How Does Your Menstrual Cycle Effect Your Physical and Mental Capabilites?

all right good morning Brittany we are grading this morning yeah okay I'm gonna read your bio and then if there's anything you would like to add please do so Brittany is originally from Pasadena California she graduated from University of Washington in Seattle and received her BA in communication and dance she completed her Graduate Studies at the University of st. Augustine and San Marcos in 2016 she became doctor of physical therapy with concentration in manual therapy which is awesome while in school she became certified yoga teacher through yoga sixth and has been using yoga as a tool in her practice and continues to teach public classes she has a special interest in women's health especially how they cycle each month and how that and can't how that can and should impact their work in home focus exercise and diet which stemmed her own journey of house she is also passionate about helping women transform in to mothers in the prenatal and post partum period of their lives and she is certified in the prenatal yoga and pelvic floor physical therapy she continues to treat holistically for a redefined house of fitness a San Diego based wellness company using a blend of manual work yoga functional strength training outside of work she loves spending time on her own yoga practice getting outdoors and exploring everything this world has to offer love it very balanced approach there yeah it's been a journey to say the least yeah so tell me a little bit more about how you incorporate women's health into your practice these days well I do see a bit of women one that is prenatal right now she's pregnant I tried to incorporate it just in terms of body awareness first getting them connected through yoga sometimes and I mean this doesn't even just apply to women's health or pelvic health its men too it's definitely incorporating the the yoga piece the mindfulness and then the body fulness which I heard being used around lately I tried to blend it in all together through the whole entire 90-minute session that I get with my clients hmmmm yeah first it's always just about connecting with your breath and then with your body and then it's just basically taking it down to the pelvic floor right now okay yeah yeah can you give us like a specific example maybe it's just so as people can begin to like get a sense of this in their own bodies are right now how would you talk someone through like this body awareness or mindfulness yeah so just getting very still however you want to do that sit in a chair lie down on your back and just start to almost like body scan yourself like in your mind's eye if you just close your eyes and really just breathe and feel where you're feeling any kind of sensation and you can do that in any posture in any position in any exercise I'd say but I think it definitely takes a lot of practice and a lot of time to kind of clear out the mental cobwebs and then actually dive into your own body or yourself I think it's it's easier almost if you have some sort of pain or tightness or something that you've been working on that you just tend to have more awareness about but yeah I will even my runners my very tight you know ultra marathon runners you know normal marathon runners it's it's hard for them to – word out also what they're feeling so I'll ask them – like what sensations are coming up and describe it to me does it feel like a fullness does it feel like an emptiness does it feel like a restriction or something sticky I just try to get them to verbalize it as well mm-hmm yeah yeah that's super important because then they're beginning to discern exactly what they're feeling and I teach that to my yoga students a lot learning how to differentiate maybe discomfort of growth versus discomfort of maybe moving towards injury or pain okay I think one of my teachers use the word risky like something can feel uncomfortable for sure but it doesn't feel risky it's not not that like pain pain where you yeah you're are edging towards injury I think that's definitely a huge differentiation that we need to be clear on especially as physical therapists you know because something can feel like a burn or a pain in that sense when you're actually you know working muscle though it's just like fatigue but it's not a pain pain you know hmm yeah exactly yeah lovely so when you're working with a woman's house or runners or whoever and you're incorporating this body awareness and this mindfulness it's it's a sense of wellness right so what does wellness specifically mean to you I'd say overall a balance of physical mental health I've talked a little bit about pal check to you I think before he's like The Godfather of wellness or the wellness community he's an insane fit I think 60 year old I want to say but he kind of uses the phrase or uses the the definition of wellness being like a willingness to interact with your life and managing yourself so that you actually have reserves of energy and nutrition to face those tougher days and so you know maintaining that kind of level of energy for yourself whether it is to take a step back or to push yourself forward through a workout or like switching up your diet a little bit I think it it all matters the physical the mental spiritual it's all encompassing in the term wellness for me yeah and that's so important what you pointed out there that you know there there will be tough days because that's just realistic its life we're not you know happy a hundred son of the time I haven't met a person that really is you know it's it's that ability to ride the wave of whatever emotion you're experiencing and and being in it for part of time and having the reserves to get through I like that exactly yeah what's the biggest tip you find yourself giving to a lot of your clients well I think it probably is more about that balance finding finding that tipping point for them I have people that push themselves way too hard almost and in some more injuries so it's almost like okay well maybe you take a step back and you focus more on the on the flexibility and not just flexibility but of your body but of your schedule and of like you know your mind mm-hmm you know dealing with stress I have a lot of clients that deal with stress in their own businesses or their work their job their families so I tend to give them the point like take take five minutes for yourself you know I think that's super important self-care is huge right now I think a hot topic a hot word right now yeah just whatever that means to whoever it is whatever makes them feel really good they should be doing that not necessarily doing all the things that stress them