Ancient women honoured the menstrual blood as the essential life generating material willed by Mother Moon to cleanse and purify their inherited Shakti energy so that new and fragrant life could blossom.
Ancient wisdom for a healthy menstrual cycle and caring for the wombs of all women on earth: the seat of creative intelligence in all areas of life.
About Our Guest: Nidhi Pandya
Nidhi Pandya is a New York based third generation Ayurvedic practitioner working globally. She was indoctrinated into Ayurveda at birth, as her grandfather was an Ayurvedic healer.
In 2002, she founded a value development school called Vyaktitiva to counsel young adolescents and help them find purpose in whatever they do.
Now, she is a practitioner, blogger, educator and a faculty at the Shakti School of Ayurveda.
Wellness to Nidhi means aligning your body and mind to only consume what nourishes you on both levels. This can only happen when you truly understand your body and are able to tune in to your mind.
After an in depth study of the scriptures and contemplation, Nidhi came to the conclusion that the ecosystem of the human body is warm and moist. Any deviation from this climate leads to imbalance. She therefore teaches people how to understand this climate; what may take it off balance, and how to bring it back to homeostasis.
In this Episode we Discuss:
Nidhi's Daily Routine (Dinacharya)
How Nidhi's relationship with Ayurveda originated
Being raised within a family of Ayurveic Healers in Mumbai, India.
Moving to New York and realizing the practice of Ayurveda is her true calling.
Eventually practicing and teaching all over the world.
An introduction into the wonderful power behind menstruation
One of Dylan’s first lessons in his Ayurvedic journey was that one of the greatest blessings a woman has is her menstruation - the cleansing and purification of her Shakti (divine feminine energy).
The wisdom of the menstrual cycle
A woman has the capacity to be a fertile ground - taking the potential that lies within the seed and with her Shakti creating something much bigger and powerful.
The many variables that play a role in the preservation of this fertile ground that is the female reproductive system.
The female cycles affecting the doshas and the entirety of the female physiology.
Why the menstrual cycle is fundamental for the preservation of female fertility.
How a woman deals with her menstrual cycle determining how she will reach menopause later in life.
The menstrual cycle and the preservation of fertility not only being linked to the capacity to birth children but also to the essential qualities of Shakti - birthing creativity and individual expression in the world.
Menstrual phases according to Ayurveda
1. When a woman has had her period then the body enters the Kapha phase - it starts to build the structure needed to initiate conception (thickening of the lining and building of the fluids) in case a sperm cell happens to be invited into the womb any time soon.
2. When ovulating the woman undergoes the Pitta phase - the phase of transformation that allows for the sperm cell to fuse with the female egg and transform that into a Zygote.
During this phase temperatures increase inside the womb to the optimum levels for that transformation to take place.
The enkindling of that reproductive agni (fire) also leads to an increased libido.
3. If fertilization doesn’t occur during the previous phase then the woman enters the Vata phase - the decline. Here the body realizes the structures it has created were not used and therefore destroys them in order to be able to create the optimum conditions again in the future.
The wind/air element in ayurveda is that which destroys - so it’s like a little tornado charged with heat hits these structures and then the lining is destroyed and everything is pushed downwards through a period.
Ayurvedic Protocols for menstruation
It is of upmost importance during this phase to ground the vata:
Very important to avoid exercising, since that wind element will be scattered throughout the body by excessive movement and the cleansing will not properly take place.
Allow yourself to rest; not excessive napping, but slow down.
Try not to use your mind as much - avoid studying, overthinking and stress since that will move the Prana (life force) upward instead of downward.
Eat cooling and grounding foods like rice-based dishes, milk (can be warm due to its nourishing properties) and coconut-based dishes.
Avoid hot foods like eggplant, tomatoes, and excessively spicy foods. Also excessively cold foods and raw foods since all of these will only increase that which you are already feeling.
Mainly eat easy-to-digest foods since that will allow for the blood to concentrate in the pelvic floor and to enliven the cleansing process instead of being massively sent upwards to the digestive system in order to take care of a heavy meal.
Generally, any foods that balance out the dry and hot qualities of this period will promote wellbeing.
Sleeping the closer you possibly can to the earth - this is a grounding technique.
Traditionally a grass bed has been used so that a degree of comfort is there, while still being as close to the ground as possible.
By following these easy protocols many women that had lost their fertility (in terms of having regular periods) have successfully regained it.
Copulation or engaging in any sexual activity is contraindicated during this period.
Women in their menstrual period should try and avoid cooking for two main reasons:
Rest should be primordial during this time.
There is a special warmth and sliminess women experience during their period that needs to be preserved. When physically interacting with food, these properties are going to embed themselves into the food and affect its properties & qualities.
Test this yourself: buy organic rice, handle it with your bare hands and leave it to rest. In a short period of time you’ll see some of the rice grains will hatch.
