I used to feel uncomfortable expressing any acknowledgment of my monthly menstrual cycle to anyone but myself. I know I am not alone in this. Not only do people get squeamish at the thought of blood, but the idea of it coming from "Down There! Good Heavens!" And on top of that we are taught by society to ignore that which makes us part of the Feminine Divine Creative Essence of the Universe. There is immense power in this so we are not encouraged to access it or own it.
Now my monthly moon cycle has become a welcome ritual of renewal, release and restoration . It is particularly a gift when you are already cleansing your body. This is your body's own cleansing system and can point to areas that still need attention, which can show up in the form of physical or mental cravings, pain and emotions. I find when I am cleansing that my moon cycle is much less emotionally charged and physically painful. I have also learned from cycles past that the first 24 - 48 hours are the most intense and I might as well plan to go to my own Red Tent.
Traditionally women would leave society during her moon cycle and spend time together with other menstruating women. They were encouraged to rest and not participate in the day to day activities of societal life. (Of course, usually, another woman might take care of her home and husband during this time.) Women in the Red Tent would also share dreams and visions as this is a particularly potent time restoring balance to your life by re-evaluating your dreams and goals. So I often spend my time writing, meditating, and practicing restorative yoga.
One of my friends and teachers, Sara Avant Stover, teaches women's life balance, meditation and yoga around the world. She created this short video of two restorative yoga poses to practice during your moon time. Enjoy!