Light on Menopause
Updated: May 11
"Contrast to the negative stereotypes surrounding menopause in the popular culture, the Vedic tradition honors all stages of a woman's life." by Sri Swamini Mayatitananda in Women's Power To Heal Through Inner Medicine.
I thought I would take a moment today as wombyn and share some information based on Vedic tradition, yogic help, and herbalism for wombyn health. It is not a straight line! Personally, my perimenopause has been overlapping with menopause! It has been painful physically and emotionally with changes and self acceptance of the changes one goes through that is different from wombyn to wombyn. I have decided to embrace a spelling change of the word, woman / women / female, because it always connects us to man / men. Both male and females must learn to balance the light / dark, yin/yang, and feminine / masculine. However, that doesn't mean that she / her needs to relate to old words. Wombyn connects us back to the source of Mother Earth connection!
"The native women of my culture see this period as a harbinger of deep spiritual fortitude, a time to start loosening the grip on competitive partnerships with the world and to go within to commune with the greater power. According the Wise Earth ayurveda, menopause marks the cups of time when the physical essence of ojas matures into emotional wisdom.' Women's Power To Heal Through Inner Medicine, by Sri Swamini Mayatitananda.
Rooting ourselves deeper to Mother Earth has more than ever become important, but with these changes that can begin in wombyn in their 40's, rooting is vital in spiritual community, meditation / prayer, mind/body/ heart health, and business. By mid-years we must increase our ojas for health. A consistent yoga practice with consistent asana designed for reproductive managment, breath science mixed with sense withdrawal can do wonder to raise your vibrations. Putting your feet onto the earth daily to charge through your feet, taking a walk / hike / gardening is also important. Balance all aspects of your life with these changes. How are you viewed by folk with your changes? How are you viewing your self? Have community and friends dropped off or are you expanding out again? Are you digging your hands into the dirt and farming / gardening / hiking / foraging? Are you allowing your last bleeds to touch the earth in a form of ritual? Our bleeding is sacred and collecting some and giving it back to Mother Earth is a great sacrament indeed. How will you choose in the next coming years to embrace change?
One of the things I have done is to do what my daughter actually phrased with humor. So here it is! "Menopause means, Men! Pause!" by Jordan. LOL. Yes! My sweet daughter has definitely been embracing witnessing my body changes too! I love the lightheartedness of her words as she too will soon be embracing, beginning her bleeding. How do you connect with your daughter ? Have you researched and allowed your gynecologist to put you on a hormone balancing formula? Did it help? Or did it create other problems? For some it can help! For others it imbalances them even more.
I personally cannot embrace hormone changes. What do I do? I take stock in my liver! I use a bunch more herbal support for the liver such as: dandelion / burdock blend with ginger a few times a week, Motherwort is a dear herbal ally in my life every week. I find taking stock in my liver helps cycle through the estrogens faster through the system, and of course loving phytoestrogen foods. But the liver really needs more assistance and it is rarely mentioned to Us!. My yogic practice is vital to my well being! There is tons of yogic management to give daily depending on the week and cycle you are in. Yoga is a forever friend and I have so much to share with any who are curious regardless of age.
"Studies have shown the progestrogens used in birth control pills (how many years have you been on them? It hurt my body big time! when I did finally stop them, I began years of horrific headaches and migraines monthly as my outcome and I have always looked at my cycles as sacred) contribute to the alteration of the natural hormonal cycle. But birth control pills are just a few of a more insidious disorder, which is the medical and scientific tampering with a woman's sacred, cyclical, biological, and hormonal reproductive ability. The decrease of progesterone in the body may also play an active part in rapid bone degeneration or osteoporosis, a condition that is plaguing millions of women."
Women's Power To Heal Through Inner Medicine, by Sri Swamini Mayatitananda. So due to the primary cause of osteoporosis is hormonal imbalance so it is vital to take the time to learn about the replenishment into your liver system for it to it's job and take stock in your ojas (vital life energy). Taking time to define your constitution with food and yogic management. Do you boost your higher regulatory systems? Do you take time to increase your parasympathetic nervous system daily (solid pranayama/ pratyahara practice) to reduce cortisol level and stress? Calcium absorption can be decreased and suppressed with too much stress. Cortisol controls production of glycogen in the liver for storage of glucose, a necessary fuel for maintaining emotional and physical stability. So if your cortisol is constantly elevated and you are not with a sitting practice, you can see how this cascades with your health. cortisol also helps the liver convert amino acids for energy. Again, if the cortisol is imbalanced, if the parasympathetic nervous system is not strong then your health will imbalance in many directions.
Do you know your constitution? Not all folk who practice what Yoga is pay attention to constitution. This is vital to one's being.
Vata folk need to increase nervine trophorestoratives for their nervous system and warming / moistening herbs like ginger, lavender, marshmallow, avena sativa, burdock for various system imbalances. Pitta folk can benefit from plants like passion flower, elder flowers, and lotus. Kapha folk can benefit from herbs like chicory, dandelion, and nettle. However, across the board so far in my experience, all women with hormonal changes need to yes pay attention to herbs constitutionally with the systems, but really embrace their liver and herbs like shatavari are good for all wombyn. The menopause disorders are directly connected to hormonal imbalance which has an impact on bodily humors and even More So with VATA. So all women need to pay attention to things that are VATA balancing. with how our ojas change, I feel all wombyn need to take stock in ashwaghanda's support and pranayama / pratyahara / dharana / dhyana practice... not just hangout with.....physical yoga -hatha limb.
Ayurvedic herbals to keep around that are helpful for VATA.. make a tea based on the system in the body it correlates too. ie. Cardamom, cinnnamon, and cloves with a homemade Chai drink. Chammomile and lavender before bed as long as you are not allergic. Maybe try some rosehips with raspberry leaf and rosa in the afternoon as a tea. It is usually 5-6 grams / cup, but Ayurveda and TCM would say and increased amount ie. 10 grams / cup steeped for ie. 20 minutes.
VATA nourishing foods....ghee, brown rice, burdock root, sweet potatoes... I will follow up with a separate blog post for nourishing ideas for you!
What do we take with us when we leave our body? Our vital life energy is ours so we need to take stock in it!
Be self -centered.
Do you wish to know more about how to help your wombyn body through yogic management, herbalism, sitting meditation practice? I always say go to those that live what they speak. I am happy to have a consult with you in-person or zoom, help you through vitalist herbalism, yogic management, Vedic Thai yoga.
blessings, Lotus anwen w. Sagebrush, satya