On Fasting

On Fasting

I first felt the need to fast at about 31. Over the years I’ve done intermittent fasting, fasting on water, fasting on juice, and more recently fasting with plant medicine. Each time I have learnt something new.

Fasting is a form of deep yoga and it is there in all cultures. It is a way of seeking answers, of asking for change, of going deeper, of healing ailments, of cleansing the body, of doing prayer.

On a physical level it releases all the energy that would be spent digesting and breaking down food and reinvests it in your system. It can help you see more clearly if you need to know what to do. For me this is one of the most powerful aspects of fasting.

It’s always good to fast for the first time with guidance. This might be in the form of a book or an experienced guide, and is important if you have a medical condition. Sometimes it is just good to press pause.

#samyecentre #waterfasting #juicefasting #plantmedicine #intermittentfasting #beyourownhealer

Yoga for the Perimenopause & Menopause

Yoga for the Perimenopause & Menopause

The menopause is the time when a woman stops bleeding. This and the up to 10 years leading up to it (the peri-menopause) is a time of tremendous transformational potential in a woman’s life, when her kundalini energy awakens. It is often misunderstood and experienced only as a time of anger, sorrow and loss. In fact it is a time of huge change, akin to the teenage years (a bridge between the child and the adult). The menopause and the 10 years before it is a bridge between the younger fertile woman and the older wise woman. It is a time when our unresolved health issues may need addressing. Yoga at this time harnesses our kundalini energy and enables the transformation of our true self. We can deny it or embrace it!

How do I know if I am Perimenopausal?

The average age for the menopause, is between 48 and 51 years (depending on which source you read). This means that many women are entering the perimenopause in their late 30s. As women are having babies later than ever before (several generations ago, the average age for having a first baby was 21; it is now 28), women are often exiting their postnatal years directly into the perimenopause.

Some indications that you might be perimenopausal:

  • Changes to your menstrual cycle / symptoms
  • Hot flashes
  • Irritability & mood swings
  • Weight gain
  • loss of sense of self

How can yoga help?

Yoga has a good track record in supporting women through the menopause. It can help:

  • Activate and stimulate the hormonal system (thyroid, ovaries, hypothalamus, pituitary)
  • Positively channel the energy behind difficult symptoms (e.g. hot flashes, mood swings)
  • Uplift your emotions
  • Promote joy and acceptance

It can give you:

  • Increased energy
  • Better flexibility
  • Less anger
  • Better sleep
  • More creativity
  • An improved sense of well-being
  • Unleash your potential

A good yoga teacher will also help you with unresolved health issues (e.g. weak pelvic floor, PCOS, endometriosis, chronic fatigue) and can offer supportive practices to women who have undergone surgery.

It is never too late to start! An investment in a regular yoga practice during the perimenopause will pay dividends!

Which classes can help?

Weekly Women’s Yoga Circles

Yoga & Hypnotherapy Workshops

Women’s Yoga Weekends at Boggle Hole

#menopause #perimenopause #yogaformenopause #yogaforperimenopause #womensyoga #samyecentre #womensjourney

Tracing our Matrilineal Inheritance

Tracing our Matrilineal Inheritance

Matrilineal means relating to tracing ancestral descent through the maternal line. When Max Dashu was told by a college professor that matrilineal societies were unimportant to history, this set her on a lifelong journey to find and document women’s history and contributions.

As the scribes of history were employed by rulers and priestly hierarchies, and there were: ‘certain interests encoded in their world view.’ Max had to look further and deeper. What she found, in her own words was:

‘The further back you go in time, the stronger the female iconography becomes.’

Why would that be, if our female ancestors were unimportant? Could it be that the history of women has been suppressed?

Suppressed Histories

Max founded the Suppressed Histories Archive in 1970, with the purpose of restoring women to cultural memory.’

In this recent podcast interview with Amy Dempster of Following Hawks, Max talks about her work:

‘.. in the last 15 years there is a desire from many women of many backgrounds for ancestral recovery’

‘….. we women have been so starved for images about who we are in the world’

‘.. the further back you go in time, the stronger the female iconography becomes’

‘.. having heritages, having ancestral memory to recover… we need that in order to reimagine ourselves’

‘When I began working with images there was a visceral reaction women had to seeing these images…. realising you’re not supposed to see:

The goddesses

The female warriors

The female medicine women’

These are our ancestors, our inherited memories; it is only by reconnecting with them that we are able to reimagine who we are. 

Podcast & Archives

To listen to the full podcast, please visit Amy Dempster’s brilliant website Following Hawks and listen to podcast number 57.

To visit Max Dashu’s Suppressed Histories Archive :: CLICK HERE ::

Connect with us

Join our weekly Women’s Yoga Circle (starts 25 April)

Book onto a Yoga Workshop (Yoga & Hypnotherapy – 18 April)

Attend a Women’s Yoga Weekend by the Sea (Spaces June 17-19)

#matrilineal #ancestralhealing #womensyoga

You do not have to be good

You do not have to be good

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver

Anatomy of a Pose

Anatomy of a Pose

Viparita Karani – Waterfall Pose

Restorative Yoga is all about slowing down and using props (blankets, bolsters, pillows, cushions) to allow your body to open through passive stretching. In a restorative pose, there is no movement; the key is to set yourself up so you are supported; then let the pose do its work, and it’s quite usual to stay in such poses for 15-20 minutes or even longer, to let that happen.

Viparita Karani is regarded by many as the most healing of all the restorative poses. Also known as supported shoulder stand, in this pose the body is gently inverted with the legs resting up against a wall. The hips and pelvis (usually on a bolster) are higher than the torso (which is usually on folded blankets), which is higher than the head (usually on the floor).

You can see why it’s called the waterfall pose, as the overall effect is to aid the return of blood flow to the heart, our spirit home, to enable us to embrace the power of rest. This is a good pose to reduce anger (that irritable hormonal induced kind) and heat; it also lowers the heart rate in those whose heart rate is elevated, and for all of these reasons is commonly prescribed in the peri/menopause, but it’s reach goes way beyond that. Somehow, it works to restore depleted energy and build energy resources for everyone. It’s also safe as it places no strain on the neck, and there are ways to adjust the pose if people have neck issues to make it super comfortable.

As we redefine ourselves and face new challenges and responsibilities, our need for solitude, reflection and spiritual practice increases, as does our need to nurture vitality and heart-peace. This pose will help you to achieve that.

To experience Viparita Karani and other restorative poses:

Join our weekly Women’s Yoga Circle

Book onto a Yoga Workshop

Attend a Women’s Yoga Weekend at Boggle Hole