In this week’s Self-Care Goddess podcast episode #55 with the amazing Ayurvedic Goddess Sarah Kruse we have an insightful conversation about women’s health and hormones and how we can regulate them for fulfillment in our lives.
Ayurvedic wisdom on balancing hormones
In Ayurveda, ‘Dean Acharya’ means our daily routine. It includes all the practices we do throughout the day from the moment we wake up until we go to bed. If we have a consistent daily routine, the sleep hormones, reproductive hormones, stress & bliss hormones are in sync and they balance our endocrine system. In a woman’s life we must acknowledge the numerous physical and emotional changes that occur. Life experiences that are unprocessed and unresolved will 100% come up during menopause. Thus, it is important to do our self-work and prioritize our joy in life.
According to Sarah Kruse, the #1 complaint / symptom pertaining to women’s health is hot flashes. This can come up in perimenopause but it’s more prevalent during the menopause phase. Hot flashes can be resolved with dietary changes, breathwork practice and consuming a rejuvenating Ayurvedic herb called Shatavari, which has estrogen precursors and is also an adaptogen. Shatavari can also be used to enhance fertility and breast milk production for lactating mothers. But she argues that caffeine also impacts hot flashes and mood. My podcast guest Jiordana Saade on the Self-Care Goddess podcast episode #13 mentions that women actually have a ‘second shift’. The act of doing nothing, having unstructured time and guilt free relaxation is a gift for all women to keep the hormonal balance.
For more information on “The Role of Herbs in Holistic Healing” listen to the Self-Care Goddess podcast episode #19 and #20 on the Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
Life stages classified into doshas
There are different stages of life according to ayurvedic doshas. It is helpful to understand which dosha is active in different stages of life.
- Childhood is the Kapha stage of life with growth and development.
- From puberty to mid midlife around (mid 50s) is the Pitta stage of life. Young girls and women stepping into puberty are stepping into a Pitta stage. Pitta is about fire and water elements. To keep our teenagers Pitta in balance, adopt gentle pacifying protocols by not eating spicy food, avoiding greasy french fries /pizza and enjoying cooling beverages like coconut water.
- From menopause and beyond it is the Vata stage of life, with air and space elements accumulated in the body. During this menopausal transition, women notice more dryness of skin, cracking joints, dry vaginal tissues, more lightness of sleep and in weight, roughness and busyness in the mind. We must adhere to rhythm/routine as much as possible and slow down turning inward. It is recommended to consume Vata pacifying nourishing foods like soupy, well spiced and cooked food along with rejuvenating herbs such as ashwagandha and licorice.
Sarah emphasizes that regular self-massage benefits the bliss and female hormones in the body. Listen to the Self-Care Goddess podcast episode #47 “10 AYURVEDA Tips for a Healthy Gut” on the Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
Conscious conception, fertility & postpartum care
According to Ayurveda, conscious conception is like preparation for pregnancy that is very important. The mother and father purify and cleanse their body creating a home for the new soul coming in. Conscious conception assists in resolving any trauma that the mother may have experienced in her life so that doesn’t get carried forth in her own birth experience. There are certain foods and herbs that are used to promote the healthiest environment for conception. For example, cold, raw food is not conducive for conception. In our conversation, Sarah mentions that in the Indian culture a lot of priority is given to the first 42 days after delivery. It is said 42 days of healthy postpartum, yields 42 years to the rest of life. If a woman has a baby and gets right back to work in 3-4 weeks and doesn’t slow down to restore her body, there can be some accumulative changes that take place which will be expressed during menopause. However, if a woman has a baby and she creates the sacred space at home, is well rested and bonds with the baby, eating rejuvenating foods and herbs, attending to her Vata dosha, then there’s very little postpartum depression or excess weight gain after delivery. This also leads to very few menopausal symptoms. This nourishing attention and care for the mother and newborn, feels good, gives longevity and strength to a woman later in her life.
