Home » Yoga for Menopause

Category: Yoga for Menopause

Banish the Menopause Winter Blues!

Hello! And a warm wintry welcome to you!

I don’t know about you, but I was absolutely delighted to see the sunshine briefly today, albeit a little damp in the air.

I find it’s very easy to get “bogged down” by the weather at this time of year, especially when the brighter days of Spring and Summer still seem quite a way off. If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD, for short), then you will know exactly what I mean.  The short, dark and miserable winter days can leave us feeling truly down in the dumps. And, before we know it, we’re suffering from a bad case of the Winter Blues!

So, I felt it was time to shout about how I’m dealing with it, & start blowing Yoga’s trumpet, once again (well, I am a little biased)! But seriously though, you too can overcome those Winter Blues once and for all – and this is appropriate for anyone, not just those going through menopause!

>>>Find out how yoga can help you can banish the (menopause) winter blues here<<<

As I write this post, we at Heart Yoga are a third of the way through our new series of Beginners’ Yoga for Menopause classes, designed to help you take control of your menopause symptoms by balancing your chakras (click on this link if you haven’t seen the previous post on this and would like to find out more).

Why is this relevant?

Well, in the same way that we can control menopause hormone fluctuations through our yoga practice, so can we control the hormones that affect our moods and emotions. Currently, we are balancing chakras to help us do this.

Physical exercise is scientifically proven 

It’s common knowledge that exercising releases a group of hormones called endorphins – these are the feel-good hormones that help you to relax, thereby reducing stress and anxiety.

In addition, physical activity, such as yoga, will also stimulate the release of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin – the brain chemicals that help to regulate mood, depression and low-self-esteem.

There are plenty of research papers that can give you a more in-depth look at the benefits of exercise for combatting depression.

Here’s an easy-to-read article which summarises the benefits to our mental health from developing a regular exercise regime, including practices like yoga. It also stresses the importance of a healthy diet, along with spending time outside in nature and finding ways to relax.

Mood-boosting postures

And here are a few gentle postures you could try to boost your mood (with stick diagrams below if you’re unsure what they look like):

  • Backbends, such as bow pose (dhanurasana), camel (ustrasana) and bridge (setu bandhasana)
  • Legs up the wall (viparita karani), shoulder stand (salamba sarvangasana)
  • Fish pose (matsyasana)
  • Child’s pose (balasana)
  • Tree pose (vrksasana)
  • Various gentle twisting/revolving postures

The benefits

As I say repeatedly in all my classes, if you don’t have much time to spare in your day, then the one posture that I recommend you do is Legs up the Wall (Viparita karani).

This relaxing pose can bring all the benefits of an inversion, including improved venous return (blood flow back to the heart), which reduces puffiness in the ankles etc. Spending 10 minutes in this position, and you can use bolsters (under the hips), cushions (under the shoulders) and blankets to make yourself super-comfy, will bring all the benefits of a full night’s sleep! Fact!

So, don’t just take my word for it…. go and try it for yourself!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Before I bring this post to a close, I’d like to give you the heads up for a divine

>>>Menopause Retreat & Spa Day coming up in the Spring<<<

It’s being held in the New Forest, at the beautiful Carey’s Manor on

International Mother Earth Day – Wednesday, 22nd April 2020.

To find out more, click on the image below.

Meanwhile, SAVE THE DATE!

Wishing you a “warm and sunny” weekend ahead, whatever the weather!

If you have any comments or queries, please don’t hesitate to connect below.

See you next time.

WITH LOVE & LIGHT

SALLY

XXX

 

 

 

 

Yoga for Menopause

Hello again, friends!  This is becoming a regular get-together!

Have you tried yoga yet? Do you need any help getting started? Yet to be convinced?

I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve come across a little reluctance to try yoga amongst my community of menopausal friends!  Mostly because they have this perception that yoga is only for the super-bendy and super-fit!  I’ve also noticed a slight scepticism relating to yoga AND the menopause.  I’m not sure whether this is either because some women don’t want to acknowledge the fact that they are now “menopausal”, they don’t even realise that they are yet, or they are just not aware of the benefit of yoga for menopause.  Which is quite feasible!

