It’s been a while since I’ve written on my website/blog. With the state of the world the last couple of years drenched in chaos, uncertainty and fear, I felt the best way to get to the truth is to sit in stillness often. In stillness you find balance. In stillness you are better able to listen to your intuition. When you are reactionary, you put yourself in stress-mode, increasing your cortisol levels and lowering your immune system. Spring, however, is a reminder to come out of the darkness, reach for the light, and learn from those dark moments. Reflecting on times of chaos brings wisdom. Fear then disappears and returns one to a state of balance.
Yoga wasn’t something I actively sought out. It was more of a solution to a problem I had that eventually changed my life. In my early 20’s I was in the passenger seat of a car accident. I got a severe case of whiplash and was told to seek help from massage therapy, physical therapy, and a chiropractor for the out-of-place bones along my spine and hip. All of these were great for a while, but costly on my limited budget. I had read about yoga helping with the manipulation of muscle and bone alignment, and this is where my life-long journey to exploring yoga began for my health and sanity. What I didn’t expect is how important yoga would become when I became a mother.
Why being a lump on the couch on miserable days is not healthy
The other day the weather was miserable, foggy, rainy and cold. First thing in the morning I got news that a friend was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of cancer. It was one of those moments in life where you just want to throw your hands up in the air and just shut down. Curl up on the couch with a blanket and hot cup of tea, and watch feel-good movies to forget. But, I didn’t. I looked after me, my health, and forgot about the weather – both outside and in my life at that moment.
Everyone knows someone close who is suffering, but our duty to those we love who are suffering is to stay strong for them. If we do not nurture ourselves we won’t have the energy to be strong for others in their hour of need. Our health is our priority – physically, spiritually and mentally.
My choice that day was to drive through the fog and get to the gym. A great metaphor for life. Just push through those unclear moments and you will find a positive end.
I did a spin class. I’m not good at it, but I felt good after it. My mood changed, and it gave me the energy to be there for a family suffering with some pretty horrible news.
Don’t shut out the world and the problems that you encounter by neglecting your health. With rain comes growth and new beginnings. Stay focused on your health no matter the weather. Your healthy balance keeps those around you balanced. In your time of need they will be there too.
I had the honor and pleasure of participating in a yoga session at my gym a few days ago with one of Colorado’s best Yoga Instructors, Gina Caputo (www.ginacaputo.com). She taught our class of over 60 people about the metaphors of yoga in daily life while in our practice. For me, the most important metaphor that resonated was not letting people take your fire.
Ms. Caputo let us understand how each section of our yoga session connected to daily life. Yoga sessions begin slow and get to a point of fire, where our muscles are burning and aching and we are certain we are going to fall over and lose our balance. Just as in life, things can get tough. We feel like the pain and suffering we are going through at certain points in our life (or people in our life are causing), are going to do us in, knock us over and not allow us to get back up again. But we do get through those painful times. The fire we feel ends at some point. No more straining. We find ourselves breathing normally again, finding a calmer point.
Red wine is a known antioxidant that fights free-radicals in the body, yet for some, especially if over-weight and not exercising, red wine can be a trigger to overwhelming pain in the big toe and an indicator of gout in the body. Women going through menopause and post-menopause are highly prone to getting gout, and although their big toe may not hurt, if there are aches and pains in the joints, gout may be present.
Yoga instructor since 1983, and author of the book, Alpha Omega Yoga: The Art and Science of Self Transformation, Angela Kolias suggests two key yoga poses for everyone, but for women going through menopause these are quite helpful for getting through menopause symptoms.
Exercise is essential when going through menopause. It helps keep the blood circulating properly, strengthens muscles, decreases stress and mood swings, and most importantly it helps keep your mind centered. Yoga is a great form of exercise to do during menopause for all these reasons, but as for helping to keep your mind centered, it is probably the best form.
You suffered for years with hot flashes, crazy constant weight gain and loss, unpredictable mood swings, and finally your menopause symptoms are beginning to stop. You spent years increasing your exercise regime and following a healthier lifestyle to decrease your menopause symptoms, and now you are at the home stretch, getting better sleep, not snapping at the tiniest irritations coming from your family, and feeling close to your normal self again. Ahhhh, time to celebrate with a piece of chocolate cake! Continue reading →
Exercise is a tricky topic when it comes to Menopause. It all has to do with the hormones. For those who lead highly stressful lifestyles when going through menopause, vigorous exercise actually has a counter effect and does not help the body release its fat because the body feels it is under more stress. Don’t take that as an excuse not to exercise, it’s the type of exercise you do during menopause that makes a difference in shedding fat. Continue reading →
You’ve been trying to get control over all the changes your body is going through and now it’s the holiday season and you are overwhelmed with the thought that eating healthy and finding ways to exercise and relax are out of the question this holiday season. Don’t fret, there are a few things you can do amongst the chaos of the holiday season to help you from going overboard and help you ease into the New Year without feeling completely guilty that you overindulged. Remember getting your body in balance does not happen overnight and certainly is not easy to begin over the holiday season. Here is where you can begin your first steps: Continue reading →
This is the first of a series onchanging your life step by step during menopause. Look for the next article, Menopausal Healthy Holiday Season.
How serious are you about feeling better and overcoming the physical, mental and psychological changes that go along with menopause? This is the question you have to ask yourself, and if you truly want to feel good again, keep reading. If you are going to be selective and not going to put in the effort to work on every aspect of your life stop reading here, don’t waste your time, you are likely to continue feeling bad. There are no short cuts to a healthy life, so know that when you put 100% effort in getting your body in balance you will see results. You just need a little patience, results will not be seen overnight. Continue reading →
When you spend half your day in your office space or home computer you want to be comfortable and safe. This is an article I wrote a few years back that makes sure the stress of your work doesn’t make you forget about looking after your health.