When Penny was fourteen, she vividly remembers standing in her kitchen looking in desperation for a therapist because she knew her menstrual cycle was making her depressed. No one would listen and no one would help.
She experienced decades of life defining menstrual ill health (including mood disorders, endometriosis, ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids) before discovering Red School in 2010 and embarking on an extraordinary journey of healing, self discovery and transformation.
Over time, her physical symptoms began to shift as she came to understand that most of her challenges were as a result of denying her true nature and continually overriding her body’s needs. Now in menopause, she acknowledges that whilst she never reached the point of having a perfect cycle, this helps her stand alongside others who haven’t been able to fully resolve their menstrual pain or complexities, offering the possibility of permission, acceptance and relief.
A born introvert, Penny’s inner summers were understated, but autumn and winter were where she thrived. The second half of her cycle felt like home, the place where magic and creativity flowed – an experience that has amplified beautifully now that she is held in the menopause dynamic. In a world that doesn’t honour the potent, nuanced qualities of the Via Negativa, she especially enjoys guiding those with more liminal gifts whose cycles are a-typical and non conformist.
As a highly sensitive empath, she strongly appreciates the importance of feeling safe in order to develop and grow, and so prioritises safety and compassion in her own facilitation style. Her personal experience of depression, alongside years of spiritual practice and sacred space holding for individuals, groups and sharing circles, allows her to meet emotionally difficult experiences in others with delicacy and care. Her capacity to leave preconceptions at the door and welcome people exactly as they are allows her to support those living with trauma, pain and other complex challenges.
As a Yoga Instructor and Somatic Movement Therapist, her teaching has been deeply informed by her menstrual experience. As intimacy with her cycle grew, she began to modify and slow down classical yoga practices, learning to teach in alignment with her body’s ever-changing cyclical expressions. The popularity of her classes grew noticeably as a result and she is now developing her passion for softer approaches to movement that follow the promptings of the body - a perfect companion to menstrual cycle awareness.
As a child, Penny loved the idea of magic and was always out in nature in pursuit of mystery and awe. Now, as an adult she lives embedded in nature’s rhythms and enjoys conjuring up gentle natural magic of her own through ceremony and ritual. Currently embracing the liberation and revelation of menopause, she relies on earth wisdom and the natural world as a reference, allowing it to guide her in exploring more intuitive, sacred ways of being.
After a life-changing menstrual epiphany half-way up a ladder inspecting an old railway bridge (a long story), Jane decided to follow her heart and womb into the world of menstruality.
Since then she has started a Red Tent in North Wales, become an Eco-Femme ambassador promoting feminine eco-products, taken a ‘Magical Menstrual Tour’ around the USA, guiding people to understand their natural cycles and the rhythms of life, and teaching teenage girls about Menstrual Cycle Awareness.
When she gratefully stumbled across Red School a decade ago, she began a profound four-year transformation, working with crippling menstrual pain and devastating PMT to become a menstrual pilgrim, speaking about menstrual awareness and period-eco-activism whatever the cycle season she finds herself in.
Jane manages her cycle around her job as an engineer in a male-dominated, linear and unforgiving environment (in an industry where only 12% of the workforce is female). Regularly working physically demanding night shifts in confined spaces on railway bridges, she has learned how to harvest the mother hug of menstruation, and combine mindfulness and menstrual cycle awareness to receive revelations from her own body.
As an ambassador for Eco-Femme, Jane has studied the environmental impact of our periods (pads can take 500 years to decompose!) and is a passionate advocate for reusable menstrual products. She loves everything about reusable pads, cups and pants; from the financial savings, to the sisterhood connection, to using her blood to water her plants.
Jane dreamed up her ‘Magical Menstrual Tour’ when she was sunbathing during her bleed lying on the grass outside her cottage in Wales. She felt utter love for menstrual cycle work and decided to take a three-month road trip around the USA visiting some of the world’s leading menstrual authors and activists, teaching about menstrual cycle awareness, working with couples, and holding informal talks for groups of all genders.
Jane has been learning how to cope with loss in the wake of two miscarriages. She is currently at a fork in the road of her life, unsure whether she will be a mother to a living baby.
Jane is most at home in inner spring and loves supporting women to experience the precious, tender, beautiful transition from inner winter, harnessing its capacity to connect us back to our essence.
For Jady, cycle awareness is a profoundly insightful, dignifying and anchoring practice. It has brought her into a deeper intimacy with and respect for her own nature and innate value and challenges her to claim and embody her own Power.
Growing up by the sea and in love with the natural world she has always trusted and been guided by cycles. Sensing the interconnection and interdependence of all things and leaning into a wider holding and context has defined how she lives her life.
Following a diagnosis of early menopause in her 30s, she was amazed to find herself pregnant with her son. The initiation into motherhood that ensued utterly undid her whilst also shaping and delivering her into a significant layer of her life's work.
She trained as a birth doula. Fourteen years, and many births and early parenthood support journeys later she now trains birth workers in the menstruality teachings and weaves an understanding of cycle awareness, initiation and rites of passage into her support of families.
Jady is also a bodyworker and rebirth practitioner. In all her work she responds to the individual's unique journey, respecting that everyone is challenged, gifted and shaped by life in different ways. She has also begun midwiving people through their final life transition and is currently training as a death doula.
Jady is now entering the liminal space of menopause, whilst mothering a teenage son and seven year old daughter. It's edgy, untidy and challenging, yet her life and these teachings have prepared the ground and she is finding herself practising - again - trusting something that’s not yet really clear.
Abi Denyer-Bewick is a neurodivergent sea creature. She starts each day at dawn with a swim in the wild ocean, before starting work on her laptop from her office-van, watching the waves through the open door. She is a passionate advocate for cyclical living, and a lover of the seasonal changes in nature and in ourselves.
Abi loves inspiring people who menstruate to reclaim their power around their own health. She holds a kind, welcoming space for people to experience a deep, nourishing intimacy with themselves through their cycle. In her desire to make this work available to all people who menstruate her work is gender diverse, including the LGBTQ+ community and men. Since being diagnosed with both autism and ADHD Abi has found the cycle to be a profoundly stabilising anchor
After qualifying with a degree in Psychology and Counselling, she worked as a behavioural therapist, which sparked a passion for the connection between diet and mental health. For over a decade she has been running a successful nutritional therapy - and more recently a functional medicine practice to support holistic health and wellbeing.
After trying to conceive for 10 years, and an experience of miscarriage, navigating grief and the complex territory of unfulfilled longings has supported Abi to cultivate a particular sensitivity and appreciation for those who are childless, whether this is by choice or not.
Knowing that "it takes a village” to pretty much do anything important in life, she facilitates circles and community ceremonies to inspire people to connect with themselves, with each other and with nature, as a way to manifest health within their greater community.
Abi’s work is rich and delicious, exploring all facets of what it means to be relational humans. As a Yoga teacher and Body Poet she is passionate about body autonomy, consent and pleasure – which she fondly calls Vitamin P. She has developed her own original series of intimacy practices called Sensual Kink. Abi remains convinced that everything we do in life can be improved by slowing down, breathing and listening to the wisdom held in the body.