Juxtaposed against our contemporary Halloween, the old festival of Samhain invites us into a slower, deeper and more ancient space – behind the sugar, the costumes, the plastic tat – and into some sense of connection with our past, with the earth, with belonging, and our place in the bigger picture.
When I come to my yoga mat I feel myself ‘dropping’ into the same slow, deep and ancient space. I pay attention to my breath turning in my body and feel connected to life and a sense of my place in the bigger picture.
My inner world has a Samhain festival too – a call to slow down, turn inwards, embrace the darkness and befriend the ghosts of my past.
Most of us call this ‘Pre-Menstrual Syndrome’ or PMS. However, since I embraced, reframed and renamed this phase as my own ‘inner autumn’ I have felt a lot happier and at ease.
Menstruation after all, is not a mistake.
Many of us have been conditioned to fear, hide or berate ourselves for this perfectly natural shift into the ‘dark side’ of our cycle. A similar shift occurs during the postpartum, at perimenopause, and at all sorts of other times when our lives may be in flux or transition.
A good friend of mine weaves baskets and explained to me this week how tricky and uncomfortable it is when the work requires a change of direction. I could imagine, having tried (and failed) myself to ‘turn’ the heel of a hand knitted sock. These shifts in our work, in our usual patterns, require us to slow down and focus, to concentrate and pay attention.
Sometimes we simply need to retreat or withdraw and protect our own personal space.
Sometimes we need to reach out for help and support.
My workshops this month are for women only and will be celebrating the Inner Autumn phase with rhythmic pelvic movements and restorative poses ideal for periods, postpartum and perimenopause.
I can’t decide whether to call the sessions ‘Bleeding in Peace’ or ‘Pelvic Lullabies’ but please pick your favourite title and secure your space in person or online.
- Sunday 14 November 6.30-8.30pm – Being in the Cycles at Shilbottle Hall (£15)
Maximum 12 participants to ensure plenty of space.
Book Shilbottle Hall
- Sunday 21 November – 7.30-9.00pm – Being in the Cycles ONLINE (honesty box)
Register for Zoom
Women of all ages and at all stages are welcome – why not bring your friend/sister/mother/daughter?