Menstrual Harmony

Aiko Ota Podcast -- Menstrual Harmony

A short presentation of the Podcast.  

Welcome to Aiko's Podcast, where we explore ways to put theory into practice.

I'm Aiko, and today, I'm thrilled to chat with Emily Zorn, a registered dietitian (RD) and health coach from Palo Alto, California.

Emily is the founder of Emily RD Nutrition Coaching, guiding people through nutrition confusion and freeing them from the stress of diets. She's also the co-host of the podcast RDs vs BS, where she and Marie take deep dives into nutrition topics to determine what's legit and what's not.    In this episode, we focus on how nutrition affects hormones, the menstrual cycle, perimenopause, and menopause, a topic of vital importance to women worldwide. Emily shares three (and a half) essential pieces of advice that women can use to balance hormones naturally. Her expert insights will empower you to make positive changes in your diet and lifestyle to support a happier and healthier menstrual cycle.

Join us to learn evidence-based strategies and debunk myths, empowering yourself with the knowledge to support a happier and healthier menstrual cycle. Whether you seek to improve well-being or love nutrition science, this episode promises to be an eye-opening journey.

Where to find Emily:    
Instagram - @emily_rd_  
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Podcast Instagram - @rds_vs_bs_pod  
Podcast website -  

In this episode, I’m speaking with Maria Begoña Lagaron, an image consultant specialized in personal marketing and sustainability, about how we can wear the phases of our menstrual cycle by matching our clothing with our inner states. Before we get into this specific topic, Maria shares how she got into image consultation and the prominent role sustainability has in her work.

In this episode, I speak with Reenee Khanna about the four inner seasons of the menstrual cycle. You will be familiar with these four seasons if you have taken my course Yoga Following the Menstrual Cycle or seen any of my presentations on the subject. If not, this is a great introduction.

Reenee goes through the basics while also adding a fascinating layer to the picture by discussing which chakra is in focus for each respective season. For example, in our inner autumn, our throat chakra is in focus as we connect with our truth and desire to express it.  We also get tips on how to structure our life according to our menstrual cycle, especially if we have a community of women who can support one another through these phases. Our society is structured in a linear way where cyclical movement is perceived as “ups and downs”. Shifting our perspective to a cyclical one makes much more sense and is way more satisfying. As Renee remarks, we wouldn’t say that Mother Nature is having a “down” when it’s winter and an “up” when it’s summer. Okay, I’m not going to give any more spoilers.    

🙂 Hope you will find this episode inspiring!    

Reenee Khanna is the Founder of Love Your Moon Cycle, a clinical herbalist and purveyor of ancient wisdom and medicine.  Over the last five years, Reenee has been helping women around the world battle PMS and painful periods, using ancient medicinal wisdom and Ayurveda.  Not only have these women been able to find relief from painful periods, but they have also transformed their lives to feel energized and vibrant throughout their cycle.    

You can download Reenee's Guide: 5 Natural Ways to Stop PMS Mood Swings at    

You can connect with Reenee on social:


The ‘glamourous' component of the power process is the inner summer. In our culture, the part of the power is most known, cherished, and recognized.  

It is power.  

After the high energy of summer, you'll start to feel like settling down in the first half of autumn as progesterone levels climb. This is when we may get PMS symptoms, want comfort foods, and feel unbalanced or ungrounded due to mood fluctuations.  But it's not all terrible news; the more you can stay in touch with your feelings and follow this phase, the better you'll understand it.

Your inner spring is a space where things change. You're negotiating your way out of your inner winter's deep inwardness and into the full manifestation of yourself in your inner summer. You're solidifying your sense of self, becoming more at ease with the sacred art of being yourself.

Your menstrual cycle moves through an inner winter, spring, summer, and fall, and then back to winter again, just like the seasons of the year. Each phase introduces a unique collection of tools and psychological challenges to help you develop and embody your power.

The main thing is to recognize and follow your own cycle experience, as well as to discover for yourself when the seasons change. As you bring awareness to and care for each season in turn, you restore the cycle's order, your inner ecosystem, and as a result, you experience a greater sense of ease, joy, coherence, and effectiveness in wielding your power.

Winter is a moment of inhalation of vital forces, the energies of our body are absorbed to be nourished and regenerated. Alteration of the air element prevents and counteracts the dispersion of these energies.

