Hot Flash of Awareness: Metamorphosis Menopause

or

Everything You Never Wanted  to Know About  A Postmenopausal Asana Hounds’ Process 

2015 suzy and her dear friend

2015 suzy and her dear friend

Menopause is the time of life from your last period until you have logged 12 months with no menstruation.

Post-menopause is the rest of it from there!

I had my last period February 2013. I was in Kovalam India taking and being taken by a 5 week mysore intensive with my teacher David Garrigues.

Here are my stats:

1993  started ashtanga- Primary for about 10 years. I could do drop back before even starting ashtanga, but back in the day we just stayed in Primary longer……

2003 Intermediate -about 10 years.

2012  started third- perimenopause in the works.

2013 got last few poses of third during menopause actual

2014  asana hounding my way into the rest of my life. turned 53….

Hot Flash back to present day, here we are in 2015.

Luckily, the hot flashes are still happening every once in awhile, no joke I enjoy them, they are interesting.

They are the opposite of a teenage boy jerking off in the shower. The opposite of a cool summer breeze.

Twenty or so years into this ashtanga practice, it  just  keeps getting  more and more the thing I do because it is becoming a larger ratio of my life in time, duration and reference.

There was a brief period of time when third was my main practice, but this year, in 2015 as I am in my third year of post-menospause the aging process seems to be quickening. And now the quickening is quickening! It is rare, or really way more like never, that I do a full every single pose in third type of third. I would if a could, but I can’t. I am not lazy, I am not cutting corners, I am not deviating from the system. I am fifty fracking three years old.  I used to modify third into three parts. I did the first part of third one day, the middle part of third the next, and the last part the next. I have put  the middle part aside for now, and the last part of third I must do very gently. My life long love affair with Hanumanasana is more cerebral than physical these days.  This aging process IS.

The past few weeks I have been focusing on backbends. The backbends of third are very dear to me. I am so grateful that they allow me to actually access them. I have a deep respect for them, perhaps like how sailors feel about the sea. They do not conquer the sea, the sea allows them safe passage. Those backbends of third are still allowing me safe passage.

As my muscle mass and collagen diminish my ashtanga practice grows stronger, more internal, more grateful, more dear.

I may be going downhill, when the F-bomb did that cellulite get on the front of my legs!, but  I am not going to surrender the entirety of my ashtanga practice because of my age or my hormone level or someone else’s idea of what an ashtanga practice is.

Do I have cellulite on the fronts of my legs? Do I wish I had started third a decade or two earlier? Do I do ashtanga?

YES. YES. and YES.

Image

perimenopause
july 2012

kovalam  feb 2013

menopause actual kovalam feb 2013

2014 the after party, ashtanga style

2014 the after party, ashtanga style

11 comments

  1. Awesome Suzy! You have somehow made the prospect of menopause and beyond just a little less scary.

    Also…very polite post here…just go ahead and drop that F-Bomb already! 😉

  2. Hello,
    I don’t usually reply or leave a comment on these sorts of things but its not everyday at the perfect moment do you get to receive a gift like this.
    Or do when one is in alignment with the universal process.
    At 2 months from 50 and in the middle of menopause and the 5th year of devoted primary, amongst a growing community of fellow ashtangis under the age of 40. It has been wonderfully appreciated to read your story.
    So thank you, so very much.
    May you continue in your practice in which ever way you feel appropriate to you.
    Janice. X

  3. Thanks for the inspirational story. I’m really suffering here in Dayton OH, there is no studio and instructor with the experience to help folks myself expand there practice. We have 2 yrs left here and I can’t wait to leave! Any suggestions are welcomed!

  4. Wonderful and timely. I am 52, a year into ashtanga only yoga, and thinking I have a screw loose to even start this difficult practice at my age. Well, I do have a crew loose, but I’ll keep going.

  5. Suzanne! you are amazing~ thanks for your writing-as another woman in the later stages of Ashtanga practice and marching on towards menopause, I feel you and appreciate your insight- so, RIGHT ON! love!

  6. Well, I’m a male Ashtangi but I can certainly relate: our age shows in our practices, too! Muscles tweak more easily, old injuries reawaken, the back stiffens, etc. It takes longer to get into most postures, no more inhale jump-through-arrange-legs-grab, exhale fold all the way.

    No cellulite, but at nearly 52 I’m wondering what the H is happening to the six-pack.

    At times my practice is knocked back nearly to beginner level. Interestingly, at those times one recovers some of the bright innocence of the beginner stage as well.

    Peace and Good,
    Homer

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