• massage, yoga samprema

Yoga and Menopause / Andropause

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Sometimes these life changes comes out from the woods, when they really are least expected. Menopause can be one of those things. But is there a way of easing the bodily effects from menopause with out turning into anti depressive and hormones ??  Can Yoga help?? And how to know if you have menopause?? This not just for the ladies because menopause hits also the men. Symptoms just vary a bit…

Here is a list of symptoms that could be your menopause to you ladies.

Mens list is little different and there are constantly discussions about if it is a myth or not. But question; Why would it be any different to age for men than us women? Here is information about male menopause or also called andropause.

Here is also Baxters awesome post about our fellow male Yogis in menopause, because obviously I’m a woman and can mostly prefer to my own experiences.

What both men and women are though often experiencing is  the sudden stiffness in joints and muscles and can even experience pain issues, lack of energy, feeling low and the focus is straight out of the window.

Couple of weeks I was really frustrated about this new situation and it was definitely limiting my own Yoga practice. Suddenly I couldn’t even do a simple standing forward bend and moving in Surya Namaskars was a struggle I’ve not had since cancer and I lived in the same temple. I was devastated! And it did not seem to go away. My much loved vinyasa flow was no more a flow, it was getting stuck in traffic! My inversions in most cases just increased the symptoms and I got totally lack of energy and the hot flashes just got more aggressive. Omg… I have got in a menopause… (early menopause can be a result of heavy cancer treatments in many cases)

I had to take my self little time to go back to the basics. Study what made the symptoms worse and with once eased my being. Things like just to ground and land in asanas. Really creating a relationship between the ground, mind, breath and body. I use lots of props as support in backbends and choose softer inversions instead of the advanced once. A true practice of letting go – non attachment. I love inversion and sweaty, intensive flows… Letting it be. Being here is what is now.

It felt good to slow down even though it tok me a week daily practice to let the vinyasa flow from my mind. I missed it. But without even thinking I started to each time in discomfort of missing ”flow”, I started to turn my self over and over again towards my ujjayi breathing. With out even noticing I started to slow the breath down even more than usually and let every transformation and movement in my practice to take time through the whole inhalation vs exhalation. My practice became reeeaaaally slow. Much of the time I close my eyes and just move on the waves of breath and listening to my body how it wants to move. Being soft in the mind will cultivate the softness even in your body. How liberating !

I started to feel less stiff, annoyed, down and feeling less of pain. My mind is calmer and even my swollen tummy has started to take it’s normal look. I still have feeling of that my quality of sleep is not what it should but definitely better.

So even when you feel that your menopause is eating your joy of moving, don’t stop! Just change the characteristics of your practice until it feels ready to do more advanced practice again. It is okay to slow down and just good for each and one of us every now and then. Either you are in menopause /andropause or not.

Yoga has shown the benefits to calm down your sympathetic nervous system that will give you less feeling of discomfort and will balance you up to manage your every day life better. So give your self some love on your yoga mat and feel the difference. Be aware of what makes you feel worse and what makes you feel better. Advanced inversions and high tempo can increase your symptoms you don’t want , so listen to your body, be wise – Be a good Yogi.

Namaste!

Journey to Padmasana – The Full Lotus Pose

Do you have struggle to get into a full Lotus pose? Your knee hurts and your ankles are killing you??

I know how it feels and this has taken me 2,5 years to come here and I still manage to stay only a really short time. But as with every pose, it takes practice and you need to feel the asana in your body. if you are not feeling your body, if you are not being present in your own body the development will maybe ever happen. When you learn to listen and find the connection between the body and the mind and you learn to be present in each moment in the asanas. You will find the way for the body to move in the positions with out resistance.

I’m still searching my way to find my free connection to my hips. I know it will happen. It is a journey I need to do before getting there. The same journey learns me to be patient. That personality trait has never been the strongest of my traits. So I made this video for you, because this is how my journey has developed from Sukhasana to Padmasana, even if it just is for a moment 🙂

Hope it inspires You,

Enjoy!

