Yin Yoga for Winter

Winter is the season of introspection, hibernation, and surrender. It is a perfect season to practice Yin yoga. In this winter yoga blog I share with you my love of Yin yoga: what it is; it’s benefits and a short 30 minute practice for you, that is beneficial for the water element and the Kidney/Bladder meridian.

Wintertime … the call to more Yin time

Winter is the time of year of shorter days and longer nights. It is generally colder and can be wetter and damper (depending on where you live). Our natural inclination will be to slow down, become less active, and spend more time indoors. We find that we need to spend more time resting.

Sadly, the developed world has got out of balance with the seasons. The ‘ON’ button is often permanently switched on. The use of unnatural lighting, to extend our ‘productivity’ means our body’s clock gets confused and does not get to respond to natures call to rest.

Most of us are overworking, if it’s not our jobs we are often spending long hours on devices and social media. We are not giving ourselves enough ‘yin’ – receptive, quiet, passive time.

Adrenal exhaustion is a common and a growing problem in modern life and is largely unrecognised by the medical establishment, despite stress and adrenal exhaustion becoming a ‘21st Century epidemic’.

My journey into teaching Yin yoga

I discovered Yin yoga at a time of my life that I was suffering from adrenal fatigue/burn out and it has been a profound practice for balancing my over active, over functioning, adrenaline charged body and mind.

I was blessed to be introduced to Yin yoga during my yoga teacher training with Tina Nance, whose knowledge and passion for yoga, meridian theory and women’s health is inspiring (www.tinanance.com).

I learnt how Yin yoga sequences can focus on particular meridians and how these meridians are governed by one of the five elements. I have found these sequences to be helpful to align my body with the seasons which, as Ayurveda teaches us, is a foundation for optimal health.

I find the practice of Yin yoga according to elements, meridians and the seasons is a beautiful and profound practice that aligns my body and spirit to nature’s rhythms bringing me greater health and vitality on all levels.

I now share this practice with women in seasonal workshops throughout the year, where women come back each season for deep relaxation and to connect to and nourish, the body, mind and spirit to align with the energy of each season.

Jane’s Yin yoga workshops offer a deep connection with not only yourself, but the seasons. They allow contemplation, opening and deep relaxation and a melding of the mind, body, spirit and the environment. For me, they have become anchor points in the busyness of the year. Lisa Eastley, Naturopath

What is Yin yoga?

Yin yoga was first developed by Paul Grilley, and has at its foundation ancient Yogic and Taoist Meridian and Acupuncture theories. Students of Paul including Sarah Powers and Bernie Clark have continued to develop and spread these teachings.

Yin yoga is a relatively new yoga that is growing exponentially in the western ‘yoga world’.  I believe this is because our society has been so out of balance, predominantly operating in overactive, switched on, predominantly ‘yang’ way.

Most forms of Yoga that have been practiced in the West can be seen as more “Yang” (e.g. Ashtanga Iyenga, Hatha etc) with an emphasis on muscular movement and contraction. In contrast, Yin yoga targets the deeper connective tissues of the body.

Yin Yoga is designed to calm, rather than energise, enabling the parasympathetic nervous system to relax, heal and repair the body. In contrast to the more ‘Yang’ styles of yoga, which tend to target the more superficial, soft tissues of the body, such as the muscles, and tend to be more movement oriented, dynamic, rhythmic, repetitive and stimulating of the sympathetic nervous system (Tina Nance, 2014)

Yin yoga uses long passive holds to work on the deep, dense connective tissues of the body, the tendons, ligaments and cartilage, which can often be difficult to engage and open.

There is increasing evidence that the network of connective tissue corresponds with the meridians and nadis and therefore the opening, strengthening and stretching of the connective tissue of the body may be critical for long-term health (Paul Grilley, 2007)

Connective tissue responds best to gentle engagement over a long period of time, so Yin postures are held for longer, usually for 3-5 minutes, so as to stretch the deeper layers of the physical body, and to stimulate the flow of chi through the meridians.

Yin yoga is also different to Restorative yoga. In Restorative yoga the body holds positions that relax ALL parts of the body. It is generally used to help an ‘unhealthy’ or injured body restore itself back to ‘normal’ health. In Yin yoga the muscles are soft, but the deeper connective tissue is engaged in order to open up the meridians and to affect the flow of chi in the body.

