Hormones hormones,when you drive me crazy!
Some of you might just drift on the river as smooth and light as a feather every month, when some of us, including me, are on a much more rough and tumble river: going from calm and happy to a sudden massive tsunami and thunderstorm for a couple of days and you just don’t know why and how this is happening. And few days per month I feel as if I had literally no control over my body nor my thoughts. But like REALLY NO CONTROL! My thoughts darken and surf on the negative edges, feeling like I am in another world altogether and just want to hibernate for two days so that I wake up all positive and feeling normal again. And I tried everything from yoga, to meditating, to doing nothing, to not even speak at all and it was just crazily difficult to control those downs, that restlessness and those endless thoughts running around like madness. I was simply not in control anymore. Who is then? Hormones of course! What else…. Right after ovulation there is a drop in oestrogens and this is why I go deep into those very unpleasant and dark days every month. Bingo! Just by understanding and acknowledging what was going on in my body at that time, I figured that I only needed to learn how to navigate between those big waves, willing to accept it more as a condition of being me. I started to orientate my practises with a specific intention of acceptance and of course to directly target the physical effects such as bloating, water retention, headache, soothing the mind with positive intentions… I adapt my diet too during those … BUT most importantly I keep in mind that what is happening to me is not because I want it but because it is simply part of me as a privileged condition of being a woman.
And this led me to start teaching retreats for women with workshops led by a doctor who could explain the secret of hormones because once we know how they work, know the mechanic and physiology that’s when we can look after ourselves properly.
And finally, I have attached a link for a 20-minutes yoga Nidra you can try during your down-time!
1st of January: we all take some resolutions to improve our lives, to get healthier, fitter, drink less, less stress, spend more time with friends and family, quit smoking, go to the gym, stop gossiping, cut mobile time….our wishes list can be quite endless, abrupt and quickly become stressful or just forgotten… In a society where instant gratification has become the normal trend, how do we really implement those changes that we are craving for and that really would do us good?
Step-by-step, with patience, without adding stress…. Well, easy said…
FACTS: Don’t be fooled, drastic solutions don’t work: have you ever tried a 10- day drastic diet and lost all the weight and fat you wanted without feeling tired, frustrated and stressed? Subscribing to a gym in January with the intention to go every day and 1- either had gone every day for the first 5 days! or 2- got an injury after the 1 week and be advised to stop for a few weeks?
Set objectives, a deadline and be realistic!
All those changes take time to be “DE-wired” from our brain as the pattern has been there for years or at least is fully appreciated by our little brain. The only time I found that I could cut on something abruptly was when I had a “too-much-at-once” event. Too much wine and my body would literally reject it for a few weeks. I call this the “abrupt effect”. Not the most pleasant but quite effective indeed!
Get healthier by equilibrium. Extreme are never good, balance is great and although benefits will come along in a slower pace, it will settle itself and last for much more longer.
The “get healthier” resolution: choose the activity that YOU like. This is paramount. I tried going swimming as was injured but I really find it boring! So I went a few times and then funnily enough always had a good excuse not to go! Bingo, challenged missed, feeling frustrating and not happy with myself! There is so much sports or activities to choose from. Make it fun to do and easy to start and go to.
If you haven’t practised in a long time, start slow. This is tricky and difficult. I stopped climbing for 6 months and started again…3 times a weeks… and after 2 weeks, got a massive tendinitis in my elbow: haven’t climbed now in 3 months!.… can you feel the frustration? But hey, I used to climb 5 times a week without any injuries… REALITY: age and past is past, not quite fit again yet.
The “eating healthier” resolution: OK, so this is a tricky one but I must admit that health comes from a healthy diet. I feel extremely lucky since I like cooking and love the natural taste of food. I always make time to cook, so I am pretty quick and used to it. I take time to have breakfast but my partner doesn’t and would spend way much more time in the shower instead. It’s all about priorities and preferences really. I love food so much that there is no way I would skip a meal. I eat natural products (vs processed or canned) and trust me, my budget stays low. Changing eating habits are very very difficult. So you need to be really committed to do it and learn new ways to cook or enjoy things that you wouldn’t have thoughts of before. I treat it like an addiction (and it is actually). Nowadays, I am trying to reduce my coffee intake and it is really difficult. I love coffee but I drink too much of it and I feel its effects on my body. Self-indulgence: why do I do this to me? Well, step-by-step, I reduce its quantity. I take a moment to reflect on why and if I really need it. This is the step I call “ the mindfulness awakening”! I have stopped smoking thanks to becoming more “connected” or conscious of myself and drastically reduced “quick fixes” like foods, alcohol, shopping and even medicines…(or at least, I am conscious of it when doing it for no other purpose than fixing a down time!).
And yes, Yoga and meditation were and still are the main players in my “awakening transformation new self”!
So what were your 2017 resolutions? Did you manage to stick with them? Do you even remember them? No really, is there something you would really liked to achieve this year? Maybe a much more heartfelt desire?
Still January, still time to wish for some changes in your life and bring them into action.
Wishing you a wonderful 2017, filled with new adventures, travels, friends, connections and more laughs and smiles… J
Nope, I don’t levitate to reach the top of my route! I just can’t climb at all since my elbow received a “bullet-shot” pain that could not be ignored any longer. That was 3 month ago….The hard truth of the so-feared tennis elbow!!!! Hummm, as a daily yoga & meditation practitioner, you‘d thought I would surrender to the situation or let go and be relaxed about the present! Ouch… NO! I am really getting frustrated especially when I go to visit my parents near Buoux, St Leger and this endless crags area! Mind you, living in London has helped a little as indoor climbing has never been my cup of tea either; but Thailand in March and Kalymnos in April and I might not be climbing at all! #Buddhabea, #zenattitude, #letgo…I want my body back and being able to use it again without crunching my teeth every time I pick my Nespresso cup….So what else is there for me to do apart from factually wait until it goes? Here is what I do when I reach that red level of frustration state: I pull my yoga mat out and I practise a sequence that will serve me when I return on the crag: coordination, balance, weight shifting, cores, flexibility, breathing control and visualisation… and below is a flow I do after warming-up and before going into deeper stretches that has served my climbing injury recovery (also great for wrist or shoulders injuries):
Yoga is a great way for me to “rest” (when forced) in an intelligent and efficient way but also to recuperate quicker after climbing and it has helped me improve my mental abilities to climb and responding better to stressful climbing situations. I find it to be a backpack full of precious tools and have shared those for the past 5 years now, teaching climbers in Kalymnos (soon again in April), Thailand, London(at climbing gyms) and recently at the Leonidio climbing Festival.
Keep tuned as will post a 15-minute guided meditation to deeply relax muscles after a climbing session.
Beatrice has been teaching yoga and meditation since 2012. She runs yoga and climbing holidays in Greece in April and Sept. 2017. For more details about the yoga & climbing holidays, click HERE