In hindsight, I too hadn’t realised I was menopausal (some 15 years ago) and, as a result, received medical treatment for symptoms I now know didn’t need treating the way they were, leading to unnecessary prescription costs, unpleasant side effects, long weaning-off periods, not to mention the negative self-talk that I was now carrying the label of another symptom statistic.   Even more recently, although I know I am post-menopausal now, I STILL didn’t appreciate that some of the symptoms I had were menopause-related (& I’m a health practitioner!), so (again) received treatment which was not necessary! And my body has suffered immensely as a result!

Does this sound like you too?  If you’re still not sure, how about checking this

Symptom Questionnaire?  All in complete confidence, of course!

It’ll just serve to make you more aware, if nothing else.  Of course, if you would like to discuss anything relating to you personally or ask questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the comments below or join our private Facebook Group – Changelings – to discuss matters in a safe & confidential environment.

So, what’s stopping you from trying yoga?

This is quite a pertinent question, particularly if you haven’t ever tried yoga before.  You might be thinking one of several thoughts:

  • I can’t even get my socks on in the morning, so how am I going to do yoga?
  • There’s no way I’m going to prance around in yoga pants and a skimpy top!
  • I don’t have the time, or energy, to go to a class after a long day at work!
  • No way! I’ll be too out of my comfort zone!

And so the list goes on.  Any excuse will do!

What you can expect from me?

First of all, my days of delivering heart-pounding, beatbox-yoga style classes are (sort of) over, (although, never say never!).  Seriously though, the benefits of practising a slower-paced, more relaxed, yet equally dynamic, yoga flow are just as powerful (if not more so – we still get a sweat on – and you still feel its effects the next day), so beginners to intermediates are expected to be the prime audience.  With the average age of menopause being 51 years, the chance of class participants not being at peak fitness initially is highly likely.  I therefore deliver classes that are suitable for all levels; no one is left out, made to suffer or get bored, with alternative postures provided for the more (or less) advanced practitioner.  So, you can still reach optimum levels of stamina and flexibility, no matter when you start.  It’s never too late!

Still need a little extra reassurance?

You will hear me say this countless times (if you haven’t already!):

It has been scientifically proven that Yoga can alleviate the symptoms of Menopause!

Google it!  And you will find there are numerous studies showing the effectiveness of yoga for minimising the risk and control, if not prevention, of all of the following menopausal symptoms:

Heart disease – Osteoporosis – Mental Health issues (such as anxiety, depression, mood swings) – Hormone Imbalance/Fluctuations – weight control – memory loss – brain fog – sleep disturbances – night sweats – hot flushes – fatigue – stress – low libido – and more.

I’m passionate about the healing power of natural therapies…

And this, dear friends, is one of the main reasons for selecting Yoga for Menopause as my big business WHY!  I am passionate about the healing power of natural therapies, of which Yoga is one.  Yoga has come to my rescue, both physically and mentally, when I have faced major crises in life.  It has prevented my spinal scoliosis from worsening.  It has enabled me to cope without medical intervention (or, at the very least, in conjunction with a less rigorous prescription).  Yoga has been in my life for the past 26 years (please feel free to read more about my own yoga journey here).

DEVOTED TO FINDING SOLUTIONS

So, I am TRULY devoted to bringing this phenomenal modality to those who need a little help with their daily challenges – whether it be for muscular aches and pains, general stiffness and fatigue, desire for more physical tone, a plethora of physiological symptoms, such as hormonal fluctuations, or improved mental well-being.

I’ve already shared my free Wake-Up Yoga Routine.  However, if you’d like to try another, more soothing routine, click the button below and I’ll send you access:

Ease my Symptoms

But I want “LIVE” CLASSES!

<<<We are launching a new Beginners’ Yoga for Menopause class in the New Year. Get in touch here for more information>>>

AND TRANSFORMATION!

Otherwise, look out for my online yoga courses [coming soon] specifically designed for women who wish to take control of their menopause, re-connect with their mind & body, and look forward to the next important phase of their lives with transformational results!

