Sunday 22 September – Being in the Cycles

Yoga for Women with Lucy Maresh

Join our Autumn Circle at Shilbottle Community Hall on Sunday 22 September 2019, 6.30-8.30pm

September’s Being in the Cycles workshop will focus on the ‘inner autumn’ – yoga practices that can support us through the pre-menstruum, peri-menopause and postpartum recovery.

Booking is via Eventbrite

Follow @lucymaresh on Instagram and @aspacetobe on Facebook to keep in the loop. #beinginthecycles.

Warm Welcome for All Women

The workshop is for genuinely open to women of all ages. Younger women are welcome. Older women are welcome. Pregnant women and babes-in-arms are welcome. It is for all women, with or without wombs, menstruating or not menstruating.

Physically, the practice will focus on the pelvis through standing, seated and resting poses. We will also work with the circular rhythm of the natural breath and practice deep relaxation. The practices are accessible for all levels of mobility but please get in touch if you have any specific needs or concerns.

Girls aged 14-17 are welcome at half price in the company of their mother, grandmother, aunty or older sister/friend (contact Lucy directly to arrange this).

Why Yoga for Women?

Yoga practice is about developing awareness – of our moving and breathing patterns, our thinking and feeling patterns. How, as women, can we do this without really seeing the unfolding of the stages of our life and of each menstrual cycle?

‘Being in the Cycles’ is an invitation to cultivate this awareness – directing attention towards the cyclical patterns of our inner life, and respecting the needs of our female bodies.

Listening to Our Own Inner Wisdom

  • Let’s welcome the season, the sensations outside and within,
  • Let’s follow the unfolding of the breath and all it can teach us about letting go and taking in.
  • Let’s pay attention to the rhythm of the womb throughout all of the cycle, not just the bleed.
  • Let’s create a safe space for those who need to rest to be held and protected while those who need movement can do so freely, with richly cultivated awareness and without arbitrary rules or regulations about what makes a posture correct or perfect.
  • Let’s be guided by sensation rather than ambition -respecting the needs of our bodies and the songs of our hearts.
  • Let us nourish every aspect of our being in order to reside comfortably and completely in not just our physical body but the layers of being that hold our energy, our ideas, our hopes and dreams, our innermost feelings and best selves.
  • Let us really listen to our own inner wisdom.

“No outer teacher can come close to the deep sense of right wisdom and understanding that flows through a woman who is absolutely and profoundly connected with her own inutuitive understanding.” Uma Dinsmore Tuli

“The Pelvis is Everything”

This is a favourite saying of my long-time teacher Judith Hanson Lasater. As well as the ‘pot’ from which the spine lengthens upwards, our pelvis is also the home for our uterus, bladder and rectum. Exploring the anatomy and movements of the pelvis we will work on creating harmony for both the spine and the organs, impacting our postural habits, back health, womb health, pelvic floor health and digestive health. The simple sequences used in these workshops can help to relieve common types of back pain, digestive troubles, menstrual cramps and even prolapsed organs (depending on severity). We will also learn about the pelvic floor muscles and their surprsing connection to other layers of muscle in the body. We will look at how to locate the pelvic floor and how to both relax and tone these muscles as part of a whole body approach to womens health and wellbeing.

The workshop can be as physically challenging as you choose to make it. There is no need to have practiced yoga before and no minimum requirement for strength or flexibility. The whole workshop can be experienced lying down or seated if desired.

Cycle Awareness

During this workshop we will recognise and appreciate the ‘cyclical wisdom’ we find all around us in nature (e.g. the phases of the moon or the seasons of the year). During the session we will focus on the circular rhythm of the breath and through this simple practice of mindful breathing cultivate deep appreciation for and connection to the multiple layers of ‘cyclical power’ that course through our bodies and lives.

One of these layers is the menstrual cycle – it is as if we have our own inner winter, spring, summer and autumn and back to winter again. The practice of noticing these inner shifts and transitions is called Menstrual Cycle Awareness. Bringing this awareness on to our yoga mat means choosing what and how to practice at each phase in our cycle.

Women who are not experiencing a monthly menstrual cycle (e.g. through pregnancy, lactaction, menopause, hysterectomy, or other reasons) can use the phases of the moon as an alternative practice of monthly cycle awareness. In some cases this may help to restore a natural menstrual cycle if that is the aim.

Particular emphasis is placed on honouring the ‘difficult’  or descending curve of the cycle, the ‘inner winter’ we experience around the time of our bleed, and the other times in our lives where it is perfectly natural and normal to experience exhaustion or depletion (especially postnatally or during peri-menopause). I offer opportunities for deep rest and relaxation and suggestions for doing less (because we already know that you can do more!)

“It takes courage to say yes to rest and play in a culture where exhaustion is seen as a status symbol”.  Brené Brown

Booking for this workshop is via Eventbrite.

Lucy Maresh

Lucy has been practising yoga since 1998 and teaching since 2008. She completed the British Wheel of Yoga teaching diploma with Tara Fraser who introduced to her ‘the viniyoga of yoga’ and the importance of adapting yoga for the individual. Lucy has studied intensively for the last decade with Uma Dinsmore Tuli (Womb Yoga) and Judith Hanson Lasater (Restorative Yoga) and regularly assists both teachers at their teacher trainings.

Lucy’s weekly classes for men and women take place at her yoga retreat in Shilbottle A Space to Be. She also teaches specialist Mother Nurture classes for pregnant and postnatal women and is an experienced massage therapist.

“I see yoga practice as an adventure, or exploration, into the workings of my own body, my own mind, and then inevitably, but very tentatively into my spirit or my soul. So, my role as a teacher is as a kind of tour guide – pointing out the key points of interest and showing you the paths I know, but encouring you too to find your own.

All the best adventures happen when you step off the beaten track and start exploring for yourself.”

You can read more about Lucy’s background, qualifications and yoga journey here.