Namaste <3

 

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8ioRu6jHag]

Lovely, awful hip openers. The Double Pigeon Pose and the Modification.

Hips! Those darn hips! Okay, so this is definitely my achilles heal. And in todays post I’ll show you Double Pigeon Pose and the Modification to it. I have quite divided relationship to these Lovely, awful hip openers. My hips are just made of stone and steel and I work on them and then I work some more on them. 

And the progress seems to be so slow. And I know why…. Do you?? Because I have been cutting down in hip openers because I did not do as I have learned. Ego…. I have forced my hip openers too hard and ended up to injure my knee even more.

So, no matter what position you struggle with, DO NOT FORCE IT! It will come when You are ready. If it ever does happen. Either way feel that it is okay. Accept the space you are in right now. Don’t do what I did… We should always remember that we always are right where we should be.

There are though some facts that affect how deep you get into hip opening poses. 

  • The tightness of the soft tissues like muscles, fascias and ligaments

  • Bone structures

  • Deepness of the joints

The muscular and fascia tightness is possible and good to work with but we have to stay aware of when the stiffness is not in these tissues. Ligaments should not get stretched and by pressing into poses, that are because of your bone structures not made for you, is nothing to force into.

Anatomy Lesson

 

IMG_9792We all know the general area of our body we have in mind when we talk about our “hips”. Here is some actually information of ”the Hip”. To be specific, we can say that the actual hip joint is located where your femur (thighbone) meets your pelvis (hip bone). For all the anatomy nerds here, let’s be technical and define the hip joint as the place where the head of the femur (the ball-like prominence at the top end of the bone) articulates with the acetabulum, a concave hemispherical socket located on the side of the pelvis.

The hip is a joint, which means that it’s a moveable part of your body.  Motion at the hip takes place when the femur and pelvis move in relation to each other.  There are lots of movements available at the hip joint, including hip extension (moving the thigh behind you, as in Dhanurasana), hip flexion (forward bend – uttanasana), hip abduction (moving your thigh out to the side, like your back leg in Warrior B), hip adduction (moving the thigh toward your midline – think Eagle Pose), and internal (Shoe lace pose) and external (Lotus ) rotation.  Ideally all of these motions would be fluid and easy for you all of the time, but all too often, our hip joint movement is restricted in one or more planes (or all of them), resulting in hips we experience as “tight”.

What Does It Mean to Have Tight Hips?

Even though some teachers and even therapists says that the hips movements are are not because of stiff joints but because of the tight soft tissues as muscles and fascias, the truth is that your joint itself is sometimes really the issue. Because every human being is unique in the bone structures and the hip joint is placed in different directions and ankled very different. Some have hip joints that is not to much to the front of the Pelvis and the articularis / joint is shallow, which makes most of the poses for hips easy to get into when the muscles softens up. If the joint is too much to the front and the joint is deep the bone structures from femur and pelvis will collard and it’s never good to try push beyond this point. The deepness of the joint as well as the length of the femoral neck is very different from person to person and it makes the movement of the hip unique for each and one of us. I have worked almost 10 as a Sport therapist and seen lots of these issues. But I got even better eye opener when I study to Yoga Teacher and one of our Teachers, Joe Barnett (Yin Yoga teacher) went really deep into the bone structures when he was teaching us the understanding of teaching and guiding students into poses. He learned us to understand and respect our own bodies as well others. 

And sometimes actually the muscles and fascia that cross your joint that restrict your movement. And how do these tissues become tight? Your body adapts to what you do most frequently. And the one body position that we as a culture tend to assume most frequently is sitting with our hips and knees flexed at 90 degrees. Even if you don’t think you sit a lot, or if you have a job which requires you to stand, you’re probably forgetting all the other time you do spend sitting because it’s so ingrained in your daily lifestyle that you almost don’t even realize it. Fortunately many of the office working places here in Finland are having now a days adjustable tables so you can vary between sitting and standing during the working day.