I invite you to listen to the Self-Care Goddess podcast #43 “Embrace Ayurveda to Ignite YOUR Life”, on the Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
How to move from stress toward bliss?
Stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol have a negative impact on the overall health of our body. If we are stressed for years, it depletes our reproductive hormones and affects our sleep. The idea is to support the whole endocrine system by keeping hormones balanced and in sync. It can be as simple as having the presence of mind while feeling overwhelmed and stressed by taking a few deep breaths to decide whether to react and snap or pause and respond. How we respond to a stressful situation is important because life is full of surprises and stresses but it’s how we respond to it that determines how we feel. It is benefitable to catch that reaction and choose something different that will bring us ease or joy.
I invite you to watch my YouTube video “4 Stress Busting Breathing Techniques”.
When we’re feeling overwhelmed; doing a breath practice or hugging a loved one, it helps to resolve stress and release bliss hormones. According to Sarah Kruse, we need 12-15 hugs per day to thrive as humans! There are things we can do to release bliss hormones that have a positive impact on female reproductive hormones. Such as hugging, embracing, acts of love, dancing, giving yourself a massage, and enjoying beautiful food and sitting in nature by the ocean. When there are so many things that will release bliss hormones regularly in the body there is no room for stress to interrupt. It is our birthright to live with vitality, passion and express our purpose through keeping our digestive fire strong. If we have undigested residue in our body, maybe we didn’t digest our meal, or had some stress or a poor food combination, or ate too late at night, it can leave some residual toxins in the GI tract that can reach out into different tissues and create inflammation. When there is heightened inflammation, it has an impact on our hormones and cycles. So, we must keep toxin levels low in our body. We can go through a very pleasant menopause experience, if we start taking care of our bodies early. All of the menopausal symptoms are very common, but they’re certainly not normal and can be prevented or mitigated.
Listen to my podcast episode #22, “Toxins 101: Top 10 Toxins Compromising Your Health & Wellbeing”.
Magical moon cycle synching
Another interesting topic we discussed on this episode is bringing awareness to the cycles of the moon, and tracking your period, if you’re still having menstruation, and if you are in menopause you can still follow the cycles of the moon. Connecting with the moon is super powerful, for example, during the full moon sit under the moon and do moon bathing. Exposing our skin to the moon is very cooling for Pitta dosha and creates nourishing energy in the body. Moon bathing is so powerful ideally you want to expose your body naked or with a swimsuit under the full moon light. According to Dr. Ladd, in order to increase full moon rasa or juiciness, place a glass of non-dairy milk under the full moon overnight, and then drink it the morning to bring in the nectar of the moon. In yoga, Chandra Namaskar or the moon salutation has an impact on woman’s health and hormones. Moon salutation is a really beautiful practice to look up and practice under a full moon. Doing the alternate nostril breath (Closing the right nostril and breathing out through the left nostril about 16 times), enhances the lunar channel in the body & cools things down. Watch my YouTube video where I demonstrate “Alternate Nostril Breathing For Anti-Anxiety & Calming Effects”.
Connect with me and I can guide you on your yoga journey. Watch me demonstrate sun salutations on my YouTube channel.
Take Home Message
In today’s digital era, in person connection is also super important. Dietary changes can go a long way especially taking out processed, inflammatory foods and eating from a farm not a factory. For a more deeply nourishing experience both Sarah and I recommend going on a retreat with other women of all ages and learn from each other’s wisdom. The young ones learn from the older ones and older women are delighted by the younger ones. Being around women of all ages is so beneficial. I feel it’s always important to listen to the wise elders who have a lot of life experience. So dear Self-Care Goddesses whenever you can spend time with elder women and gain from their wisdom which is a gift to enjoy.
Listen to the full podcast episode #55 with Sarah Kruse on the Self-Care Goddess Podcast.
Connect with Sarah: www.embrace-ayurveda.com | @embrace_ayurveda
I look forward to connecting with you and learning more about your story and your health and wellness goals. Schedule a FREE introduction call here.