Let’s not forget the positive impact of complementary therapies

And, it’s not just Yoga I bring you.  From an early age I thought I wanted to be a pharmacist – but what really fascinated me about “ye olde worlde apothecary shop” were the shelves of lotions and potions, the aromas emanating from the little bottles containing magic plant extracts, herbal remedies, tinctures and tisanes.  As a young adult, I purchased a cook book specialising in the healing power of herbs.  I later discovered the positive impact of aromatherapy and the essential oils for treating (almost all of) the same symptoms you could go to the doctors for.

And nutrition for Menopause

Having qualified as a Holistic Aromatherapist in my early 30s, I then delved a little deeper and,  although not quite to pharmacist level (!), I managed to attain my Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Nutritional Therapy at the tender age of 40!!

The complete package

So, bringing you experience in these areas (click here for more info), Yoga for Menopause, together with Aromatherapy AND Nutritional Therapy, forms the core of Heart Yoga’s business.

Don’t miss out!

If you’d like to be put on the mailing list for regular updates and advance notification of online courses, workshops and retreats (plus regular freebies, videos, audios etc), please sign up here, there’s no time like the present! And, why not join us over on Facebook too.  I’d love to welcome you to the Heart Yoga fold.

 

Heartfelt thanks for reading this post. Meanwhile, have a fabulous weekend.  See you next time.

Much love & Namaste

SALLY XXX

Click the image below and quote WAKEUP for your freebie.

 

Change your Mind

If you’ve seen any of my social media posts lately, they’ve mostly been centred around a specific theme (which probably merits a little explanation):

“Change your mind….     ….Change your body”

Of course, I’m suggesting this within the context of menopause.  However, whether you are going through, suffering, managing to control menopause or not, the concept can be applied to any situation in life.  You see, it’s all about perception.

If we view a symptom or a challenge through negative eyes, then it is more than likely going to have a negative outcome or impact on your life.  If, on the other hand, you can change your mind and view that supposedly “negative” symptom or challenge through positive eyes, then, guess what, you’re going to get a positive outcome, with positive life implications to boot.

There’s a great quote from Henry Ford, which sums this up very succinctly.  He said:

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right”

I’m sure I’ve no need to point out who Henry Ford was; his giant legacy is still going strong today.  Aside from his revolutionary vision and tenacity, Ford’s success was down to his own incredible self-belief.  He maintained that with the right attitude and focus, and by remaining aligned with his vision, ANYTHING’S POSSIBLE.

This, my friends, is what yoga offers us – the belief that ANYTHING’S POSSIBLE.

There’s a small caveat to add, of course!  We have to put the work in first, as I’m sure Henry Ford did too!

Yoga teaches us self-reflection; to turn the focus inward, to look within for our own strength and resources.  Ford believed he had everything within himself to create an astounding automobile empire.  And he was right!

Thoughts are our ego or our conscious personality; they enable us to interact within our daily lives. So, in essence, we need our egos (which is not the same thing as egotism).   But more often than not, we become overly attached to our thoughts and, as mentioned above, sometimes these thoughts can be negative.  And so begins the downward spiral – the negative thoughts begin to affect our attitude, our attitude affects how we behave and interact with others, impacting our daily lives and, before we realise it, we’ve actually become our thoughts, we’ve become NEGATIVE!!!

It’s the same philosophy in yoga. We are taught to let go of self-limiting beliefs and to find the [Re]Source within. For Source you can substitute the word light, strength, empowerment, confidence – all of the positive resources you need to live your best life, to be your most effulgent self!!!  This enlightenment, therefore, is already within us… IT’S AT THE VERY CORE OF OUR BEING.  Yes, people, I’m talking about YOU!!

Have you ever noticed your yoga teacher instruct you to “release your thoughts” and to “focus on your breath”? So, all you are being asked to do here is to avoid any attachment to your ego – just to be an observer of your thoughts as they pass through – and by re-focusing on the breath (conscious breathing), you are avoiding any further distraction of the mind and allowing the state of yoga to arise.