So we have to work on elements like earth, water, fire Pranayam is especially beneficial during menstruation since it helps to relax the mind and balance emotions.

It can also assist with pain management. Meditation and of course yoga will help.

Today I was angry at my husband... and guess what? It's my 27th day, yes, as usual. After realizing that, I could just smile at myself.

In today's episode, I'm talking about how to chart your menstrual cycle and how important it is to do so. I guess by now you're familiar with the concept of inner seasons, and how it's important to connect with them.  

In order to connect with your inner seasons, the first step you have to do is to chart your menstrual cycle. So how do you chart your menstrual cycle? It's very easy and I explain it in detail in this podcast episode. I will also introduce you to your inner powers for each season.

In this episode, I speak about balancing out the heat of the summer with cooling yoga and diet. Here in Europe, it’s very hot right now. Of course, our bodies will automatically work to adjust to the weather, but we can also help the transition by practicing certain asanas and eating certain foods. The summer is the season of the fire element or pitta, ayurvedically speaking. What we want to do here is to reap the benefits of this element without getting “burnt out”. This we do by responding to this influence with practices promoting the elements of water and wind, also called kapha and vata. Those whose basic constitution is kapha and pitta may automatically be in harmony with this season. Still, the practices I present here will still be beneficial for them as well.

Before asana practice, I advise doing pranayama. For this summer session we will start with nadi shodhana pranayama, alternating nostril breathing. By closing the right nostril and inhaling with the left one a cooling lunar current is created throughout the body. Then exhale with the left nostril. Repeat from 5 to 20 times. Then do it one time the opposite way, inhale with the left, and exhale with the right.  

For asanas we begin with the Chandra namaskar, the moon salutation. Then sun salutation can also be done, but slowly and without skipping sequences as is sometimes done. Then we go on to viparita karani, legs up to the wall, followed by anuvittasana, the standing backbend pose. During backbends it’s important to activate your gluten and abdomen and to not overarch your neck, keeping your ears aligned with your shoulders. Then cat and cow pose, cakravakasana. This asana is appropriate for most of the seasons, but during the summer it’s good to make your exhalations and inhalations a second longer. Then we go on to forward fold pose, uttanasana, one of my favorites, during which it’s important to keep your chest open. Then floor twist, septa matsyendrasana. This one can be done either laying down or sitting.  

It’s important to always end your sessions with savasana, the corpse pose. This applies to all seasons, but in the summer, stay a little longer in this position.  

Diet is always important, so also during summer. In the same way, as we do cooling pranayama and asanas, there are cooling foods to balance the heat of this season. In the summer, the digestive fire in the body is dispersed to help us keep cool with all the heat in the environment. Here it’s good to eat light foods and small easily digestible meals. I’m sure you can relate to this. During the summer, salads are usually more attractive than something heavy. Sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes are recommended, as well as cool, watery, and slightly oily dishes. Raw vegetables are best absorbed during lunch. Cool water infused with mint is great for cooling the body, but iced drinks disrupts the digestion process and cause toxins to build up in the body. Unrefined sweeteners and can be used in moderation. Hot spices can be used, but during the summers it’s good to not go too extreme with those.  

All of this said, trust your instinct, and do what feels right for you. Tuning into each season as it comes will help us tune into the cyclical nature of our being.

See links below.

In this episode, I speak with Saci-sundari, a teacher by profession and henna artist by passion, about the healing art of body painting with henna.

Henna is a healing herb that regulates female hormones. Body painting with henna is a healing art in African, Middle Eastern, as well as Asian cultures and is meant to connect women with each other. The rule is to not paint on yourself but on a friend and then the friend will paint on you. It is used for important rites of passage in life and the different cultures around the world have different legends about how this herb was gifted to human society, especially to women, from the heavenly realms.

Whatever creative expression you are called to, henna painting or other, the same principle remains: It will have the best possible outcome if you allow your inner child to participate. The reason this is important to creativity is that children are not afraid to make mistakes. They know that making mistakes is a natural part of learning. So try it out yourself and have fun! It’s not that we have to be perfect at everything we do, and definitely not immediately. As the saying goes, all good things take time; fall in love with patience.

The real urgency in life is not about hurrying but about not getting distracted from patience.

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