When on their menstrual periods, women should avoid visiting the temple and the chanting of mantras.
All mantras carry a specific energy - some are more heating and some are more cooling. This energy will surely affect the temperature within your body and that will alter the inner body chemistry and possibly trigger certain undesired consequences.
Spiritual practices imply the upward movement of the subtle Prana & the subtle vayu (wind), which allows for the elevation of the soul within the individual.
But during this period of menstruation, you are not supposed to be working on the upward movement of the subtle prana but instead the gross body is working on the downward movement of Prana/Vayu.
Avoid bathing, Abhyanga and any other activities that stimulate several parts of your body:
They are naturally vata aggravating → they’ll send that wind to all directions within the body.
If you are properly taking care of your body health having menstrual pain shouldn’t be normal; there shouldn’t be any. Only heightened sensitivity should be present.
The pain is an indication of imbalance.
Three main causes of cramps:
A too sluggish environment that is not allowing for the vayu (wind) to move freely
Too much movement that leads to excess wind aggravation that in turn causes vayu to go to undesired parts of your body (a part of your back, cervix, pelvis, etc.) and generate cramping.
Excess heat and inflammation due to an over-enlivened agni usually caused by an improper diet.
What a woman does between two cycles is also of relevance.
The menstrual cycle is there to cleanse, so if there’s a lot to cleanse then the period will take rougher qualities; but if women take proper care of themselves then there will be less to cleanse and the period will be painless (that’s how it naturally should be).
It is the first occurrence of menstruation.
The first 13 years of life are of assimilation - both physically and mentally.
The exponential expansion, growth and maturity of a woman’s physiology.
The various types of learning and creation of memories and an individual psyche.
When menarche arrives, that’s when heat increases in the body and the transformation phase begins.
The fire sets in and all of that which was assembled in the previous 13 years is taken into action, into creation - that is the rise and amplification of Shakti (divine feminine energy).
During the first 12 days the girl goes through a very introspective process, either with an elder-woman or alone. On the 13th day there is a celebration honouring the blossoming of this bud.
A turmeric paste is made and spread all over the body to maintain the menstrual heat and to further purify.
How parents should address their children’s needs and educate them during menarche:
It is important that the communication is good with their children and that they clearly educate them as to what is helpful and what is not; what enlivens their health and what will act as a detriment to it.
Making these things clear early in life is better than having to fight these battles later, when non-healthy habits have already been assimilated as “normal” and the consequences start to appear (missed periods, acne, PCOS [PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome], etc.).
Menopause is supposed to be asymptomatic.
The degree to which you have honoured your periods will determine how rough or mild your menopause will be.
Pain during the ovulation is very often related to low digestive fire. When that digestive agni is debilitated, ama (toxic undigested waste) is created and it blocks the tiny channels within the reproductive system. That blockages will not allow for the prana vayu to flow freely.
To dissolve this ama you can do several things: a good body cleanse, panchakarma (Ayurvedic cleanse composed of five separate procedures), eating light foods, Laṅghana (Ayurvedic deprivation therapy) and fasting.
Piercings according to Hindu Tradition
Piercings are usually put in stimulating points called marmas. These points are related to different parts/systems within the body.
Ear piercings are traditionally done when the child is 6 to 8 months old and they support brain health.
The nose piercing (particularly on the left nostril) has more to do with menstrual and reproductive health. For women suffering from pms and other menstrual issues, this is the piercing you should consider.
There is a particular point within the left nostril that is the most auspicious and effective for this cause. It is believed that if done right and in precisely the right place, the piercing will not get infected.
Other tips and insights that can help with female reproductive health
Warm Castor Oil applied on the lower abdomen and pelvic region will allow for Prana Vayu to be invited downwards with ease.
It is also recommended for women right after they give birth.
Organic Tampons dipped in Oil - preferably Dhanvantaram Tailam - are very good especially for older women that are already experiencing dryness in their vaginas.
Avoid harsh diets and raw foods while on your period since they enhance the menstrual cramps and related pains.
Wearing white and smelling jasmine aroma are recommended ayurvedic practices for women on their periods.
Nidhi's Instagram account (@my_ayurvedic_life) HERE
Nidhi's website HERE
Vital Veda Podcast #58 on Vaginal Microbiome, Youthful Genitals & Reproductive Essence w/ Angela Heap
Vital Veda Podcast #48 on Menstrual Health, Fertility, PCOS, & Amenorrhea w/ Lara Briden
Vital Veda Podcast #46 on Divine Creative Energy (Shakti) & Accessing Mother Divine (Devi) w/ Yashoda Devi Ma
Vital Veda Podcast #43 on Ayurvedic Fertility, The misaligned Superwoman & Juicy Radiance w/ Heather Grzych
Mahasoma Podcast #6 on Ayurveda for Pregnancy, Birth and Postpartum Care w/ Dylan Smith and Laura Poole (Part 2)
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