Benefits of Yin yoga

Like all yoga, Yin yoga can benefit us on all levels: physically, energetically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. As the poses target the meridians, our organs by virtue also benefit, which benefits all levels of our health, wellbeing and vitality.

On the physical level, Yin yoga can help increase flexibility. The main target areas of Yin yoga are the hips, pelvis and lower spine where many of us can hold deep-seated tensions.

Many of my students find Yin to be a wonderful compliment to their more ‘yang’ yoga practices as it helps increase flexibility and mobility. In addition, as many of the postures work with the hips, Yin yoga enables us to be able to sit more comfortably, and for longer, benefiting our meditation practice.

Energetically Yin yoga stimulates the flow of chi/prana or life force through the meridians of the body that flow through the connective tissue, enabling the energy system to move towards its own natural equilibrium, balance and harmony. This explains why after a Yin yoga practice it can feel like you have just had an acupuncture or shiatsu treatment.

Yin yoga is very empowering, where through our own personal practice we can support and open our energetic body, helping release blockages along the meridians, allowing our organs to function more efficiently. This helps to raise the level of chi, which raises our vitality.

Yin yoga can be very beneficial emotionally as the practice invites us to sit with emotions as they arise and to cultivate mindfulness whilst deepening into the posture. We are invited to remain present with any emotions as they arise allowing the emotions to rise and fall, open and change. Challenging emotions related to the meridian or season can often be activated, for example grief (Lung/large Intestine), fear (Kidney/Bladder) and anger (Liver/Gall Bladder). Yin Yoga helps let go of old emotional patterns that are stored deep in the body and is a way to develop equanimity.

Whilst Yin yoga can be hugely challenging for some people when they first try it, as engaging with buried parts of us can be confronting, we can learn that releasing any deep holding within can bring great benefits.

Yin yoga helps develop our mental faculty and our capacity to concentrate. Through focusing our attention and cultivating an awareness of what is arising Yin yoga helps us access our deeper states of consciousness and insight.

Yin yoga is a body-centered meditation. Through deep and still postures we can access a deep meditative state. In the past I struggled with many meditation approaches, particularly ones that attempted to still my active mind or practices that separated me from my emotional body.  I have found Yin yoga to be a key for helping me develop and deepen my meditation practice.

Yin yoga facilitates the cultivation of patience, endurance, mindfulness, contentment, equanimity insight and the art of being with what arises and letting go (Tina Nance, 2014)

Yin yoga for Winter

The gift that Wintertime offers us, with the darkness and stillness surrounding us, is the opportunity to rest, look within, and reflect on our lives. It is a time of year to review where we are physically, mentally, and spiritually and consider where it is that we want to be going when the time for movement comes. Our Truth can be revealed when we allow ourselves to surrender to this natural cycle of finding stillness. Yin yoga is a wonderful practice to help us do this.

In Meridian Theory the season of winter relates to the water element, which governs the Kidney and Bladder meridians. Their function is to store, balance, and distribute our bodies’ fluids and maintain our energy reserves.

The Kidney/Bladder meridians and organs in Chinese medicine, are the foundation of Yin and Yang balance for all the other organs. They are the storehouse of vital energy and need to remain balanced for all the other organs to function well (Sarah Powers, 2008). When the water element is depleted we may experience exhaustion or feel overwhelmed as we struggle to cope physically and emotionally without healthy energy reserves to fuel us.

Below is a Yin Yoga sequence that is gentle and nourishing for the cold winter months ahead and will help tonify the Kidney/Bladder meridian.

Winter Yin yoga sequence

IMPORTANT! Please read the Yin yoga practice tips below before attempting any of the postures. *

Disclaimer.  As I am not present to guide you through the practices, if you choose to perform the following yoga postures, you are agreeing to the following:

  • that you take full responsibility for your wellbeing while performing these practices and you will read and follow all instructions carefully to avoid injuries.
  • that no responsibility will be taken by Jane Mallick, for injuries from, or as a result of, your practicing any of the yoga postures shared.
  • for any serious health concerns or medical conditions you may have, that you consult you doctor or health practitioner to gain permission to practice.

Important practice tips for Yin yoga

Yin yoga, in the main, is practiced on the floor, either sitting or lying down. The practice uses gravity to assist the body to surrender deeper into the posture. The emphasis is on ‘passive stretching’ or surrendering to gravity. It is not about pushing or forcing oneself into any posture.