out right yeah yeah very important um well how do you work these tips and wellness into your sessions with your clients I mean it's just a conversation I ask a lot of questions hi I'm really lucky I get to go to people's homes right now my session can be like a dog walk with them and like with their dog and it's really awesome I love that I love that part of it and then doing yoga and strength training and all that good stuff but during that entire time for the most part I'm asking a lot of questions like what is going on in their life that maybe I don't necessarily have to help but I'm there to listen man I can be an outlet for them like our exercise together our movement can be an outlet for that thing that there dealing with physical pain emotional stress whatever yeah so it's it's understanding to like how they're sleeping what are they eating you know like I I definitely love to ask about that too and I think it's huge and one piece that we don't really get to work on if we work in a in a clinic or something like that or in a hospital we don't get to see all of that but I can actually like assess your your workstation at home or your bed and how you are sleeping like maybe your mattress isn't the greatest thing or your pill it's not great so I can actually look at that I got a whole lifestyle the big yeah exactly it's all big picture that's exactly right hmm yeah because it's not typically like one exercise that'll make or break things it's all these little things adding up to how you feel overall most of the time hmm exactly exactly so as a yoga teacher physical therapists how do you or what's the biggest challenge you're facing right now um for me right now it's kind of changed over the past week I think just because I I took on a like a house-sitting gig right now so I'm I feel very all over the place uh-huh scanner yeah not feeling centered I'm not feeling grounded I don't have time to do my own practice mmm mmm right no I'd say it's like the biggest challenge for me is when I can't get into my yoga studio or into any class at least 3 or 4 times a week I feel like I'm unraveling it's a weird sensation and I think just also in this holiday season everyone is kind of going a little crazy trying to tie up loose ends and buy all the presents and like cook all the things and see all the people so I am I definitely find that challenging right now for myself but I know that'll come to an end so I just everyday yeah it's just weird what are you doing right now that helped Matt like so you know it's temporary but what are you doing right now to help like get yourself through it to try to find centeredness so I actually I made these like malas many months ago no I learned how to use them with Nicole path and she taught me to just take a breath for every bead pretty much and when I find myself like thinking okay what's happening three hours away from now I'm just like why do I even have to do that like why can't I just sit and take a moment and just I'll even just like touch them I don't even have to like take them off and like count them anymore really but I'll like be reminded just by looking down like take a second Bri mm-hmm and that really just takes me down again you know yeah so I do that sometimes I use essential oils but sometimes just hard to grab them like when I'm in my car and stuff so I'll just you know take that breath look at her yeah writing sometimes helps or even just you know going on a walk mm-hmm kind of the nice part about house and dog sitting is you get a dog to walk yeah yeah yeah so I was yeah just walking around the beach and that really takes me down to being out in nature good yeah I think that's I think that's so helpful because you're not alone in what you're feeling I think a lot of people just dependent upon circumstances of life they might be in the rhythm and then something happens and they lose that centeredness and it's easy to get caught up in the cyclone of thoughts and movement and just schedule and I think it's helpful to have just some practical little tips that bring you back down totally totally so thank you for sharing and how do you bring this overall sense of all-encompassing wellness into your own life like you just gave us some practice practice alike grounding tips but how about like some of the other facets of wellness yeah so I just started doing something called cycle thinking I read about it about back in May and I didn't actually start practicing it until September ish and what that is is I keep track of where I'm at in my cycle mm-hmm natural cycle and I'll change up what I'm eating how I'm exercising how I'm socializing and living my life and organizing myself just according to where I'm at so in my cycle mm-hmm your monthly cycle just so people are clear I know you're talking yeah and if you don't have a menstruation like a mental cycle you could always use the moon something like that that is like a monthly revolving thing because everything that we were everything's a cycle if you think about it right life is a whole big cycle your day is a big cycle of 24 hours the month and the year all of it it's it's kind of a ever revolving thing so I think it's important to check in with that too and as women since our hormones do shift over and over and over again noticing those subtle changes that happen over time it can be really helpful to actually change what you're doing according to those shifts no like I think I talked to you about us a little bit before but when I'm on my period I don't feel like being out and about I feel like being by myself and taking time even to like jot down things that I didn't not that I didn't really like about the last month but things I want to do differently for next month um different intentions or different goals whatever word you have for that and then once it's done I feel like I can start something fresh and clean I feel actually more creative and I can start some new project that I have been putting off I feel a lot more social I feel a lot more energized so I can do those really hard workouts I'll go to boot camp I'll go to vinyasa I'll do the run that I've been avoiding since before my period um yeah just to be outside and socialize with my friends go out with them but I I definitely noticed that that change in my in myself in every single month it's like honour that everything is way more easy like everything is easier and it feels like I'm playing to my strengths which is really cool yes yeah doesn't mean you feel like a struggle that makes any sense yeah I know it's sometime imperfect because sometimes the presentation will come up when I'm like during my cycle and I just have to be like okay I need to be patient with