Today Shannon has invited Leslie Kazadi to talk about yoga and menopause. There can be a lot of shyness around discussing the profound physical, emotional and mental changes that menopause can bring. Leslie opens up about her own experience with menopause in a very honest way and how it led her to take it on as a special area of interest in relation to her yoga teachings.
There have been studies that have shown a promising correlation between yoga and the reduction of common menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, sleep and mood disturbances, stress, and muscle and joint pain. Leslie discusses these and other symptoms while revealing the increased health risks that accompany menopause. Also discussed is how yoga teachers can make their students more comfortable and what women experiencing menopausal symptoms need in their yoga practice.
Leslie has a wealth of education and experience to draw on. She is certified as yoga a therapist by the International Association of Yoga Therapists as well as a certified in massage and Thai massage therapist. Leslie also had the opportunity to study in India with the masters of Ashtanga and Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, and BKS Iyengar which inspired her to take yoga teacher training in 2001.
Leslie has worked with adults of all ages with complex medical conditions. She is passionate about making yoga accessible to all including those with injuries and older adults. She feels working with those who “don’t think they can do yoga” especially fulfilling. Leslie believes in teaching in an approachable way that includes laughter and lightheartedness and holds the belief that truly being present is the greatest healer.
[7:20] Leslie’s yoga journey
[10:30] Why Leslie wanted to work with people that weren’t typically drawn to yoga and her interest in anatomy
[12:35] How Leslie came to turn her attention to yoga and menopause
[13:55] The reluctance of women to talk about menopause, the disappointment felt by aging
[16:00] Leslie’s experience with menopause, common symptoms
[19:10] Empower yourself with the knowledge to choose your yoga practice- when entering menopause your risk of heart attacks and osteoporosis skyrockets, digestive issues such as GERD and acid reflux
[19:55] Outward changes that go along with menopause that are difficult for many to talk about or accept such as changes in the skin (such as elasticity), decreased muscle tone, weight gain -can be hard for yoga teachers whose physicality is on display
[21:25] How you can help students experiencing menopausal symptoms more comfortable
[23:45] What style of yoga is helpful for women going through menopause, a focus on strength and relaxation and on their participation in class but not being singled out
[26:20] How yoga helps achieve a good night’s sleep, allowing yourself to schedule an extra hour of sleep (even temporarily)
[28:30] Those who struggle with aging and how this causes unnecessary pain
[34:10] “The gift of aging” and practicing gratitude, how yoga philosophy can support this
[37:05] The positive aspects of menopause: “Live the life you want to live now”
[39:00] The importance of being authentic with your students, letting them know that you accept them as they are, and knowing you influence young women who are bombarded with messages about beauty
[41:50] How to work with Leslie Kazadi and her passion for making sure yoga is accessible for all
[44:25] Shannon and Leslie reflect on yoga teacher training
[46:50] Shannon’s closing thoughts and takeaways (and a preview of upcoming episodes!)
Leslie’s website- Alchemy Yoga Therapy
Leslie Kazadi Yoga Therapy on Facebook
What is GERD? Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)– from WebMD
Mind-body therapies for menopausal symptoms: a systematic review– A 2010 review of 21 papers from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health
The Connected Teacher Facebook Group
Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training
Mama Nurture Teacher Training (RPYT) – (Training is no longer being offered by Shannon Crow because she has niched down)
Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity
This was a wonderful podcast. I am a menopausal yoga practitioner and teacher who has been navigating a changing body and mind. My practice has changed significantly since the onset of menopause, and this open and candid discussion about knowing what changes can be expected as well as accepting those changes with grace and dignity is so important. I especially loved the comment about “being seen.” Aging women are essentially invisible in Western culture. This topic is so important, and I hope the conversation continues. Our practice matures as our bodies mature, and as women, it’s essential to listen to and honor our bodies as we age. Thank you, again.
Thank you for sharing this comment. Here’s to continuing this discussion and to embracing what changes arise.
I’m so glad it was helpful. The Change is universal and yet we feel alone in it. I’d love to continue this conversation and also invite you to open it up to your community, where I am sure it will be equally welcomed and appreciate.
This podcast came across my fb page. Shannon we studied Thai Massage together with Shai at Still Light. I was so happy you posted this as it is exactly where I am in my life!! I listened to it twice and saved it to listen again. I laughed and cried and felt everything in between. Every topic that was brought up hit home for me. I have had a strong practice for the past 10 years and teach vinyasa. I just turned 53 last Saturday. I have had minor menopausal symptoms since turning the magic number 50! But this past year I felt HUGE changes and am really struggling with what how and why??? Confusion! Disappointment! Brain fog! So many aches and pains!! Saggy skin! Muscles loss! Hot sweats galore!!! (And I was always freezing) Fear and reality of getting old. And don’t even talk to me about sex!!! These are all part of the “new me”! The struggle is real!!! I am having a hard time accepting these changes. My practice sucks! I find that I apologize to teachers who know me when I practice warning them I can’t do certain poses due to stuff happening in my body. I feel that I am disappointing them and myself as it came pretty easy just a few months ago! Disappointing?!?! I need to get over that sh#t!!!
So thank you for this podcast. It really gave light to the subject and helped me realize our physical body does not define us. I am wondering Leslie if you have tried any natural solutions to help with hot flashes and hormonal imbalance?
Thanks again for your insight!
ugh! the struggle IS real and what you are experiencing is totally normal. You are not alone! You are transitioning into a new you and you are in the messy middle of that change…. in that space where you recognize some things aren’t working like they used to and before you have found a new way of being and doing that supports the new you better. There are lots of ways to get stronger that will ease aches and pains and support your asana practice. Being disappointed/sad is normal. There IS a lot of loss. AND there is a new you on the horizon that has more insight and wisdom. As far as natural solutions, there are many. And what worked for friends didn’t work for me, necessarily. for hot flashes: Maca root was a game changer for me. I tried isoflavins, black cohosh, don quai, Ashwagandha, milk thistle – all work for some people but I didn’t feel a difference. for energy: get your blood tested and see if u have any deficiencies in iron, vitamin D, calcium, vitamin B – I was way low on vitamin B12 and got shots for a while. And eat clean and get protein. For libido: Talk to your doctor about non-hormonal replacement therapy. And premarin cream (in a tube that you insert into your vagina) does not have any hormonal risks and helps with vaginal dryness and tissue tenderness. there are OTC creams but they didn’t work as well for me. For sleep: the best thing I did was get a fan right on me, have a spray bottle with water/lavender, and have a yoga nidra on my phone…. lots of different options… planning on creating a program for more comprehensive support!
Leslie … This was so educational and you are absolutely GIFTED … Thank you for showering us with your WONDERFULNESS ♥