  • Be mindful while slowly and gently moving into a posture.
  • Find your appropriate edge. Don’t go straight to your ‘maximum’ in the pose and never stretch so far as to cause pain.
  • Safety warning!! If you feel at any point a hot sharp burning sensation that continues (i.e. does not change), gently ease out, to lessen the depth of the posture. With practice, you will be able to distinguish between the potentially injurious intense sensations and those that are beneficial for opening the body.
  • Come to stillness. Begin to consciously release into the pose. Cultivate a mindful awareness of the sensations as they arise, and fall, evolve and change.  Use the exhale of your breath to gradually, and effortlessly, surrender to gravity.
  • Props, such as a bolster and folded blankets can used (if needed) to support the body, and allow it to surrender more fully.
  • Hold the position: start with holding a pose for 1-3 minutes and progress to 5 minutes.
  • Rest in stillness and become aware of the sensations in your body. Breath into the various parts of you body that are opened within the posture, especially the target areas suggested, or the areas where you experience the strongest sensation.
  • Some postures can be challenging at times, creating an intense physical or emotional response. The invitation is to stay present to the intensity and observe it change and release in time.
  • Take your time transitioning between poses, staying quiet, and aware as you do.
  • Rest (approx. 5 breaths) between each pose, in the suggested resting poses. Observe the effects of the practice on the body and the mind.

1. Sphynx Pose

The Sphinx Pose stimulates the Kidney meridian-organ as it flows through the sacrolumbar area and the ligaments along the lumbar spine. (Powers, 2008)

The Sphynx Pose b&w

  • Lie on your belly. With bent elbows and hands out in front of you on the floor. Gentle lift your upper body, and rest on your elbows, which should be shoulder-width apart and an inch or so forward of the shoulder line.
  • Your back will arch in a gentle sway, that creates length along the anterior of your spine and a gentle compression on the posterior side.
  • Allow your buttocks and legs to relax. Allow your belly and organs to drape towards the floor and relax your buttocks and legs.
  • Hold for 1 minute and then slowly lower yourself down. Repeat for 2-3 times.

Rest: Lie on your belly, with your head gently turned to the side, for 5 breaths.

Childs pose can be a beautiful counter pose to open the lower spine.

Childs Pose B&W

  • Come to kneeling, sit back with buttocks on the heals, and fold you upper body forward to rest over your thighs.
  • Place our hands to rest by your sides, or stack them like a pillow under your forehead.
  • Close your eyes, and rest 3 minutes. 

2. Full Forward Bend

Forward bend is one of the most basic and important postures. It stretches the legs and the entire spinal column. It stimulates the Bladder meridian as it flows down the back of your body and the backs of your legs. (Powers, 2008)

Full Forward Fold b&w

  • Sit with both legs stretched out in front of you, feet just under hip width apart.
  • Drop your chin to your chest, so the muscles and ligaments at the base of the skull are stretched.
  • Lean forward and clasp you ankles feet, or shins, wherever you have easy reach. Keep your legs straight but don’t work too hard, a slight bend of the knees is fine as long as you still feel the stretch.
  • Relax the muscles of the legs and spine and feel the stretch move up through the legs and hips and the spine.
  • Hold for 3-5 minutes.   

Rest in Pentacle for 5 breaths

Pentacle pose b&w

  • Lie on your back, spread arms and legs out to the sides in a comfortable and open position.
  • Close your eyes and let your physical body to relax and surrender your weight into the floor.
  • Feel into the different sensations around the body, noticing the parts of the body that were opened or activated during the previous posture. 

3. Reclined spinal twist

This pose benefits all of your internal organs which are gently massaged by the twisting motion. It stimulates the Kidney and Bladder meridians along both sides of your spine and the Kidney Meridian along your inner legs and torso. (Powers, 2008)

reclined spinal twist b&w

  • Lie on your back, hug your right knee into the chest, keeping your left leg straight.
  • Allow your right knee to lower to the floor to left, whilst keeping the right side of your upper back and shoulder weighted toward the floor.
  • If you shoulder is not resting on the floor, place a small cushion/folded blanket under the shoulder. If your knee does not rest on the floor, use a folded blanket or bolster to support the weight.
  • Rest you arms on the floor by your side. Stay in the pose for 3-5 minutes.

4. Savasana

Lie on your back, feet hip width apart, toes falling out to the sides, arms by your sides, hands facing upwards or slightly inwards. Move your head gently from side to side, allowing the neck to let go, and to find a balance of weight on the back of your head.

