We live in a chaotic world where we're often on the go all the time. Society expects us to show up day after day with the same high energy, while neglecting our cyclical nature.
When we’re bleeding, we need to give ourselves permission to rest and switch off. It’s a time for nourishing our bodies with gentle love and kindness.
"It’s the most intuitive time in our cycle, which is one of the reasons we tend to withdraw from the world," says Mel Andrews, a feminine embodiment coach and yoga teacher. "Withdrawing gives us space to listen to our inner wisdom."
Here Mel shares her favourite rituals to practice when menstruating.
Healing rituals for menstruation
Manifest your dreams
Many of us grow up believing that our bleed time is something of a nuisance. We're conditioned to think that our period is to be ignored, rather than honoured.
As Mel explains, changing your thinking around your bleed time can actually create a truly beautiful practice.
"You might like to set up a little ritual for yourself each month to honour your bleed time," she says. "You could buy yourself some beautiful flowers, your favourite chocolate or a book you've been wanting to read."
It's a time to turn inward and reflect. Journaling can be an especially beneficial practice during your bleed time, so take note of what's coming up for you right now.
"It’s also a lovely time to hold a ceremony for yourself," explains Mel. "Place some sacred items on an altar such as flowers, crystals, tarot cards and candles. Use this space to meditate, move your body gently to music and manifest your dreams."
How often do you ever give yourself a proper break? Even when on vacation, many of us are guilty of checking work emails or scrolling through social media.
Take your bleed time as an opportunity to give yourself a break. Even if it's just for a few minutes each day, it's a great time to find some breathing space.
"I think it's important to take a technology detox and really take time for yourself to switch off and truly rest," says Mel. "Staying in bed a little longer in the morning, going for a gentle walk or meditating are great ways to honour your bleed.
"It’s also lovely to get outside in nature and take a gentle walk barefoot and connect with mother earth. "
Practice restorative yoga
If you’re someone who follows an intense structured yoga practice or regularly flows with a teacher, it can be tricky to slow down and follow your intuition. But, rather than feeling like you’re missing out on a sweaty vinyasa, it’s time to add a little nourishment to your practice.
“Restorative yoga is perfect for our bleed time,” says Mel. “In our day-to-day life, we’re mostly in a flight or fight response, meaning our bodies are in a heightened state of stress.
“Restorative yoga is so calming and relaxing. It can really benefit feelings of stress and anxiety. It assists in balancing our nervous system and our hormones.”
Restorative yoga calms and soothes the nervous system. You may typically only take around three different yoga poses during a full restorative practice. It’s a time for calm and giving our body a chance to rest.
“There are some beautiful poses that massage in to our internal organs and increase blood flow to our pelvic region,” says Mel. “This also helps us to digest nutrients from the healthy nourishing food we eat.”
Meditation may already be in your daily practice, and it’s a fantastic way to bring calm and focus to the mind. Changing the focus of your meditation during your bleeding time can be a wonderful way to honour your cycle. “Womb meditations are magical as it’s our most intuitive time of the month,” says Mel. “This type of meditation can help us in this reflective stage of our cycle.
“Meditation is a really beautiful way to let go of tension and emotions and an amazing way to show ourselves kindness and compassion.”
For a simple meditation, find somewhere comfortable to lie down. Place your hands over your womb and begin to slow your breathing. Imagine a flower beneath your hands. With every inhale the petals of the flower close, and with every exhale, the petals open.
About Mel Andrews & Inner Wildflower
Mel Andrews is the creator of Inner Wildflower, an organisation dedicated to championing women. From feminine yoga classes and womb meditations to online menstrual cycle workshops, Inner Wildflower celebrates the sacred sisterhood.