At the Los Altos Women's Healing Conference, I teamed with my fellow Shishyaa from Vedika and Vaidya Bhushan, Aparna Amy Lewis, to teach Ayurvedic ways of balancing the moon cycle.
This was an outdoor class, and we showed how worship in an altar can also be seen as a workship of the five elements of nature (panchamahabhutas) that support life. The sacred image in the form of an idol represents the earth (prithvi). Fire (agni) is represented by an oil lamp or a candle. Air (vayu) is represented by the incense. Water (aap) is represented by the water offered to the idol. Space (aakash) is what holds all of this together, and as we were teaching in the open, space felt even more tangible.
Science and the sacred intermingle in Ayurveda, where doctors worshipped everything that supported life. Starting with the basic building blocks of life (the five elements), and going all the way to any potent herb that had medicinal value, nature itself filled the doctor's heart with gratitude. The gratitude to nature can certainly be extended beyond Ayurvedic doctors to anyone who has pondered on how nature supports their life.
Aparna and I shared tips on managing the moon cycle. Ajwain (Bishop's weed) is known to have antispasmodic properties. 1/4 teaspon of Ajwain seeds in a cup of hot water serves as the perfect tea during the moon cycle to manage the crazy pain. People with high pitta constitutions should take extra care when taking Ajwain, and consult their Ayurvedic doctor if they experience burning sensations.
It is also a good idea not to exercise vigorously during the cycle as exercise aggravates Vata, and during the cycle, Vata is already overactive. During this time, more grounding (earth) is necessary. Of course, the amount of activity that is appropriate varies from individual to individual.