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
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
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