Many of you who know me or have been taught by me, know I am not afraid to talk about periods, wombs, birth, etc. some of you, I know find this uncomfortable, but I still don’t shy away from something I am passionate about- Empowerment of women in understanding their bodies.
Like may others my age I wasn’t particularly fond of my periods, didn’t have a traumatic introduction to them, just a bit awkward, but then so is everything as a teen right? Also like many young girls, I went on the Pill. I felt this was a wise thing to do, I was taking control of my body; Saving myself from pregnancy.
What I didn’t know then was the effect that the pill had on my body, I didn’t even think of side effects or disrupting my hormones could have such an effect on the mind.
It was my mind the gave in.. I sunk into depression, anxiety.So much anger and sadness.
I look back on my years in my 20’s and feel so much sadness for the girl who was stuck, completely unaware of the power she had. Eventually, I was prescribed ante-depressants every month with my contraceptive. It wasn’t actually until many years later when I came off the Pill I started to see clearer. I noticed actually I wasn’t crazy or depressed. A few changes of lifestyle and the discovery of Meditation and yoga really helped.
It is here my love of all Wombliness began (new word)
I practised a lot of yoga, trained in Thai Massage and became a Yoga teacher.
I loved my turn around and positive life.
I signed up to more and more courses a little bit of an addiction but wanted to share all this good stuff. Still, periods were listened to only as a ‘ladies holiday’ in my ashtanga practice (taking first few days off from yoga when I bled).
It wasn’t till I started my Postnatal and baby Yoga course a light bulb went on! I met the incredible Uma Dinsmore-Tuli. I happened to be menstruating on the course and normally I would just carry on, but she spoke so passionately about connecting to the womb and inner wisdom that I felt free to comment that I was menstruating. I was given alternative adjustments and felt a sense of release I had never felt before.
For the first time, I learnt to surrender and let go instead of ‘Man Up’.
I shared so much of Uma’s Womb Yoga with my students and trained further with Uma whenever I could, learning about pregnancy, fertility and menstruation and menopause. I now had tools to help my PMS and adjust my practice when I was on my period. It was through Uma I learnt of others who were doing great things for women’s empowerment and discovered Alexandra Pope and her ‘Women’s Quest’ she was talking about details of the monthly menstrual cycle and how each part of the cycle has an effect on our lives. I connected instantly with her analogy of seasons to describe the parts of the menstrual cycle.
I started studying with Pope and Sjanie Hugo Wurlitzer’s online courses at ‘Red School‘ and fell in love with my cycle. I learnt to chart my cycle, every day noticing my energy, mood, creativeness and even productiveness. I changed from using yoga to just help my PMS to using my menstrual cycle awareness to determine my yoga practice completely. Some days I need to move and feel my whole body, other days I needed to just sit and listen. My yoga practice started to encompass more than just moving or meditation, I started to paint and draw again. some days my yoga practice is to just walk in the park, or lay in the bath.
It goes so deep the more I study I learn more and more hidden gems and wisdom, but this time it isn’t going to more courses it is the deeper study of myself and my cycle. You will know if you get emails from me that I am ovulating or if you want my honest opinion, ask when in my raw pre-menstrual time.! Red School has taught me, along with an amazing group of followers and sisters the power of the WHOLE of my menstrual cycle. How that we are always searching for the thing that will fulfil us, or make life better, I know it is a cliche but that ‘thing’ (which changes daily!) is inside us along.
I have this deeper wisdom and intuition that is now my guide and my friend.