HEALING & MOON CYCLES
Sahanas - Natural & Ayurvedic
When I was a child, I used to watch the moon almost every night through my bedroom window. I looked for the creatures which might appear on the moon. I thought of the moon as a creature different from people, animals or the Earth. I observed the different phases from new moon to full moon. It reminded me of the cookies my mother would make. It was a full moon when you had the whole cookie, half moon when you ate half of it, and new moon when it was completely consumed.
Over time the moon became important to us Americans when we landed our spacecraft there. Exploration of this alien environment was at its height in the 1960's and 1970's.
In my 40's I became much more aware of the cycles of the moon in conjunction with my health, my period, eclipses and equinoxes. I realized my health would be effected by eclipses, equinoxes and the full moon. I noticed how many people were affected by the full moon. Some people say there are more accidents, murders and mental health crisises near the full moon.
A few years ago I read a book called The Path of Practice written by Maya Tiwari, currently known as Sri Swami Mayatitananda. For 25 years she was a Vedic monk doing peace work and promoting women's health through Ayurvedic health practices, including sahanas for women's moon cylces. Then in November of 2010 she decided to renounce this title, so that she could "walk a simpler and more accessible life in service of the populations in need." This is when she obtained the title of Swami.
She was born in Guyana in 1952. Her grandparents were Indians who immigrated to this northern South American country under the rule of the British. Eventually, Guyana became independent, but civil war occurred and it was bloody. Many Guyanese people then fled to the United States. She was a designer in the New York fashion industry at 23 when she was diagnosed with cancer. Her father taught her Ayurvedic practices, which helped her heal from cancer. She became aware of her natural moon cycles, herbs and healing foods. She helped develop the Wise Earth School, where she helped many women with cancer and other health conditions related to the menstrual cycle. Many modern women are not attuned to these cycles because they use various chemicals, drugs and other products for contraception which interfere with these natural cycles. She helps women adjust their cycles, so that they follow new moon (the menses) cycles and full moon (ovulation) cycles.
In ancient times women ate certain foods, rested and did breathing practices for the new moon. The new moon was connected with our menses (period). Women gathered together and separated themselves to do these practices for their health and to increase their shakti-prana. Shakti is the female energy and prana is breath.
At full moon, a woman's most fertile time in her cycle, she celebrated for the first three days with drumming, eating special foods and using her highest level energy inside and outside the home. This was the time a woman was most likely to become pregnant. Modern natural birth control systems methods are based on these principles.
What she helps women accomplish is to bring their bodies more in line with these natural body cycles. Women with cancer and menstrual-related conditions vastly improve their health eating more in line with the best foods for each part of the cycle, doing breathing practices and using other natural means to improve their health. Because these practices are very precise and take some pratice, I would like to refer you to two different links/websites on these Moon cycles. The first one is written by Maya Tiwari entitled, "Introduction to Uttara Vasti: Healing the Womb." The link is: www.curezone.com/forums/fm.asp?i=590475. The second link is from the Ananda Ayurveda website, which highlights some of these practices Maya Tiwari leanred from her father. The article is entitled, "November Sangha: The Lunar Calendar and Moon Sahanas." The website is www.anadayurveda.blogspot.com. When you are at the website, scroll down to the far left hand side corner of the screen. Look for Blog Archive and click on 2009(3). Scroll down half way through the page to find the November Sangha article.
These practices also can be used by women in menopause up to the age of 60. Just follow them on the new moon and full moon. Many calendars have moon cycles on them, especially those based on Hindu and lunar cycles.
Although I was not familiar with Vedic practices in my 40's, I discovered I was following many of the diet and breathing practices she suggests. I studied Qigong and Reiki. Both work with prana, only the East Asians call it," Chi" instead. I used herbs to balance my hormones: evening primrose oil, black cohosh and red clover for the peri-menopause period and now for menopause since turning the age of 50. I did not experince the mood swings and hormonal imbalances some women have during these time periods.
I think men can support women in helping around the house and at these new moon times. It is just a better practice when both parents/partners who work outside the home share household tasks and child care. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, sisters and brothers-in-law can also be involved to lighten everyone's load when needed. A women's health is really a family experience. She is so important in bringing knowledge, intuition, grace and love into the family. She is the matriarch in the family, which means she is the leader along with her partner. This is what Dharma Pathani is all about: leading your family materially and spiritually through life.
Next time when you look at the moon realize you are connected to Her. She is called Chandra Ma by the Vedic philosophers and teachers. She is always with you, no matter where you roam.
JAI SHRI MOON CYCLES! JAI SHRI CHANDRA MA!