The difference of the pain when it is bone structural limitation or soft tissue tightness is not always easy to tell, but if you feel sharp pain and / or hard resistance  and if there is softer resistance and milder pain or more as uncomfortableness in a position is an indication of muscular / fascial tightness.

In a nutshell, our over-use of the sitting posture shortens the muscles that cross the front of our hips (hip flexors) and the muscles that line the back our thighs (hamstrings), as well as effectively inactivates our otherwise so powerful glutes, and just turns our whole hip area out of balance. So the tight and unhappy hips drive us to our yoga mats to get some relief. Just remember, that the balance is what we strive for, strengthens and releases tension and respects our body, as it is made.

Here I have a video for the SAFE practice of Double Pigeon. Both; guidance to full pose and to a modification for all the tight hips out there in the world.

Enjoy

 [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LrQnKaU978]

Serving the world or emptying your own cup?

Are You feeling All these strange things and feelings happening to You ?

Having The feeling that You can’t control these things and You desperately seek ways to numb down these inner voices and feelings? Are you constantly serving and just emptying your own cup?… These feeling may have nothing to do with you. Maybe you just are too open to let others energies confuse your own balance.

I know how it feels. Let me tell you something from my life as it used to be. Long way before I had my near dead experience and before I started to study Yoga for real.

Many times I felt that I was all the time so full of these outer vibes and impressions that I got totally lack of energy. Sometimes I felt that I was going nuts. Somehow I know that I have always been open to different energies around us and felt everything, each person who were near by me. I felt their energies and I didn’t know how to control it at all and still I some times felt the urge to help by touching or being near. I felt almost never in balance, only when I was totally by my self in middle of the nature. But even there I could be drawn to places with confusing energies that I could not understand, like someone wanted to talk to me. In some point I was so darn tired of never being in my own energies so I started to relax through booz, sleep, heavy training, working a lot with saving and taking care of others, I even tried antidepressive medications to get away. I can tell it didn’t work that well.

For long I was so lost but finally found home within…

FullSizeRender 63Lately I have reflected a lot about my senses.
I have always experienced that my senses are almost supernatural.

It’s a gift but sometimes almost as a curse.

I have From that I was little communicated with animals of any kind; helping birds, hedgehogs and even mice and frogs ( my mother sometimes were going nuts over my mission to help All these beings and dragging them to our house).

I have since little could tell that someone is sick just By their scent. I often could tell my little brother was getting sick before anyone else noticed anything.

I can feel at a quite long range someone is having Bad feelings or intuitions or is in really dark place, because The vibrations hit me with open Hand right over my face.
I used to take it personally, I took these feelings to my be my own without even noticing this. It still happens sometimes but I’m fast noticing if it is Me or Someone else causing the feelings.

Now a days I do a lot guided meditations after my classes. Sometimes I just talk it through but sometimes I give a light touch or massage while they lay in Shavasana. I have almost stopped making my guided meditation texts ”ready to go”, I just pick the vibes during the class that gives the right words. There is always a guideline hanging in the air and someone needing the right words to release and guide them from their ”pain”… And mostly they serve the whole class anyway.

My whole life friends and Family members have felt urge to be near to me when they felt pain, tension or lack of energy just for to get my hands on them… And I did it just By intuation. I felt the need and I served.Then I did not know either how to separate my own energetic field from others and I emptied my self quite a lot.

For long Time I thought It was something seriously wrong with me. I really started to Believe I was going nuts!!

This is how I have lived my whole Life.

Many years of trying to balance This All, I did hit The rock bottom.
I was a Massage Therapist working long days, surprise…. Healing All day long. Kind of knowing that I was slowly killing my Self By draining All Life energy out of me on others.

While I was sick in Cancer I had to face everything. I had to stop and really start to listen to my body. I was terminal so I know I was dying and The Life and Time was running through my fingers.

I started to speak with my cells. I spoke kindly. I engouraged them to get back to Work. I promised to take care of my part and support them any way I can.