Hence, “Change your mind….”

Hmm, often easier said than done, I hear you say.

Let me remind you then.  Through the inward focus of our yoga practice, our ego (thoughts) need not stay fixed, but becomes more malleable.  Those negative thoughts about your body image, your inability to do something [ie yoga! eat less! exercise more! say no! you get the picture], your worthiness to get a better job, a higher salary – whatever is holding you back – can all be overcome through the wisdom of yoga.

It’s true.  When Patanjali [wise yogi] wrote the Yoga Sutras [yoga guidebook] circa 2000 years ago, he made the following statement:

🧘‍♀️yogash chitta vritti nirodha🧘‍♀️

What? (I also hear you say!)

Of the 195 Yoga Sutras (or Threads) Patanjali compiled, this was #2, so it’s pretty important!

It translates from Sanskrit as,

Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of mind

Nirodha, meaning to stop, vritti meaning turning or whirling and chitta being the mind stuff or field of consciousness (workings of the mind, electrical impulses etc). Yogash is just another variation of the word yoga.

Patanjali was stating that yoga occurs “when your mind stops” or better, “when your attachment to your mind (or thoughts) ceases”.

This is the goal of yoga!

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never known anyone who can literally “stop their mind”, so my suggestion to Change your mind… is the next best thing.

It is why I am inviting you to join us and take up the practice of yoga, both on and off the mat.  On the mat, you will soon be seeing some video yoga classes here on the website but if, in the meantime, you would like to try 1:1 or private group sessions, please contact us here.  Off the mat, I already posted the link for my Daily Rituals (for Menopause Mastery) in my last blog post so, perhaps now, after reading this post, you will further appreciate the value of a ritual for helping to change your mindset.

Lastly, if you would like ongoing Yoga & Menopause support from a group of like-minded people, but in a more confidential setting, then hop over and join our private Facebook Group – Changelings – here. You will be more than welcome!

Once again, heartfelt thanks for staying with us, if you’ve got to this stage!  It’s great to be in your company.

‘Til next time.  With love

Sally xxx

🙏Namaste🙏

Sign up here for your FREEBIE! Quote RITUAL

 

 

 

 

Master your Menopause

Hello and Welcome to Heart Yoga’s first blog post!

And not before time!  It’s been a while coming, I know, as there’s been much to do in setting up the business to a point where it can “go live”!  As always, there’s still a lot to do (so forgive some of the rookie mistakes), but you’ve got to start sometime, and it may as well be NOW!

It’s possible you’ve seen my recent posts on social media – hence how you’ve wound up here – so you will have seen that the flavour of the month is Menopause Mastery!

In fact, it’s not just for this month; Menopause Mastery is Heart Yoga’s whole reason for existence!

You can read more about us here on the website; but suffice to say, we understand the struggles associated with, and have experience working with, the symptoms of the menopause – anywhere from peri- to post-menopause.  So, if it’s natural (or complementary) alternatives you are seeking, we can help YOU!

Of course, solving something as life-changing as the menopause doesn’t come without any effort (unless you are lucky enough to have few or no symptoms).  So, if you’re serious about having a go, then you’re already taking one of the steps to mastering the menopause – you are literally Changing your Mind to Change your Body!


Three Steps to Menopause Mastery:

Yes, you are only 3 steps away from taking control :

Heart Yoga Logo; yoga for menopause

    • Step 1 -Change your Mind!

Not the obvious first step, and not always the easiest, but when you cultivate a positive mindset it really is possible to achieve anything.  We have some tips to help you start taking control of your life.  If you missed the Facebook and Instagram posts I mentioned above, then click the link and we’ll send you a free guide to setting up a Daily Ritual for Menopause Mastery.

Step 1 includes establishing a Yoga Practice – and before your freak out – this can be as simple as spending 10-minutes seated in a comfortable position, with your eyes closed, simply focusing on your breath.  Alternatively, it can be 10-minutes spent relaxing in “Legs up the Wall” position (viparita karani in Sanskrit) – a truly restorative and revitalising practice, anyone can do!

Just ask….

