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“Tell your daughters how you love your body. Tell them how they must love theirs. Tell them to be proud of every bit of themselves—from their tiger stripes to the soft flesh of their thighs, whether there is a little of them or a lot of them, whether freckles cover their face or not, whether their curves are plentiful of slim, whether their hair is thick, curly, straight, long or short. Tell them how they inherited their ancestors’ souls in their smiles, that their eyes carry countries that breathed life into history, that the swing of their hips does not determine their destiny. Tell them never to listen when bodies are critiqued. Tell them every woman’s body is beautiful because every woman’s soul is unique.” ~ Nikita Gill
Have you asked yourself in what ways does your body feel like moving today?
Intuitive moving is simple yet counterintuitive to what most people have always done. This simple practice of becoming quiet enough to listen to our body’s wants and needs is a muscle that needs exercising.
What if we gave ourselves the opportunity to move in different ways from one week to the next? For women in particular, intuitive moving is the twin flame to our menstrual cycle.
Our menstrual cycle spans generally over 28 days and breaking this down into our hormonal phases we shine a light on important bodily signals. Day one of our cycle marks the beginning of our shedding time, which lasts generally around five to seven days. The menstrual phase is when all of our hormones fall to their lowest levels and our womb begins the process of shedding and letting go. There is this sense of relief and tranquility here as we surrender to the natural rhythm that our body is going through.
With this in mind, how does your body feel like moving? Gentleness is key! Be supportive of your womb when it comes to movement, your blood wants to flow so use gentle yoga poses, light walking, and stretching to care for yourself. The more you use this time to rest, the more energy you will have through ovulation, which is key for creative projects and conception, as well as summer, when you look at it through a seasonal lens.
Following the menstrual phase, comes the follicular phase and leads up to the ovulation phase. It is when all our hormones are at their lowest levels and slowly begin to increase. FHS (follicular-stimulating hormone) rises to aid our egg formation in our ovaries. This is day 7-10 of our cycle! This is where our focus is on nourishing our endocrine system and moving our hormones. It is the best time to try something new, switch up our exercise routine, and get your blood pumping.
Twists and inversions (head over heart) are really beneficial and aid in detoxing our hormones. Think new and groove!
At the peak of our cycle, the ovulation phase comes just after the follicular phase. It is when the rise in follicular stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone stimulates the follicle to release an egg! Our uterine lining begins to thicken due to an increase in estrogen and our sexual desires rise due to testosterone. This is one of your most primal states and your body’s sensations can be more heightened at this time.
Moving intuitively? Think high-intensity intervals! Your energy is at its peak and ready to move! Explore new ways of moving and sweat it out! Also, be mindful around the time of ovulation as your body is going through a lot and can have a tendency to burn out if you haven’t rested during your menstrual phase! Light yoga and walking are perfect.
On the descent of our cycle, we fall into our luteal phase. The luteal phase lasts for about 10-14 days and is when estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone reach their peak and descend right before menstruation. The first half of this phase is on our side when it comes to socialising and staying focused and the second half is a good time to bring projects to completion and focus our energy inward.
Focus on strength! For the first half of this phase, you will still have more energy; however, be gentle as you are on the descent. As the second half comes around, ease up on intense exercising and focus on light yoga, walking, swimming, and pilates.
After hearing these lightbulbs of information, can you reflect on which phase you’re currently in and how your body is longing to move? One of the root causes of imbalances comes from disregarding the voices from our bodies. When our body is crying out for stillness or rest, we push onward and often don’t give ourselves the time or gift of listening.
This practice of intuitively moving will begin to feel like an inner compass once we begin to build the habit of checking in with ourselves daily. It is never too late to begin and just by reading this you have already started the process of moving intuitively.
If you are interested in diving deeper into an in-depth relationship with your inner and outer cycles I invite you to our monthly Women’s Wellness & Wisdom Online Course! It is a four-week journey that explores cycle awareness, intuitive writing, food as medicine, the art of ritual, and sacred storytelling.