by Nisha Gill – Level 1 Instructor
Menopause and Sexuality: My Journey With Tigress Yoga
Menopause has had such a bad rap in our culture. The word itself fills most people, men and women alike, with dread. It often conjures up associations like withered, declining, asexual and unattractive. Oh, and symptoms. To HRT or not to HRT? and blah blah blah.
Yet, in most earth-based cultures the maiden, mother and crone all have their rightful place. Menopause and the years beyond are deeply honoured as one of the sacred blood mysteries and rites of passage, when a woman’s “wise blood” remains inside her to give her wisdom. Crone women are often regarded as the tribal matriarchs. By this time they have less direct responsibility for others and time to focus on giving back to society in a different way, through their innate passions and the wisdom of their years. With less hormonal upheaval and greater emotional stability, this is also a potent time for spiritual insight and mastery. The goddess cultures extend this mastery to the sexual realm and its relationship to the Divine.
It is said that we women can be “peri” for up to ten years on either side of our last blood, and the transition through menopause is slow and insidious. My initial approach to menopause was similar to the way I regarded childbirth: I was not going to buy into the horror stories of the dominant culture. Instead, I would wait and see how the changes unfolded. I won’t lie and say that they were always entirely comfortable. But none were so unbearable that I felt compelled to medicate or suppress. Words can be powerful in influencing how we experience shifts in our bodies. So when one wise elder woman redefined hot flushes for me as “power surges”, I became far more able to take them in my stride. And like them, I knew that the fuzzy-headedness and emotionality would pass. I discovered many ways of dealing with vaginal dryness and my libido started to wane gradually over the years. This I might add was not such a bad thing for a gal with a previously strong sex drive and a kind of neediness around having it fulfilled by others.
Then enter Tigress Yoga with its Jade Egg practices into my life
Past its magical but perfunctory role in incubating my babies, my relationship with my womb had at best been distant. It has been resurrected in a big way through Tigress Yoga as the centre of my intuition, creation and manifestation. It has also opened up my direct connection and reverence for Mother Earth. I detect subtle orgasmic energy throughout my body simply as I sit quietly and drop in through my breath and sound. Once I committed to more consistent practice of Tigress Yoga, the impact became quite apparent in my body. At times I sense a mimicking of my pre-menopausal states with subtle and cyclical body transitions. Dryness is no longer such an issue and my vitality continues to increase. My sexual responses have become tempered and are now softer. They are matched by deep feelings of self-sufficiency, both physically and emotionally. The neediness has gone.
And one thing is crystal clear – my yoni will only be penetrated as an extension of my heart. This is in direct contrast to my previous more genitally-focussed and masculine way of relating. Not surprisingly since discovering Tigress Yoga, lovemaking for me has taken on a whole new flavour. It is far more Tantric in the true sense of the word: total surrender and a letting go of any desire to control. It is now about being still and allowing the endless waves of ecstasy have their way with me and my lover, expanding my state of consciousness as I bathe in this delicious energy. All of this feels far sexier and more nourishing than the explosive, energy-depleting alternative that had been my norm. And any focus on a goal or agenda now feels a little abrasive.
As a post script for any woman who believes that menopause marks the end of sexual pleasure in her life:
do not despair!
come along instead and experience what Tigress Yoga can do for you
(Nisha is aged 56 & offers classes in Melbourne)