A mindful Yoga class that can support you through peri- menopause and beyond!
I’m excited to share with you that I’m now a registered Menopause Yoga (MY Yoga) teacher. With its evidenced based approach, MY Yoga gives teachers the tools to support women in their hormonal journey from peri-menopause to menopause itself, and beyond. As a MY Yoga teacher and Nutritional Therapist (Msc), I am now able to share information about the Menopause with the aim to Educate, Empower women so that they can Embrace their Menopause.
So what is MY Yoga all about?
Educate, Empower, Embrace
Menopause Yoga was envisaged by Petra Coveny and here she describes the ethos surrounding ‘MY Yoga’
MY Yoga aims are to educate and empower women so that they can embrace the changes in their minds, bodies and emotions. Underpinning MY is a positive philosophy:
Menopause is an opportunity to take a pause in your busy life…
to Nurture & Nourish yourself…to take time for Self Study and learn more about your changing body, mind and emotions…to look forward to the next stage in your life.
Menopause is a hot topic of discussion at the moment. And rightly so! It’s a period of huge change in a woman’s body, both physically and emotionally. Did you know that every cell in your body has an oestrogen receptor?
Furthermore it takes place at a time in a woman’s life when we are juggling childcare, teen-age angst, family life, a career and elderly parents. We can feel pulled in all directions, frazzled, angry and exhausted and sometimes a little lost. Some will move through this time effortlessly, but for many this transition can be filled with difficult to manage symptoms, way beyond hot flushes, to symptoms such as joint and muscle pain, anxiety, depression, self-doubt, frequent urination, loss of libido and painful intercourse.
This infographic below shows the myriad of symptoms.
In other cultures, Menopausal symptoms do not appear to be so impactful. It’s a time of celebration, your “Second Spring”, where a woman’s wisdom is welcomed and honoured. So we must ask ourselves what are the factors at play here? With my Nutritional Therapy knowledge, and now as a qualified MY Yoga teacher, it’s clear that how we experience the Menopause in the UK is multifactorial. It involves diet and lifestyle, stress management, cultural and societal perceptions, or perhaps it would be better to say misconceptions!
Self-care, improved health and wellbeing
MY Yoga is a specially adapted yoga practice with breathing techniques and mindful meditation exercises to help manage some of the main symptoms of Menopause. Initially I will be offering weekly MY Yoga classes, and this will then lead on to offering workshops. In this setting, we as women we can come together to educate and support one another, to share insights and experiences and with my Nutritional Therapy hat on, we can delve more deeply into nutritional and lifestyle strategies to support you.
What to expect in a weekly MY Yoga class?
Targeted themed classes. There are 5 themed practices that look to support symptoms such as hot flushes, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, fatigue, lack of focus and low mood. The MY Yoga class combines vinyasa, hatha and qi-gong, breath work and meditation, and each class finishes with a restorative pose to soothe and reset the nervous system. It is suitable for all levels and abilities. The class is 75 mins long in order for us to be able to incorporate all these vital elements.
Targets Muscle loss & weakness, and osteoporosis. MY Yoga asana also supports the loss of muscle and bone density which occurs in menopause. The loss of oestrogen means women are at higher risk of osteopenia and osteoporosis. Through weight bearing yoga postures, research has shown that women can increase bone density, making bones stronger. Strengthening muscles also supports the skeletal system and helps with metabolism regulation.
A toolkit of techniques. You will leave each class with breathing and meditation techniques that can be used at home, or even when out shopping, at work or whenever symptoms arise.
Stress management. Stress is one of the main factors that exacerbates symptoms in perimenopause and post menopause and through asana (yoga postures), pranayama (breathing techniques), relaxation and meditation we can help to activate the ‘rest & digest’ side of the nervous system (the parasympathetic nervous system), and to move away from “fight or flight”.
A time to reflect. Breath work and meditation encourage us to look inwards (interoception), becoming more in tune with symptoms and their triggers. MY Yoga enables us to be better prepared by coming into the present moment and becoming aware of the messages our bodies are giving us. Yoga can empower a sense of support and control, which can offer a change in perspective as a woman’s body begins and travels through this journey
Calming the mind. MY Yoga is a mind and body practice which supports our overall health. Practising yoga through peri-menopause and post menopause can be integral to supporting the journey into your next stage of life, to embrace your ‘Second Spring”, and to feel valued for the wisdom and life you have led.
Together in our MY Yoga practices, I will assist you through this journey, to emerge stronger, more centred, to become the wise woman you truly are.
And now, if you’re interested here’s some sciencey stuff about Menopause
What is “Menopause” ?
When a woman runs out of her supply of viable eggs, her ovaries will cease oestrogen production, and she will go through “menopause”. Exactly when this happens depends on many factors. The medical term ‘menopause’ refers to the point at which a woman has stopped menstruating for 12 consecutive months. The perimenopause can last six years or more and is the time up until the menopause. Post menopause is the time after the menopause.
The perimenopause affects every single cell in a woman’s body as they all have an oestrogen receptor. Oestrogen levels fluctuate irregularly in perimenopause and we need oestrogen to regulate mood, body temperature, memory, and the menstrual cycle. Additionally it lubricates the vagina, protects the arteries and stimulates breast growth during puberty. Oestrogen also act has anti-inflammatory affects, so its loss, can lead to muscle and joint pain and leave us feeling more “allergic”.
Levels of progesterone and testosterone also begin to fall. Progesterone helps maintain the monthly cycle; it also prepares the uterus (womb) for pregnancy and supports the body during pregnancy. It also has a “calming” affect.
Testosterone is produced in the adrenal glands and regulates sex drive, supports bone growth, strength and muscle mass; it can improve mood, concentration, motivation, energy and memory.
The fluctuation of oestrogen can cause a myriad of symptoms. In Dr Lisa Mosconi’s ‘Book XX Brian’, she describes the brain as the orchestra and oestrogen as the conductor, so as oestrogen fluctuates, all the instruments of the orchestra are out of sync. Goodness knows I think we can all relate to that!
The changing levels of oestrogen affects the part of the brain known as the hypothalamus. This part of our brain has key regulatory functions, and links the nervous system and endocrine (hormones) system. As oestrogen fluctuates, it affects the job of the hypothalamus in regulating body temperature, the stress hormone cortisol, the endocrine system and reproduction. Being perpetually stressed, with resultant high cortisol levels, is therefore going to impact this delicate balance in the body and lead to increased symptomology.
And this is where a regular MY Yoga practice can help. Through movement, stillness, meditation and conscious breathing – many symptoms can be alleviated.
*At 12 weeks, yoga practitioners showed statistically lower scores for menopausal symptoms, stress levels and depression symptoms, as well as significantly higher scores in quality of life….These results suggest that yoga promotes positive psychophysiological changes in post-menopausal women and may be applied as a complementary therapy. (Elsevier: Science Direct: ) **The Menopause Charity. ***Dr Lisa Mosconi ’The XX Brain.’ **** Dr Loren Fishman M.D
Please email me if you have any further questions.
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Hi, do you still do classes on a Monday morning at 11am please? How much are the sessions too?
Yes 11am Beginners Yoga at Henham Yoga Studio. If you send me an email to email@example.com I can send you all the details.