myself take it slower honor the fact that I usually like to hermit now but you know I'm gonna roll with it because this is a good opportunity but like realizing I'm in this state you know and then when I'm ovulating like I love today I'm like yeah that's exactly how I feel that's what all like they say that that's when you should have your like tougher conversations that's when you should go out on a first date is your extra communicative and you're good at it and people are drawn to you during that time anyways so you might as well be out and about yeah and do you notice like subtle shifts even in your body during that time like in your yoga practice for example yes and this is like one of the biggest things I've been trying to get out there and talk to younger girls younger athletes because from the research that I've looked at girls actually tend to have more injuries the ones that I was looking at was ACL tears three to four times as many tears than in men during their cycle like before after mm-hmm or two and just looking at myself right I don't have the energy normally to do a run or to play indoor soccer or yeah just do any of the hard bootcamp classes that I would normally like to do right around that time anyways and I think having that lower amount of energy you don't have the neuromuscular control I don't I don't have the neuromuscular control I don't have the strength or the balance it's it's a really interesting subtle thing but yeah I don't I don't want to do a warrior when our warrior to your warrior three in during that time it's it's very easy yeah it's so crazy and the fact that I look back at my life and my like athletic career if you want to come on that playing soccer cheerleading in high school we didn't look at that at all push push push push push and you push into injury yes I have friends that you know have torn their ACL multiple times and you're like what is wrong with that picture you know I I think it's it's insane that we don't feel comfortable either like talking about it especially if it's a male coach or yeah just a guy that won't understand you don't feel comfortable talking about it so that you do feel like you have the strength to take a step back when you need to so I'm trying it right now I'm trying to actually get involved with girls soccer teams high school teams club teams whatever just to spread out that awareness that there is a significance in recovery time and stretching and self-care during that maybe won't even one or two days if you took those days off and just focused on replenishing and yeah refreshing yourself you could avoid so much injury mmm I know I have okay like honor dot that cycle it's made a huge difference yeah yeah I'm like on those days I'll wake up and I'm like oh today is not like a hot yoga today this is like a slow flow or more gentle practice today and I find if I do like push myself on those days where I wake up feeling that way that's usually when I get a negative consequence in some way and it doesn't even have to be energy it's just that like I can be completely depleted the rest of my day even the next day I'll be dragging like whereas if i honored what I was feeling and really took the time to do a slower practice more gentle practice which is hard sometimes to do because really want to just keep going end up feeling like way more rested so then I'm more creative like the following day it makes a huge impact in like the next 24 to 48 hours I totally I felt that exact same way too and if I push myself yeah and it work out it's almost like okay my body is now needing more from me than you know that my whole system can handle so then it takes from like my mental capacity and I think getting strength almost for teaching and being with clients like I just don't have the capacity for it mm-hmm yeah yeah so thank you so much for sharing because I think it's really important for moms to hear moms with daughters right moms with sons even cuz they're gonna go through their own cycles like if they're like growing really fast it might need some time for their muscles their bones to like really catch up and strengthen totally I that's part of my passion project on the side right now next year I want to do workshops with mothers and daughters with a colleague of mine a friend she'll be taking the moms and I'll be taking the daughters and teaching them about their cycles and how to honor that how to you know adjust a little bit and being okay talking about it too like you know D shaming it a little bit yeah I think that's huge and then I just want to get them young so that by the time they're my age or anyone older like who doesn't even have a cycle anymore they can still use that that changing cycling sequence to find a balance finding evenness cuz you don't want to do the same workout every day you don't want to eat the same thing every day even for guys to like that's why there are certain foods that have been drinking certain parts of the year that's why you say go through your all of that I think it's really important so yeah that's what I'm excited for next year well that's very exciting I look forward to seeing that and then you can share with me I can share with the community because super information any other partying words of wisdom for this morning um no I think it's just I think especially during this time taking time for yourself if you need it like what we've been saying this entire time is really honoring yourself honoring your body but also your you know energy body your mind I think it's all super important and then just y know you're why for doing all that stuff you know why why are people in health and fitness you know it's not just to be healthy or to be fit or to be the best at lifting or at Yoga or anything like that but there's got to be something behind it you know and I think it's really important to to delve into that asking asking yourself why am i running this full-on marathon when my body hates to run you know it's super in point being really honest with yourself mm-hmm yeah thank you yeah okay awesome so if people are interested in learning a little bit more and I know you have some resources on your site how can they get ahold of you or find you so I'm on Instagram B dot Ehlers is my handle Brittney Ehlers t tney is my website you can find the website on Instagram too I'm also on Facebook so I'm everywhere you can just look my name up I'll pop up great okay and I'll link it in to the YouTube like descriptions perfect I'll – okay perfect great well thank you so much for sharing all this information thank you for having me it's such a pleasure you're welcome and this here

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