Cycle syncing is the ancient practice of syncing your lifestyle and activities with each phase of your full monthly menstrual cycle. This powerful way of honoring the female body and soul was recently articulated by Alisa Vitti in her book Woman Code: Perfect Your Cycle, Amplify Your Fertility, Supercharge Your Sex Drive, and Become a Power Source, and has truly changed my life. It has amplified my understanding of my menstrual cycle, and my ability to embrace my mind, body and heart in each of the four phases. Living “in flo” as Vitti refers to it, increases our understanding of our body’s unique needs in each phase of our menstrual cycle. For me, planning my life according to my biology was new, and it has revolutionized my ability to nourish myself, tap in to my creative potential, and engage more deeply in the world around me.
The Menstrual Cycle Phases
The four phases of the menstrual cycle are the pillars of understanding our body’s cyclical nature. In school, we may have had a health class that taught us about preventing pregnancy, and likely only covered our menstrual phase and our ovulation phase. In studying my own cycle in the last couple of years I’ve remembered that there are in fact four distinct phases of the menstrual cycle, which blew my mind. Making sense of how each phase of the cycle affects my body has increased my ability to be kind to myself with my waxing and waning energy throughout my cycle, and in fact, harness where I’m at in each aspect of my cycle to live my best life. Here is a brief breakdown of each phase, and how you can subtly align yourself with the different aspects of your monthly cycle:
Release and Reset // Menstrual Phase: About 3-7 days
In this first phase of the cycle, the walls of the uterus shed, and release as menses, or, your period. During this time embrace your heightened intuition. You may notice an influx of creative ideas — jot them down and keep dreaming up new creations. This is a great time to tap into yourself and embrace solo rest time. This is not an ideal time for yoni steaming, as your body is already releasing downward energy. Instead, practice a meditation where you focus your attention on your womb and embrace this potent moment to let go and begin anew. This is a powerful time to let go of what is no longer serving us and set intentions for what is to come.
Nourish and Build // Follicular Phase: About 7-10 days
In this second phase of our cycle, the Follicular Stimulating Hormone is released, promoting the follicles in the ovaries to mature, prepping the egg for release. This is a great time to bring the creative ideas from your menstrual cycle to life. Ideas for new projects and creations will come naturally to you now — and now is the time to set them in to motion. You’ll also notice an increase in energy as estrogen and testosterone rise during this phase. Your body is at peak performance during this phase so it’s a great time to increase your strength training. Nourish your body with building foods such as almonds, mangos, ghee, avocado and dates. And most importantly, do what feels good!
Celebrate and Play // Ovulation: About 3-4 days
Ovulation is an important phase to pay attention to if you are trying to get pregnant, or avoid pregnancy, as this is when the egg releases and can be fertilized. Ovulation is your peak energy and radiance phase, so you may feel called to do more extended movement and activities like going out dancing with friends. This is also a great time to launch that project or idea you’ve been working on, as you’re at your most outgoing and you are absolutely glowing! The estrogen increase in this phase makes us our most juicy, strong and confident, so pitch that new idea, ask that cutie on a date, and enjoy your social scene. Take time to celebrate all of your amazing successes. Yoni steaming at this time will encourage you to be the sensual, juicy Queen that you are.
Rest and Detoxify // Luteal Phase: About 10-14 days
This is the longest phase of the cycle, and the first few days will feel similar to ovulation with steady energy and performance. As this phase progresses your energy slowly wanes and your body increases progesterone production and decreases estrogen and testosterone. As you enter this phase of the cycle, you’ll notice your energy decreasing and your desire to nest increase. This is the time to focus on yourself and slow down. Now is a great time for solo self-care like yoni steaming, gentle yoga, and getting plenty of rest to prepare your body for menstruation. Yoni steaming at this time can also help reduce the PMS symptoms may occur toward the end of this phase. To prepare your body for release, eat plenty of bitter greens and warming spices, and put PMS at bay by avoiding inflammatory foods like sugar, coffee, and wheat.
As you pay more and more attention to what each phase feels like in your body, you’ll become more aware of what you need to feel your best in each phase. Living according to our cycle allows us to deepen our self-care, and live according to our divine feminine essence. Embracing our cycle acknowledges our power and beauty, and taking care of ourselves through each phase allows us to destigmatize our lows, understanding that we don’t need to feel high energy every day.
What practices do you already to that fit naturally into each phase? At the start of your next cycle, take notice of your energy levels during each phase, and honor them as best as you can.