loader image
Balancing Hormones

Balancing Hormones

Balancing Hormones

Often I find myself talking to a lot of people about hormone imbalance in various forms. As one of the main reasons behind hormone imbalance is stress/nervous system imbalance – I decided to share a little practice remedy that particularly supports liver, reproductive system and nervous system as these are greatly affected during times of stress. This practice can also be very balancing and harmonising for anyone experiencing stress for any other reason, but especially during/after an illness, or having too much to deal with mentally. Combined practice with diet and lifestyle modification supercharges the results and brings you back to your highest state of wellness.

Supta Baddha Konasana:
Preferably on a spinal roll or bolster (to help open lungs and release diaphragm which tends to lock up and sap energy during times of stress). Support your thighs to be able to stay longer. Spend 5-20 minutes depending on the time you have. (Liver, reproductive)

Upavista Konasana:
Support your head in a comfortable position with blankets/bolster or chair, and sit on blankets as necessary. Experiment until you feel comfortable enough to stay 5-10 mins (longer if you love it and have time) without creating tension in the neck/thoracic spine or closing the lungs down. (Liver, reproductive, heart also gets a rest in forwards)

Supta Pashasana (aka Jathara Parivrttasana):
Support your legs as needed to make sure upper body can be flat and comfortable enough to stay 3-5mins each side. (liver, abdominal organs, gentle spine mobilisation)

Optional Halasana and Sarvangasana if appropriate (plough and shoulderstand):
Only practice this if not menstruating, and it is a comfortable, regular practice for you. You can practice supported versions (book in for a private with Kath if you want to learn these). Hold 5-5 minutes each pose. Remember to counterpose with Matsyasana (fish) approximately 10 breaths. (Thyroid, hormones, calming Nervous System).

Ujjiya – 3-5 long, even, full breaths with no tension.
Nadi Shodhana – alternate nostril breathing. Begin with 3-5 rounds as comfortable. Build up to 5 minutes. Please ask for instruction from your teacher if you have not practiced these before (nervous system balancing).

Optional sitting/meditation:
3-20 minutes depending on time.
(Integration, internalisation, calm NS)

10 mins (more if you have time).
(Integration of the practice, rest and rejuvenation)

EXTRA TIP – If you’re not sure whether you need an active or a restorative practice, salutes are a great diagnostic tool. Do a few salutes and see how you feel… If energised, then your tiredness might have been from stagnancy and active practice is best. If the salutes feel like a struggle, or tire you out further, then restorative practice is the best option.

More like this

Discerning Truth

Discerning Truth

Discerning Truth

Namaste Yogis and Yoginis,

It’s interesting to consider that the yogis of old struggled with some of the same challenges we do. It seems the human condition has changed very little in thousands of years. Perhaps this is why the ancient wisdom is still so as potent and relevant today as when it was written. The journey to elevation is the same too it seems, and so we follow in the steps of those who went before us as we try to raise our awareness, each other and our lives in general.

One of the challenges that has caught my attention lately is the how to sift through lies, marketing and misinformation (especially political). It’s hard to imagine that yogis of old had to figure out who was saying what due to what agenda; to gain fame, acclaim, power or money; or genuinely to help, to heal to contribute to the greater good… but they must have, as they have a powerful teaching on how to discern Truth from misinformation. I find it as helpful today as it must have been then.

How do we gain knowledge that we know is true? How do we find proof when some of the concepts/statements/ideas are so esoteric and malleable? The word for factual knowledge or true perception in Sanskrit is “Pramana” and in Yoga Sutra 1.7 we are told “pratyaksha anumaana aagamaah pramaanaani” – “there are 3 ways to attain true perception/wisdom”.

The first is “pratyaksah” or “direct experience”. That is what we directly experience through our senses – hearing, feeling/touch, sight, taste and smell. Our direct experience can generally be trusted, but it is not complete within itself. We all know how unreliable witness testimony can be, or how when we are upset we see/hear something in a certain way that we later understand to be untrue. In low lighting we might see a tree that we think is a person, or a branch on the ground we think is a snake. Our senses are powerful, but they are also conditional, and circumstances can affect them, or at least the way we process them.

This is when we must apply “anumana” which is “inference/reasoning”. Using our intellect to examine, determine, compare and deduce whether what we are experiencing is real or not. We can also make inferences based on past experience and knowledge and can compare similarities to what we know if something in front of us is new. If we know that someone has lied to us consistently in the past, we may infer they could be lying again, and take measures to determine if what they have told us is true or not. We may infer that smoke means fire, based on our past experience of fire.

We can use our rational thinking to help us find our way to the truth – is that a snake on the path? Well, it’s not moving, it is unusual for one to be on the path in an urban environment, it is unusual for a snake to be out into the evening, if I move towards it does it react? Are there other shapes on the ground that look similar but I can see they are branches? We can follow a rational process through and get to the Truth, or closer to the Truth. Imagine a person walking from the other direction towards you passes that “snake” and is not scared – 1) you can infer it probably was not a snake and 2) you can ask someone who has a clearer view or understanding than you – “Was that a snake you just passed or a stick?”

The person you ask is an example of “agamah” (also known as “shabda”) meaning valid testimony, or wisdom from a trusted teacher/one who has more clarity or knowledge than you (this can include texts). In modern vernacular “check the source”. Who is telling you this thing? Do they have an agenda? Do they gain something from you believing them? What is their experience? Their qualifications? Have you encountered this person before and followed their advice – was it beneficial? What does their past performance tell you about this person? Is this information/advice helpful? Beneficial for you and others? Does it benefit the whole?

Although these teachings are usually about seeking a spiritual Truth, and when choosing a spiritual teacher or guru; they also apply to daily life regarding anyone with whom you trust your well-being, your valuables or even your life. Information is more accessible than ever before, and we are constantly bombarded with conflicting ideologies – so this process is perhaps even more important than it ever has been.

The wise yogi uses as many methods as required to get as close to the Truth as possible.

With love,

More like this