Savasana

Gently and gradually allow your body to relax. Bring your awareness to your natural breath, flowing in and out of the nose. Imagine with each exhale, you let go and relax. Rest for 5-10 minutes

Bibliography

Tina Nance (2014) Teaching Notes. Sacred Journey into Yoga, 2014

Paul Grilley (2007) Why Try Yin yoga? http://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-101/yin-yoga-2

Paul Grilley (2002) Yin Yoga: Outline of a quiet practice. White Cloud Press, Ashland Oregon.

Bernie Clarke. The Home Page of Yin Yoga http://www.yinyoga.com/

Sarah Powers (2008) Insight Yoga. Shambhala, Boston.

* The health information presented on this site is provided for educational purposes only. It is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice or a diagnosis provided by your medical or other health professional. Do not use this information to diagnose, treat or cure any illness or health condition. If you have, or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your physician or health care provider. 

© 2017 Jane Mallick. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

The Magic of Menopause and how Yoga can Support your Transition

Commonly associated with hot flushes, erratic menstruation, insomnia, exhaustion, dry skin, angry outbursts, and more, menopause tends to be a life event that we dread rather than look forward to. Not all women experience symptoms,  some women have many, or more extreme, symptoms. Only a minority of women sail through with little or no side effects.

Whilst I have experienced and continue to experience many of these ‘symptoms’, I can also say that menopause has been, and continues to be, the greatest healing and awakening period of my life.

Menopause is defined as the absence of menstruation for 12-months and peri-menopause refers to the transition preceding this phenomenon. For the purposes of this article, I will be using the term menopause to include both the peri and the menopause stages. As I write this, I am currently menopausal, having not bled now for 2.5 years. I am still very much navigating this awesome transition.

Menopause is a significant rite of passage. Similar to the adolescent transition, where a girl enters womanhood with her first bleed, when a woman stops bleeding, it is both the end of the reproductive phase of her life and a significant entrance into the second half of her life.

At her first period a girl meets her wisdom, through her menstruating years she practices her wisdom, and at menopause she becomes her wisdom

– Native American saying

For some women the passage can be smooth sailing. For others is can herald a time of great change. Regardless of our individual experiences with this inevitable journey, self-care is absolutely critical during this time.

A Time of Crisis and Awakening

Menopause can be a time of crisis. This doesn’t necessarily make menopause a terrible thing. The Chinese name for crisis is Wei-Chi and is depicted as both a danger and a time of opportunity. Viewed from this perspective, menopause can also be seen as an opportunity for growth.

Christiane Northrup, a medical doctor and menopause expert, refers to menopause as the “mother of all wake up calls” whereby anything that a woman has “swept under the carpet” will surface as an opportunity to heal and resolve. Midwife and women’s mysteries expert, Jane Hardwick Collings (2016), refers to menopause as “a labour and a birth” – a rebirth of the new wise version of a woman.

“After working with thousands of women going through this process, as well as experiencing it myself, I can say with great assurance that menopause is an exciting developmental stage—one that, when participated in consciously, holds enormous promise for transforming and healing our bodies, minds and spirits at the deepest levels” (Christiane Northrup, 2012)

Whilst menopause in its most basic definition is a change in reproductive hormones and the subsequent cessation of menstruation, these hormonal changes can have significant affects on all areas of our lives including our physical health, emotional life, relationships, careers and spirituality.

Personally, as well as professionally with women I have worked with, I have found menopause to shine the light on what is no longer working or is no longer aligned with a woman’s truth. It can be a turning point where we re-evaluate the first half of our life, looking to choose how we will live the second half. This manifests differently for each woman. I have known women who started to see their relationships break down either to end or to transform into deeper levels of intimacy; women who suddenly recalled childhood sexual abuse; women who have suddenly found their careers to be unappealing and move on to a more meaningful journey; and many women after years of prioritising others start prioritising themselves, their self-care and their interests.

My own menopause was most certainly a significant personal crisis, calling me to review every area of my life. Peri-menopause started for me in my early 40s. It was heightened, I am sure, by the adrenal overload caused by a very stressful change management job in the city. My manager, who herself had tried natural methods of managing her menopause, suggested that I would need to “go on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to be able to keep up with the boys”.

This moment was a key turning point for me. As a life long advocate of natural medicine, I was never going to consider taking HRT. The feminist in me was shocked that I would need to pharmaceutically drug myself to maintain a career in the patriarchal establishment.

