This week on Healthy You our guest is author and yoga expert Sara Avant Stover. Our ancestors lived in accordance with daily, seasonal, and yearly rhythms out of necessity. But over time modern life has come to override these natural cycles — from weather and food to work, technology, and recreation. Because they are inherently cyclical and instinctually caregivers, women are especially affected. Millions of women are trying to do it all, all the time, and dend up feeling depleted and defeated.
In her new book, The Way of the Happy Woman: Living the Best Year of Your Life, Sara shows how simple, natural, and refreshingly fun practices can put women back in sync with their own cycles and those of nature.
“The red tents and moon lodges of our ancestors offered spaces in which to commune with other women while enduring these dark nights,” writes Stover. “Today we bear our pain alone, and we hardly even notice when the moon dissolves into darkness each month. We haven’t learned how to harness the power of our emotions and intuition to steer us — and our communities — through life. Much of our collective emotional and physical suffering as modern women comes from the fast pace of modern living and centuries of denying the power of feminine wisdom.”
Part 1, “The Basics,” outlines the core principles behind The Way of the Happy Woman. The chapters in this section serve as the base camp for the journey, describing foundational practices that readers can use during any season of the year. In part 2, Stover begins with “Spring,” the time of year for giving birth to fresh ways of being. She helps readers discover what wants to come to life inside of them and how to take steps to realize those dreams. From spring the book moves into part 3, “Summer,” which is the time when dreams become realities and we can joyfully partake in them. The winds of “Autumn” arrive in part 4, where Stover explores the essential life lesson of letting go — both of summer’s beauty and of relationships, projects, and parts of ourselves that we’ve outgrown. Finally, in part 5 comes “Winter,” a season whose significance is often overlooked. You can’t have a vibrant spring without the dormancy of winter, and in these chapters Stover shows how to slow down amid all the holiday hustle and bustle to incubate your heart’s deepest dreams and desires.
“By coming along with me on this journey and participating in each season of the year, you will discover a whole new approach to living,” writes Stover. “You can embody this new way of being for the rest of your life and share it with those around you both directly and indirectly — through being who you are and doing what you do.”