In the U.S., the stifling stickiness of the hot weather season is undeniably upon us so we yoga practitioners need to adapt to this climate. It’s not as humid here in Tucson as in the buildup to The Wet of Australia’s tropical north, but this weather can still be mind-numbing and body-immobilising.
Like many of you, I do gardening. Which means I know firsthand how hard gardening is on the body. When my yoga students arrive at class with achy backs or sore shoulders or gardeners’ knees, I know it’s time to break out the poses that target these complaints.
Maintaining the yoga practice presented here will help us all sail through this Spring gardening season.
On questionnaires that ask for me for my occupation, I write in ‘semi-retired’. That’s shorthand to describe that I work sometimes. At other times, I participate in various kinds of recreation, such as singing or tennis. I study a bit, and I also volunteer in the community in Palliative Care.
Though semi-retired, I haven’t cut back on my yoga practice. That’s just as well as I’m busier than I ever was when I worked full-time. This seems to be a common feature of those who profess to being semi-retired.
From time to time, I wear myself out completely.
My housemate and friend, Michael Hollingworth, has a tried-and-true way to help when you’re feeing down. The practices described here are so valuable that I’ve asked Michael to share them with you. I recommend ‘gifting’ as a beautiful generosity practice that you might want to store in your meditation ‘tool box’ to bring out as needed.
The reasons that knee problems develop are varied. There are three main knee bugbears that have to do with body imbalances. One is hyper-flexibility which leads to overextending the knee. Another is related to the feet, where one’s arches are overly high or collapsed. Either of these create problems that run from the ground up to the knees and can create uneven wear and tear. For instance, the arch imbalance causes the cartilage on one side of the kneecap to wear out, leading to osteoarthritis. Tight or weak muscles will also create knee pain or injury.
From perimenopause, I made it through to menopause, the inevitable next stage. At this point, I made a conscious decision. No matter how I’d been conditioned as a women to resist menopause, I would open up to it. After all, it’s not a medical condition. It isn’t a personal insult. It’s a natural, organic stage of a women’s life.
By making sure you practice a gentle, restorative yoga practice when you bleed, rather than a more dynamic practice, you’re supporting the healthy balance of your whole menstrual cycle. And by taking some quiet, rest time during menstruation, you’re putting ‘money’ into your ‘energy bank’ for later in your cycle, This will boost your overall health, energy and vitality.