And surprisenly I started to heal. After 1,5 years I was Cancer Free. I did take The traditional treatments even if I combined it with alternative treatments, even without my Dr:s approval. But I did what my body told me to do. And I chose to listen more to my body…

Honestly, noone believed that I would survive This Cancer at All. I got more or less a month to live.  And Now I have 23 months Cancer Free.

What comes to my senses, they are even stronger…

I am still learning to master The balance and I’m learning All The Time something new.

I choose wisely where and when I give “my touch” , I have learned to close The Bad vibes outside of myself. I have learned how to protect my own space now.

I’ve learned to listen more to my cells and give my self what The body needs.
With practicing Yoga it can be tricky and I have to really listen when it is my cells and mind speaking and when it is my ego trying to master The body or just me trying to quiet the voices within.

My sense of smell is even more sensitive now a days and I try to find a way to use It wisely. How do You bring a message to someone that “You should really seek a doctor…”?
For long I have felt This Like heavy burden but I start to realize that even If I can help just one person with it it’s all good.

If You regonize your self By This or You know someone else who is feeling disconnected within. Shattered and can’t place your finger on The pain point.

Connect with me !! Together We can find a way to find The Strength and Balance ♥️

Love and appreciate your special gifts. Thay are not there By accident,
You have a purpose!!

Love and Light!

Karoliina
 

What's life all about?

Hi Everyone and Welcome to my Blog !

I shortly tell you little about my self and about some wake up calls.
I’m a mother of three wonderful kids, I’m a wife,sister, daughter, therapist, artist, a yoga teacher / soon to be a yoga therapist and I’m a training addict and lots of other things I’m a sure of. But these are the topmost things I can list from my hip 😉

Most of us live our days stressing around without ever or not that often thinking about that this day may be your last – That your life could chance in blink of your eye.
That suddenly your kids could be orphan. Your partner would stand alone with your kids in middle of a chaos mentally, economic… With everything and nothing.

September 2012 our world stopped spinning. After several years of being entrepreneur as an sport therapist, working early mornings and late nights as taking care of others.

Somewhere middle of all that I lost my self to my work. To just serve and help others and forgetting to help and take care my self. I forgot my family….

Where almost nothing home, trained and worked and worked and trained. Until I got the call that was necessary for me to realize that in that point even of being one of most wanted therapist I’ve had lost my life. As an mother, wife and as a friend. And as being ME.

I got sick.

Really really sick.

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Just before christmas 2012 I got diagnosed with, Cancer, Hodgkins’ Lymphoma in terminal phase, 4BX.
My organs where shutting down and I was literally dying.

Medicins where not doing any good and doctors started to loose their last hope. As I got weaker and weaker one night I was slighting away, I know, I felt that I was dying.

Right in that moment I got my thought – HELL NO !! I’m not going anywhere.

I have to much to see and do! I’m not leaving my family.

As the same time I got so deep knowledge of that I would just have to surrender to everything in that room and space and let go of all harm from past. Leave all my bagage of my train and start to build a new me. That, my dear friends, was a night of magic!!

That was the moment when my body started to take action – Because it was my choice. Now I have 23 months of cancer free life behind me. And I’m so full of life. So full of Loving it all!

With this little story to show you an example how powerful your mind is. After I’ve started to focus more to getting back on track I realized that I could never but my self or my family to that kind of stress again that we all ready lived in many years. I’ve decided that my and our life will now on be based on Freedom. Freedom to do things with the whole family. Freedom to enjoy life everyday, with out any economic panic – every single day just FREEDOM.

Now with my mind focused on me and my family’s Awesome future I’m so exited every step of it. Because Life should be all about Freedom and Joy. And it is if you REALLY want to. Be creative and embrace the growing as a unique piece of art of this universe as you are.

What is YOUR Dream? What would YOU do with your Freedom? What is Your BIGGEST Dream?

If you feel that you have some questions feel free to connect with me.

SamPrema – Peace and Love

Karoliina