This was nearly 10 years ago. Looking back I can honestly say that my menopause transition was one of the greatest gifts for helping me to live a more authentic and empowered life.

Medication and Menopause

In the recent past, we have been led to believe that medicating menopause with drugs is necessary. HRT was first available in the 1940s and became widely used in the 1960s for the management of menopause. Many women in my mother’s generation were medicated through their midlife rite of passage. I believe that in my mother’s case, HRT had significant consequences to her health and wellbeing.

HRT is used to alleviate the ‘negative’ symptoms of menopause, including hot flushes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, psychological issues and genito-urinary problems, as well as for the prevention of osteoporosis. On a societal level, HRT has created a way to control the natural process of a woman’s body to fit in with the societal demands and pressures.

In 2002, results from a large Women’s Health Initiative clinical trial found that HRT increased risk of heart disease, stroke, blood clots and breast cancer.  There continues to be controversy around the safe use of HRT with studies now refuting these concerns.

Many women are now questioning and looking for other ways to support their menopause naturally. We are fortunate to be living in a time where we have access to information and choices that allow us to care for ourselves holistically during the transition. Rather than simply masking symptoms, we have the tools to reclaim our lives and transition with conscious awareness into our ‘second spring’.

Yoga for Menopause

Yoga has been crucial to riding the changes in my own menopause. Because of yoga, I have been able to experience the journey with elevated consciousness and without the use of pharmaceuticals. I have turned to complimentary health practitioners several times during my transition, including Naturopathy and Chinese Medicine, but the more I develop my own personal practice and self-care routine, the less I find myself needing to rely on others for support.

I have found that the key to a healthy menopause is to support our body’s natural tendency to maintain homeostasis, as our bodies are always trying to stay in balance.  The yogic sciences including asana, pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation and Ayurveda all offer an amazing array of wisdom and practical self-care practices that can create balance during the unsettling changes that menopause can bring.

In order to maintain balance, I recommend establishing a regular daily routine that includes a selection of yogic self-care practices. You may find some more effective, more enjoyable, or easier to implement than others. The key is to start and to find in time, what works best for your body and your lifestyle.

It is important to keep in mind that self-care during menopause is not only limited to this transition. How we care for ourselves during this time sets up our habits for personal health that will carry us to the second half of our lives and into old age.

Simple Yogic Self-Care Routine

1 Align Your Sleep Cycles with the Sun

Living in tune with nature’s daily cycles and circadian rhythms is central to Ayurveda. Circadian rhythms are endogenous (internal to our bodies), but are also impacted by our local environment and external cues like day and night and seasonal changes. Aligning our own circadian rhythms with Mother Nature’s rhythms is crucial for realising optimal hormonal health. It is no wonder that western societies experience so many hormonal complications – the constant bombardment of stimuli from unnatural light, screens and devices most certainly disrupts our natural circadian rhythms. Learning to live in sync with nature’s cycles can help de-stress the mind and body and balance our over-stimulated systems.

One of the most effective changes I have found during my menopause has been to be in bed and asleep by 10pm and arise at sunrise.

A few tips for syncing your circadian rhythms with nature:

  • Try to avoid staying up past 10pm. There is an important stage of body restoration and detoxification that happens primarily between 10pm-2am.
  • It can be helpful to turn off any devices and to only expose yourself to natural light at least 1 hour prior to bed.
  • Try to wake each day with the sun and to start your day with your own self-care routine. It is best to focus on yourself before getting caught up into daily to-do lists and/or caring for others.

2 Meditation

Meditation has become an essential part my morning practice. It allows me to sit and tune in deeply to my truth and essence. Daily meditation sets me up to approach each day from a centered and connected place.

If you don’t have a meditation practice, I would recommend exploring different approaches through classes, workshops and online until you find something that works for you.

For years I struggled with meditation, as I found many approaches to be overly prescriptive or mind-centered. When I discovered a tantric approach to meditation, I felt like I had arrived home in my womanly body. The focus on breath has been a gateway into a sensual, blissful state of consciousness, which has been key for my personal healing throughout menopause. Further, my meditation practice will shift with my cycles, some mornings I will simply just sit and observe the breath moving in and out of my body.

