more deeply below.

Point of Non-Conception
Midway through our luteal phase, we experience a shift as our body has determined we are, in-fact, not pregnant, and hormones drastically decline.
I know this moment of every luteal phase very well, like clock-work, I always seem to wake up sobbing & very emotional with no outside trigger. These hormones, our estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, LH, & FSH, simultaneously drop to their lowest point which triggers the menses.

This is where we begin to witness Pitta, with its fiery and transformative quality, burn off any suppressed emotion to be released during menstruation.

Overreacting, irritability, crying triggering easily; this is Pitta, clearing out the old to make way for the new. So often we refer to this as PMS, however what Pitta is really asking of us, is to PLEASE MAKE SPACE.

Therefore, it is essential to find ways to cool and balance Pitta during this phase, such as practicing relaxation techniques, engaging in calming activities, grounding practices, gentle exercise, and self-care rituals that promote stability and can help support a sense of calm amidst the drastic change. 

This looks like turning within and sitting with the major transition happening inside of us; the cleaning before the release. 
We want to navigate exercise with care. Listening to our bodies, when do they desire movement? When do they desire rest? 

Please Make Space
During this transformative phase, the body speaks to us in subtle whispers, offering insights into our overall well-being. It is a time when we can truly listen, decode the messages, and respond with love and care. By paying attention to the signs and signals our bodies provide, we can prevent dis-ease from taking root and instead, flourish in radiant health.

As we navigate the luteal phase, it is crucial to honor the natural ebb and flow of our bodies. Just as the tides respond to the moon's gentle pull, our menstrual cycles are intimately connected to the cosmic rhythms. By attuning ourselves to these natural cycles, we align with the wisdom of our ancestors and become the guardians of our own well-being.

Take a moment to envision the women who came before us, those who danced through the luteal phase in their own unique way. They, too, listened to the whispers of their bodies and honored the sacred rhythm within. Let us embrace their legacy and weave it into the tapestry of our own lives.

As we move through the luteal phase, we can honor its sacred energy by practicing self-care rituals that nourish both body and soul. Indulge in warm oil massages, gentle stretching, or meditative practices that allow you to connect with your inner self. Remember, this is a time of inner wisdom and nurturing, and you deserve to be embraced by your own loving care.

Together, let us reclaim our truth and empower the youth with the poetry of our experiences. Let us inspire the generations to come to honor their bodies and the sacred cycles they embody.

In the luteal phase, may we find the courage to slow down, turn inward, and cherish the gifts of introspection. May we dance with the rhythms of our bodies, guided by the wisdom of Ayurveda, and find empowerment in the knowledge that our bodies are sacred temples of life.

May your journey through the menstrual cycle be a symphony of self-discovery, empowerment, and love.

Written by Amber Jade
Instagram: @thriving.wild