Around Mother's Day iHanuman spent the weekend at a yoga workshop with Bobby Clennell. The first afternoon was dedicated to Breast Health, Restorative Yoga and Pranayama. The Second Day was a rare class on Yoga for Menopause and a complementary class on Inversions. The Final Day of the workshop Bobby taught a session on Backbends. Bobby Clennell is not only a Senior Intermediate Iyengar Yoga Teacher on the Faculty at the New York Iyengar Yoga Institute, she is also an accomplished Illustrator and the Author of The Woman's Yoga Book: Asana and Pranayama for All Stages of the Menstrual Cycle and the upcoming children's yoga book,Watch Me Do Yoga.
Because of a possible book on Yoga and Breast Health, we are not releasing the Breast Health Class, ( at least not yet ), but the practice for the first three sessions had a similar theme...slow down. Bobby made the point that when she went through menopause, she really had to learn to "use" her practice. When you are young without ailments or disease, you can practice however you want, but as you grow older yoga practice takes on a whole different meaning.
While some women actually do not have any trouble during menopause, many women become irritable and hot as the hormones fluctuate and the body chemistry changes from the monthly energetic requirements of menstruation. In classes geared towards menopausal women, the practitioner must slow down, practice more deliberately and also practice cooling calming asana to quiet the hot-temper as well as balance the changing hormones. One of the poses taught in the Menopause Class was Supported Nirlamba Sarvangasana. We have provided a video sample from this audio class.
We have created a video playlist of several of the backbends from the Backbend Workshop. Included in the playlist are three preparations for Urdhva Danurasana ( Upward Bow Pose ) and Supported Viparita Dandasana. Also included are Supported Uttanasana as a prep for inversions and Sirsasana with a block at the wall as a way to train the shoulderblades. You will need someone to help place the block for you. :)
You can download the full audio classes along with beautifully illustrated pose lists from our Download Store. We hope you enjoy and will be sure to let us know what poses you have found beneficial as you approach and pass through Menopause.