“When we come to that last breath in our life – what’s most important? How you stretched out your hamstrings? How deep you went in a backbend? Or how you lived your life as a person.” Eileen Hall
In this month’s podcast episode, Dr. Monica Gauci discusses some of the more complex issues facing yoga students today – like how Ashtanga yoga is taught here in the west; the effects of age, injury, and life stages such as menopause; and the importance of listening and trusting our heart.
“I’d been practicing yoga daily for over 10 years and cycling for over 20 but I literally had no relationship to my cycle, the length, my hormonal fluctuations, the shifts in my energy over the month. Nothing! I took my enforced day or two off practice a month, pushed on through in my day to day life and got back on the mat ASAP. The concept of resting during menstruation and general cycle awareness was pretty radical. ” Sophie Cleere
If you’ve been keeping up with me, you know this past year has been challenging. Maybe it’s menopause, maybe it’s moving, maybe it’s that my dog died, or maybe it’s that I don’t get to spend a few months (or more) practicing in Mysore or with my teacher. In other words, maybe it’s life.
So I did the intelligent thing and I scaled back my practice. With no energy, I did what I thought was best.
Except, guess what? I still feel defeated by my practice. I STILL feel beat up, exhausted, and worn out – from Primary Series. And when I finally started adding some Intermediate series back in, I found I lost the ability to bind pasasana and land karandavasana. All I could think to myself was FUUUUUUCK! What have I done …
You don’t know me … and yet, I believe you do.
It’s taken me a long time to have the courage to truly share what I’ve been going through since the fall of last year. Sure, I touched upon it in a blog post from January and then again, in my most recent podcast with Christine Hoar, but to actually put into words my experience from then until now was not something I felt fully prepared to do.
“I didn’t realize what we were missing until we met her.”
That’s what Jen René said to me after spending a day with Christine Hoar, a woman who has 20 years experience practicing and teaching Ashtanga yoga.
Now, if you’re a woman in this practice, I don’t need to tell you how rare it is to find women with that kind of depth and experience in the practice. And I haven’t even told you the best part – it was my daughter, Meghan, who introduced us!
Seriously, it doesn’t get much better … only it does. So hav