Women + Moon Cycle Empowerment with YouTube Yogini Kassandra Reinhardt
“Nothing is separate in our bodies. Everything is interconnected.”
In today’s society, we tend to think of our bodies as different parts working together, each with its own function, and rarely affected by other parts of the body. Kassandra Reinhardt seeks to help people feel great in their bodies by releasing this idea in favor of a holistic approach to Yoga and other aspects of life.
Because of this separation of different parts of the body as well as the mind, women today also tend to ignore the different phases of their menstrual cycle unless they are symptomatic in nature, like during menstruation and pre-menstruation. Kassandra asserts that there are deep and longstanding benefits to aligning your Yoga practice with the lunar cycle and your menstrual cycle. You can tap into the energetics and archetypes of the four main moon phases both on your mat and in your daily life. By aligning your daily patterns with your menstrual cycle and the moon’s cycle, you can take advantage of the unique capacities of each stage.
Kassandra Reinhardt began to experience the power of tending to the archetypal goddess stages syncing with the moon cycles. Then, she began to guide a community of women through the process of self-empowerment by syncing activities with menstrual cycles, and thus syncing menstrual cycles to the moon cycle.
Yin Yoga and Slowing Down
The history of studying human anatomy focused on compartmentalizing each muscle and body part, but Kassandra shows us that this is fundamentally incorrect. Each body part is not isolated, but is rather part of a bigger whole, and anything that happens to one portion of the body can affect any number of others.
For example, if your hamstrings are tight, you may need to focus on more than just the flexibility in your hamstrings to loosen them. Something may need to be strengthened or stretched in your hips or your back in order to allow the hamstrings to open more.
Not only do we tend to compartmentalize body parts in our western culture, but we also tend to completely separate the mind and the body. Many people today are experiencing whole-body dissonance. They are sitting at desks, which is bodily a very yin, or passive, activity, but their minds are filled with stress, which is a very yang, or active, energy.
In order to relieve this mental and physical dissonance, Yin Yoga is beneficial for people feeling a lot of mental and emotional stress or physical fatigue. Yin Yoga targets the deep connective tissues of the body by asking the student to relax into different postures for long periods of time. Because of its passive nature, Yin Yoga isn’t about building muscle or losing weight, but rather it is about building mental and meditative strength, and balancing the body and mind at the same time.
Yin Yoga is a great way to slow down and regulate the flow of energy in the body. If you’d like to try it, check out Kassandra’s 7-day Yin Yoga Immersion here.
Women + Moon Cycle Empowerment
People are out of sync not only with the yin and yang of their mental and physical bodies on a day-to-day basis, but also on a cyclical basis and monthly. Most women’s menstrual cycles in today’s modern world do not sync up with the lunar cycle or with other women’s cycles. This is actually not the way it has always been. In ancient societies, every woman’s menstrual cycle occurred in sync with the lunar cycle.
Somewhere along the way, they fell out of sync with each other, creating all sorts of problems for women, such as PMS, menstrual cramps and fatigue, and a whole host of unnoticed imbalances throughout the cycle. The good news is that we can reclaim unification with the moon cycles by getting in touch with our intuition and connecting with the four lunar and menstrual archetypes.
Four Stages = Four Goddess Archetypes
The four stages of the moon and the menstrual cycle correspond with four goddess archetypes: the maiden, the mother, the wild woman, and the crone. By honoring and expressing each stage of the cycle, you can use the characteristics of each stage to your advantage, and avoid any unwanted symptoms which occur when their energies are suppressed.
- Maiden: The maiden archetype corresponds with the pre-ovulation stage, or the stage immediately following menstruation, as well as the quarter moon. It brings forth a beginning energy, and is typically the time of the month when women feel strong, motivated, and optimistic. This is a great time to take on new projects that require a high degree of motivation.
- Mother: This phase of the cycle corresponds with ovulation and the full moon. This is the time to harvest the rewards of the maiden stage, and to celebrate the achievements of everything you have previously accomplished. It is the time of your divine feminine essence, your sensuality, and your sexuality. Women typically report that this is the time of the cycle when they feel the best about themselves physically and energetically, and it is the best time to go out and socialize, connecting with your partner or friends.
- Wild Woman: After the mother stage’s extraversion and social nature, the wild woman’s time is much more introverted and internal. Corresponding with pre-menstruation and the three-quarter moon, it is the opposite of the mother phase. This is the best time to bring yourself back to center and look toward your intuition, evaluating what you have in your life and realizing what you want to keep and what no longer serves you. While this phase corresponds to PMS for many women who do not honor this phase as the part of the month with the highest degree of sensitivity, it is actually a great time to get in touch with the Self and your intuition.
- Crone: The wild woman phase flows directly and easefully into the crone stage, which corresponds with menstruation and the new moon. This is a time of even deeper release, and becoming more in touch with the Self and your intuition. It is a time for deep healing, and should be recognized not as an inconvenience, but as a gift of allowing for introspection.
While most women in today’s world can’t participate in isolation during menstruation, there are some things you can do to honor this stage of your menstrual cycle. Getting more sleep, allowing your eyes less light, moving less, and cutting down your schedule are some ways to recognize and honor this time. Bring yourself inward and tone things down, returning to the self during this stage. Ask yourself what the next big step will be for you to restart your cycle with the maiden stage, and you will receive the answers from your higher Self if you take the time to listen.
Kassandra Reinhardt is an Ottawa-based Yoga Instructor on a mission to help others feel great through Yoga. She started practicing Yoga in 2008 as a way to become more flexible and learn to manage stress and anxiety. Little did she know that, in a few short years, she would have the privilege of becoming a teacher who is passionately committed to sharing Yoga with others who, like her, were sick of feeling less than vibrant.
Before Kassandra started practicing, she barely had any energy. She couldn’t quiet her mind for a single minute and always seemed to have aches and pains in her legs and lower back. Once she started practicing regularly, bit by bit she became stronger, calmer, and braver. Yoga is ingrained in her daily life in a fundamental way. It helps her meet any challenges she faces by teaching her to be present, focused, and receptive.
Kassandra believes that integrating just a little bit of Yoga into your life can help you make some drastic shifts. Whether that’s going to class once a week, doing a few poses at home, or taking five minutes to meditate in your car, it’s worth it. Her aim is to create accessible, easy-to-follow Yoga classes that students can do in the comfort of their own homes to make their wellbeing a priority.