Home » Yoga for Menopause

Tag: Yoga for Menopause

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.

 

Being Kind (to yourself)

By now you may be starting to see a theme emerge from my blog  (there are only two previous posts, thus far; so please check them out, if you’re keen to Master Your Menopause).  In brief, we’re here to demonstrate the merits of practising yoga for controlling the symptoms of menopause.  But, as with anything we try to “control” in life, whether it’s addictions, bad habits, over-eating, smoking, drinking – you name it – you will always find it’s pointless without getting into the right frame of mind from the outset.  Am I right?  So, you will see, my initial focus for helping women to improve their quality of life reflects just that – a change of mindset.

However, since publishing last week’s blog post – Change Your Mind – I’ve had some chance to reflect on its message.  And, I do realise that, for many, it’s not as simple as I may have made it sound!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not back-tracking.  The post was supposed to be motivational; something to have a think about and consider giving a try.  After all, those pesky menopause symptoms aren’t going to go away any time soon and you’ve tried everything else, right? So, what’s the harm?

Then I got to thinking, perhaps the message was somewhat harsh – I certainly don’t mean to come across as trite, far from it.  

What is alright for some, is not alright for others.  

I shared a blog post on Facebook earlier, all about one woman’s dreadful struggle with her menopause symptoms and the tremendous impact they have had on her and her family’s life. I thank this woman for sharing her plight, which both highlights the different ways menopause can affect us, from one woman to the next, and prompts us not to hide away, embarrassed of how it makes us feel and behave, but to be more open and able to discuss our symptoms without ridicule or shame (#unshamethechange!).

 

So, today, instead, I am taking a softer approach.  Drawing upon some good old yoga philosophy.  Without going into an in-depth history of yoga, I’ll just refer back to circa 300-400 BCE! 

Patanjali’s mystical teachings are still relevant today…

Compiled by Patanjali (whom I referred to in last week’s blog, responsible for churning out the Yoga Sutras), the Eight Limbs of Yoga provide the guidelines that a follower of Patanjali’s method of yoga (also known as Raja (or Royal) yoga) should follow.  By practising (not just reading about!) these mystical teachings, one experiences a purification of the mind and body (and, thus, allows the condition of yoga to arise – a full awakening of the Self – but we’ll save that part for another day!).  Revered as a bit of a saint in India, Patanjali’s mystical teachings on the subject of all things yoga make an awful lot of sense, even by today’s standards.

So, on the chart below, if you find the first of the Eight Limbs – namely the Yamas – these are a list of all the behaviours (“restraints” in Sanskrit) we are instructed to display toward others. 

The 8 Limbs of Yoga

 

pastedGraphic.png

 

The first Yama listed is Ahimsa, meaning non-violence or do no harm.  And this teaches us how to behave, in thought, word and deed, toward our fellow human-beings, toward nature and the environment surrounding us.  Interestingly this also forms part of the Hippocratic Oath (the physicians’ code of ethics, written around the same era).   

My message today, however, takes this principle one step further – being kind to yourself 

As one who seems to suffer from the effects of the changing seasons (let alone menopause symptoms!), I have noticed a particular sluggishness of late, both in mind (can’t remember what I was going to say or do) and body (no get-up-and-go)! 

Try a little yoga…

So, here’s a yoga technique you can practice with little or no effort, but which offers a multitude of benefits. 

Called Viparita karani or Legs-Up-The-Wall pose – this a passive, supported variation of the Shoulderstand (which you could do instead, if you are already practiced in the posture).

yoga for menopause

First sit adjacent to the wall, then swivel and lie back, ensuring your bottom is touching the wall as you raise your legs.  You can place a cushion or bolster underneath the hips, if preferred. Arms can be by your side or outstretched behind your head.

It’s been said that taking just 10 minutes out of your busy day to practice this restorative posture is as good as the rest you get from a full night’s sleep…..

I do believe it’s a good all-rounder – both for relieving physical aches and pains as well as mental revival.

You can keep your legs vertical against the wall or open them out into a “V” shape to get an extra stretch to the inner thigh – but take care not to strain your low back or groin.  A belt strapped around your legs/above the knees might help prevent over-stretching and enable a more supported posture.

Add a little meditation and aromatherapy…

Try it whilst listening to some calming music or treat yourself to a meditation audio.

In addition to music or meditation whilst trying this out, why not vaporise some refreshing essential oils.  As I write this, I’ve dusted off my old burner and have some peppermint and rosemary on the go – excellent for clearing the head (and nasal passages) and uplifting mood – but you could also use lemon, grapefruit, may chang, clary sage or ginger (or a combination).  Take care not to use these stimulating oils too close to bedtime otherwise you might be up all night!  Substitute lavender and mandarin instead!

yoga for menopause

And some nutrition too…

I’ve also resisted the desire to have a second cup of coffee (something we all succumb to in times of fatigue and stress) and have poured myself a soothing peppermint tea instead.  You could also try roibos (red bush) tea, which is naturally decaffeinated, green tea or lime & ginger for an extra kick.  

And if your habit is also to reach for the biscuit tin for a pick-me-up, try something that’ll give you a slow-release form of energy, like an oatcake with peanut butter (or hummus or cottage cheese) instead.  Perhaps, a banana (or other piece of fresh fruit) with a few brazil nuts or a handful of seeds might do the trick.  Whatever snack you choose, the aim should be to accompany your carbs with some protein.  This will stop you “spiking” your blood sugars and keep energy levels more constant.

If you’ve found the above of use, or you have further questions, please feel free to get in touch with us in the comments below.  Equally, if you have stories to share, or would like to hear from like-minded people, why not join us in our private Facebook Group – Changelings – you’d be so welcome.

Until next time, enjoy being kind to yourself!

Namaste

SALLY

Being kind (to yourself)

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.