But if you want to take control and be more adventurous, we can help you, by providing you with our free mini Wake-Up Yoga or Bedtime Relax YogaRoutines – just email us for your copy.

As Heart Yoga develops in time, we shall have some new videos to help get you started too, so make sure you join us (link at the top of page) to avoid missing out.

Heart Yoga Logo; yoga for menopause

    • Step 2 – Nourish your Body!

This next step is more obvious, but for many can still not be easy to achieve.  Once again, we feel that, with the right frame of mind (as per step 1 above), you can begin to make a more conscious choice of the foods you put in your body.

Nutrition is the second area of our expertise here at Heart Yoga.  We’ll be bringing you some helpful hints and tips to improve your wellbeing and lessen the symptoms of menopause. Watch out for forthcoming links to take-away (pun intended) checklists and recipes!

Here’s one I prepared earlier:

Heart Yoga’s Bircher Muesli – a healthy way to start your day – which can be prepared in advance for convenience.

Ingredients

I like to make up a big batch of the dry ingredients first, as follows:

Porridge oats* – place half the packet (more if you’ve got room) into a large mixing bowl, then add a small bag each of:

        • Mixed nuts (raw, crushed, flaked – your choice eg almonds, walnuts, macademia)
        • Mixed seeds (eg pumpkin, sunflower, linseed/flax seed, sesame, chia)
        • Dried fruits (eg raisins, prunes, apricots, goji berries) – use less of these if you are trying to cut down on sugar intake

*Chia seeds can be used to replace porridge oats if you are gluten-free

Mix the ingredients well and store in an airtight container.

Method

The night before you require your Bircher Muesli, scoop out the required amount (approx 1 cupful per person); place in a separate container, cover with milk of your choice (dairy or non-dairy, eg soya, coconut, oat etc) or just plain water.  Seal container and place in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, you will notice that the liquid has been fully absorbed, so you may add some more milk/water/apple juice to loosen. Next, top with fresh fruit of your choice (eg berries, grated apple, banana etc), live yogurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon/all-spice, to your taste.  I usually find this is sweet enough, but should you require a little extra, then add a teaspoon of dark, runny honey.

       Taste & Enjoy!

Voila! You have a nutritious breakfast which will fill you up, provide slow-release energy         throughout the morning and is packed full of healthy, digestible fruit, fibre and essential fatty acids.

Heart Yoga Logo; yoga for menopause

    • Step 3 – Relax your Mind & Body!

So, this brings us, finally, to the third step – Relaxation!  For many, this is a difficult thing to do and for some may even be the root of all menopause issues.

Clinical studies prove the efficacy of Aromatherapy for alleviating symptoms of the menopause, such as pain, stress, fatigue, brain fog, mood swings – the list is endless.  So, with Holistic Aromatherapy skills also in our toolbox, Heart Yoga will be bringing you plenty of advice on how to implement a safe and effective home practice using nature’s little helpers, aka the essential oils.  These wonderful plant extracts really do offer so many positive health benefits (for half the price of a prescription too!).

We’ll be showing you how to blend oils safely for use on the body, in the bath, in the vaporiser.  We’ll also bring you mini How-To Guides for home massage;  techniques to use on yourself (or, if you’re lucky, that your partner can use on you!).

And breathe….

For now, go and dig out the Lavender and treat yourself to a relaxing bath (remember, only use a few drops of essential oil, added after the bath water has been drawn).

For added luxury, add a dessert spoonful of sweet almond oil or just plain olive oil if that’s all you have in the cupboard (or you have a nut allergy).  Light your aromatherapy candles, play some relaxing music and just let go of all your tension.


So, that’s Heart Yoga, in a nutshell!

Get in touch…

Let’s make this a two-way conversation though.  We’d love to hear from you, so do drop us any comments in the box below.  And, if you’re keen to learn more about the benefits of Yoga, Nutrition and Aromatherapy for Menopause, then don’t forget to join us too.

Thanks for sticking with us.  We really appreciate your company!

See you next time.

With love & gratitude

SallyHeart Logo

Click the image below, quoting RITUAL, for your freebie.