A few tips for meditation:

  • KISS – Keep it Simple Sweetheart!
  • Practice regularly – practicing a little and often can be more effective than going to a weekly class.
  • If I am particularly distracted or agitated when I sit to meditate, I will do 5-10 minutes of nadi shadhona (alternate nostril breathing) to settle my nervous system. This pranayama technique is a very powerful stress-reducing practice and is highly recommended for menopausal women.

3 Gentle Asana Practice

Some of you may already have a yoga asana practice or some may be thinking of starting some sort of physical practice. You may find that during menopause you move away from the stronger dynamic rigorous yoga practices and are drawn more to gentle yoga styles. During menopause we are moving into the more Yin phase of our life.

A few asana practices that can be useful during menopause:

  • Vinyasa flow can be a wonderful practice for menopause to get the body moving and flowing. The strength and dynamism of the practice can vary according to how you are feeling each day and in each moment. It can be lovely to practice to feminine music to help feel the sensual flow of the body.
  • Yin yoga can be a wonderful practice for women in menopause. The stillness of the postures is a meditative practice in itself. In addition, many of the postures work with the liver and kidney meridians, which can be beneficial to support menopause.
  • Your asana practice can vary day to day. If you are no longer bleeding it can be useful to tune into the cycles of the moon, to practice a more dynamic flowing practice near the full moon, and a quieter stiller practice during the new and dark moon.
  • Whilst we can be drawn to more gentle styles of yoga during our menopause, it is important to remember that the more dynamic postures particularly standing postures build bone density, which is important for the prevention of osteoporosis.

4 Abyanga – Self Massage with Oil

Abyanga, the practice of oil self massage, is one of the most beautiful and profoundly grounding self-care practices I have found during my menopause. In abyanga, a generous amount of warm oil is gently massaged into the entire body before showering or bathing. Part of the beauty of this practice is that you don’t need to go out and buy special products – you can use commonly available oils, like sesame, coconut, olive etc. Choose organic oils where you can.

Women’s hormone expert, Claudia Welch, states that Abyanga is one of the simplest and surest ways to nourish yin energy and support hormonal balance:

“Abyanga has a profound effect of nourishing the body and calming the nervous system. The regular application of oil to our bodies can significantly allay many of the stressed and dry symptoms that can be present during menopause. Abyanga regulates sleep patterns and decreases the effects of ageing” (Welche, 2011)

On the days that I do an abyanga self massage, I feel deeply nourished, grounded and centered, and this feeling carries me through the day. Give it a try!

If you are experiencing extreme imbalances, it can be beneficial to see an Ayurvedic practitioner to determine which oil is best, and also to add prescribed ‘medicated’ herbal oils to the base oil, deepening the nourishing experience of the practice.

How to practice Abyanga:

  • Warm up a small amount of oil in a small bottle in a cup of hot water.
  • Let the oil stand for a few minutes to warm.
  • Apply the oil all over you body, starting at feet, up to your face and head.
  • Massage the oil into your entire body, beginning at the extremities working into the middle of the body. Rub vigorously in sections, with love and patience, shins and calves, knees, thighs, focusing on joints until the whole body has been massaged. Keep it up for approximately 5 to 10 minutes -the longer the better!
  • Rug up in a gown (or I like to use a Onesie!) and leave the oil on your skin for about 10 -20 minutes. I find it best to rest during this process. If I can, I will lie down and read some inspiring text. If it is a busy morning, I will make breakfast while the oil is soaking, to be ready to eat at the end of my self-care practices.
  • Enjoy a warm bath or shower. Don’t soap off the oil, just rinse with hot water.

5 Connect

Talking and connecting with others, particularly supportive women, can be very important during menopause.

A few meaningful ways to connect with others:

  • Sit in circles with women, including older women who are also experiencing menopause, can help us realise that we are not alone and that many of our experiences are shared.
  • You may find that you need counselling or therapy to deal with specific issues arising for healing and resolve.
  • Talk with your partner. Particularly if you are in a heterosexual relationship, it is important to help educate men about menopause. Let them know what you are going through, what your needs are and what to expect during your transition.

Bibliography

Jane Hardwicke Collings (2016) Menopausal Madness. Seven Sisters Workshop, Mount Martha.

Northrup, Christiane. (2012) The Wisdom of Menopause: Creating Physical and Emotional Health during the Change. New York: Bantam.

Women’s Health Initiative https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/whi/whi_faq.htm

Welch, Claudia. (2011) Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life: Achieving Optimal Health and Wellness through Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, and Western Science. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Lifelong.