This latest work from Suza Francina -- registered yoga therapist, certified Iyengar teacher, and author of The New Yoga for People Over 50 (Health Communications, 1997) -- is poised to join the auspicious ranks of The Woman's Book of Yoga, by Linda Sparrowe and Patricia Walden (Shambala, 2002), among the key volumes for women seeking help from yoga in negotiating crucial life passages. Francina provides both how-to practice guidance and encouragement in plentiful portions. "Yoga can help us move joyfully into the second half of our lives," she writes, and her enthusiasm invites the reader to partake in the wisdom that follows.
Francina devotes most of the book to examining the role yoga can play in promoting physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being in the face of dramatic hormonal changes, the potential for and onset of osteoporosis, and even the experience (and possible avoidance) of cancer and heart disease. She thoughtfully presents scientific research and her own experiences as a yoga teacher -- and a woman -- alongside the testimony of more than a dozen radiant "women of a certain age" who embody the vitality that yoga can help cultivate. The rest of the book (about 50 pages) outlines a compact but well-rounded practice that even a newcomer can readily begin exploring.
This practice is divided into several section: restorative poses for "crossing the menopausal bridge," supported weight bearing poses, supported standing poses, simple seated poses and relaxing lying down poses, hanging and backbending poses that require props, and poses "to learn under the guidance of an experienced teacher." Helpful appendixes, including an extensive list of resources and an exhaustive bibilography, are included. Taken together, the many elements of Francina's book constitute a highly readable and extremely helpful guide for women approaching, navigating, or reflecting on menopause, and those who love them.(Yoga Journal)