For too long menopause has been spoken of in whispers only with an air of shame clouding its story. It’s time to speak loud and proud about this change occurring in your body – one of the most natural things for a woman to experience.
Pilates was created in 1883 by Joseph Pilates from Germany. Joseph was an extraordinary teacher who dedicated his life to the human body, researching and partaking in every kind of exercise he could.
The colours are emerging, the lambs are being born and there’s a new sense of vitality in the air!
Ayurveda and other ancient healing systems recognise the change of seasons as a strain on the body as our whole being needs to renavigate our centre. When we recognise what is occurring, we’re much better equipped to offer ourselves support.
Chakra is translated as wheel, and they themselves are energy centres within the body. Think of them as a vortex of activity running up the energetic column of the body containing certain elements of programming.
The transition from Winter into Spring is understood as a ‘Kapha time’, then as we progress towards Summer, Pitta rises. Kapha and Pitta, along with Vata, make up the three ‘doshas’ meaning ‘that which can cause imbalance’.
Do you know the difference between Yin and Restorative Yoga? I didn’t!
I thought they were pretty much the same thing. After all, the pace of the classes are similar, you hold poses for longer than in a standard yoga class, use more props and some of the poses even look similar. How wrong was I?!
It was during the Yoga Unwrapped© Teacher Training with Heather Yoga when we spent a wonderful afternoon with Adam Hocke exploring the practice of Restorative Yoga, that the difference became clear to me.
The Benefits of Rolling and Myofascial Release
‘Myo’ refers to muscles and fascia is what wraps around all the tissues inside the body, acting like an internal cling film. A foam roller or myofascial release balls allow for pressure to be applied to soft tissues while applying traction to this facial ‘film’.
Yoga isn’t a ‘quick fix’ solution but it a long-term practice that helps us to navigate the demands of life, be that mental, physical or emotional. Yoga is a powerful tool of self-regulation but takes time and consistency to notice the deeper long-lasting benefits.
Sometimes we come to yoga due to a pain or discomfort such a as back problems. This could have been set off years ago when pregnant, making a quick twist in football or from a desk job with insufficient support. Yoga may not be able to cure this issue that you’ve been dealing with over years, but it can deepen your connection to your body, in turn, shining a light on what may be continuing to aggravate it and that which supports and soothes the discomfort.
The autonomic nervous system responds to environmental demands and helps us through changes and threats. Homeostasis is needed to put energy toward the important yet longer term projects of rest, repair and growth.
The sympathetic response, known as ‘fight or flight’ is effective and useful at times. It evolved to keep us safe and is a great way to increase our level of performance in a short-term act such as delivering a presentation or exercising. This response is an immediate and urgent one that draws our body’s energy away from ‘non-essential’ functions in that moment. Our heart rate and blood pressure increase while our immunity, fertility and digestion are put on hold.
When we look at an issue in one area of the body, we can deepen our understanding by broadening our outlook. Have you ever been for a massage, physio or osteo appointment because of a pain in a certain area in your body and they start working on a different area? It can seem counterintuitive to begin with but of course it makes perfect sense in the end. A holistic bodyworker sees each person as a collection of systems. If there’s a kink in the chain, it might be presented at a different area to the root cause. Each muscle, joint, tissue, blood vessel, organ all connect and work together to create your physical form. For example, what can appear as a severe pain in the neck could actually be from muscular tension in the shoulder, pressure on a nerve, a blockage of fluid or a whole array of other factors!
How Can The Core Support Our Transitions?
Vinyasa Yoga is about flowing through yoga postures to create a sense of ease in the body and mind. However, if we haven’t built strong foundations, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to find that sense of fluidity.
A strong core is essential to our movement both on the yoga mat and in everyday life. The core is the centre of our body and stabilises our trunk while our limbs may be off doing all sorts of things! It really is a fantastic thing that allows us to make both the most simple and wildest shapes we may have dreamed of.
Like anything in life, the more we learn/see/do, the more we realise there is! The anatomy of a human body is the same, you learn about the muscles, bones and connective tissues but then you remember that each body is unique and you’re likely to come across different proportions and connections forever! What may feel great in one body may well aggravate another, and vice versa.