Petra Coveney is our guest blogger this month. Petra is a member of the British Menopause Society, an experienced and fully qualified yoga teacher and the founder of MY Menopause Yoga, which supports women in their 40s and 50s who are going through menopause. She holds group workshops across the country, including Dr Louise Newson’s new Menopause Clinic in Stratford Upon Avon.
These sessions include:
- A specially adapted yoga practice with breathing techniques and mindful meditation exercises to help manage the main symptoms such as hot flushes, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, fatigue, lack of concentration and low mood.
- A Women’s Circle discussion
- Guidance on natural remedies and supplements, nutrition, eastern Ayurveda and western medical approaches to hormone replacement.
Here, Petra explains how yoga and meditation can be used both as a natural approach to menopause or complement medical treatment women chose to receive.
As a member of the British Menopause Society and a qualified British Wheel of Yoga teacher, I am in a unique position to draw together both the latest western medical guidance on menopause and the wisdom of the east with traditional Ayurveda approaches.
I created these workshops and one to one sessions so that women could educate themselves and feel empowered to make informed choices on hormone replacement and manage their symptoms effectively. My aim is to help women embrace menopause as an opportunity to enhance their lives. Many women feel negatively about menopause because of unpleasant symptoms that may disrupt their lives. Many also feel a sense of grief for their loss of fertility, out of control of their changing bodies, and fear the ageing process.
My key message is that Menopause can be an exciting time of self-rediscovery, positive renewal and an opportunity to Nurture & Nourish yourself.
We can Nurture & Nourish ourselves in many different ways.
- Take a meno-PAUSE: make time to learn about menopause, your symptoms and what triggers them. Start a Journal and chart what you ate, drank, exercise, activities and thoughts that may have triggered your symptoms each day. Within a couple of months you will have priceless personal insights.
- Start eating a diet high in phytoestrogens, protein, vitamins and minerals including vitamin D and calcium for bone health. It is often easier to take a supplement that contains the correct balance of ingredients. Check that herbal remedies are from a trusted source and backed by research.
- Exercise: aerobic exercise helps manage weight gain; weight-bearing exercise maintains bone density; weight-lifting exercise builds muscle that depletes in menopause. Yoga can provide all of these benefits depending on what style of yoga you practice – but it has the added benefit of calming the nervous system, focusing the mind and aiding better sleep.
- Socialise: many women feel alone and cut off during this stage in life. Lift your mood by meeting friends for exercise and entertainment, sharing and preparing healthy food together.
- Dream – take stock to reflect on your life, feel grateful for what you have enjoyed so far, and make plans for the future that fill you with excitement.
To find out more about MY Menopause Yoga events and specific poses to help you manage menopause symptoms, visit www.menopause-yoga.com.