top of page

5 lessons I learned whilst teaching at my Menopause Wellness retreat

group of menopause ladies at wellness retreat standing and kneeling on grass next to the ocean
Ladies at my recent menopause wellness retreat who taught me 5 valuable lessons

In April 2022, I spent six days with 13 menopausal ladies on one of my menopause wellness retreats in Portugal. Before embarking on the trip, I thought I knew most things about menopause - after all, I am a certified Menopause Yoga teacher and Wellness Coach - and that it would be these wonderful ladies doing all the learning, not me. I was wrong. At this retreat, I learned 5 valuable lessons in menopause, and it was probably one of my most humbling experiences ever. Here's what I learned:

1. Finding the old you is just as important:

So much of my teaching centres around embracing change and looking for a new path out of all the challenges that menopause presents. Often that means letting go of who you were, and embracing the new YOU that's waiting to be found.

However, one of the lessons I learned at this retreat was that many ladies were actually tapping into who they had once been and actually enjoying aspects of themselves that had laid dormant for years. This included:

- the fits of giggles that we used to get as school girls

- the silly jokes that have us doubled up

- the playful banter between women where no one gets insulted or hurt

- the 'who dare' games

- playing Chinese Whisper

- turning my yoga chant into an Elvis number!

Menopause can rob us of this child-like joy and it’s so wonderful to connect with it again. I was witness to several ladies really peeling away the layers and tapping into their inner child. It was both a privilege to witness, and proof that a retreat can be just as much about rediscovering ourselves, as it is finding the new.

2. We will not be beaten:

For some of us, getting on a plane to join a group of ladies that we’ve never met before is a non-starter. But for others, it was a challenge that just had to be met. As the retreat got nearer, I know some would loved to have simply run away and avoided it, but these women rose to the challenge and tapped into their inner strength.

- they were clearly nervous about their yoga – would they be able to keep up?

- they were anxious about getting on with everyone

- they were worried about the journey – what if their flight was delayed?

- they were literally re-thinking the whole thing!

So much so, that some were a bag of jitters at the airport. However, their worries were all unfounded. They did keep up, they did fit in, they did cope with the journey, and I know just how proud they were of themselves at the end. The lesson I learned was that despite the struggles, us women will not be beaten. We are so much stronger than we think, we are always capable of so much more than we believe, and we can always rise to the occasion.

3. Never to doubt my intuition:

I have always wanted to incorporate yoga chanting into my teaching, especially at a retreat. But just because I love music doesn’t mean that others would feel the same. Chanting an Indian Sanskrit Mantra 108 times with Mala Beads in one hand is not everyone’s idea of fun, so after deciding to incorporate this element into the retreat, I then had second doubts.

- what if they thought I was crazy?

- what if they hated it?

- what if they didn’t want to join in?

But I listened to my intuition and decided to stick with it. And I’m so glad I did!! We sang our hearts out and the ladies absolutely loved it. We rocked and raised the vibration, and our voices could be heard echoing around the Algarve. Ok, so it did slightly turn into an Elvis number towards the end complete with dance moves, but who cares? We sat and bonded over music, and I know it will be a memory to treasure forever. And I for one will never doubt my intuition again. Lesson learned.

4. Letting go to is a key part of the story:

As part of their retreat experience, each lady enjoyed a 1:2:1 wellness consultation with myself, where they had the opportunity to talk through their issues so we could figure out a more tailored solution. It was during these talks that I realised that those who open up the most, and are honest with themselves, are invariably the ones who find a path out of menopause.

I was blown away with the trust that these ladies not only placed in myself, but in each other too, and just how vulnerable they became.

I learned that in order to move forwards, we have to let go. We have to acknowledge, accept, and even surrender to some aspects of menopause in order to move forwards. By peeling back the layers and being brutally honest about who we are, and where we are, we can connect deeply with others, and find a way out. It was a true honour to listen to their stories and be part of their wellness journey.

5. The power of community has no bounds:

I manage two busy Facebook groups and I thought I knew all about the power of community until this particular retreat. For many of these ladies, it wasn’t their first rodeo. They had attended one of my past retreats so friendships had already been formed. But they embraced the first-timers with open arms and took the community vibe to a whole new level.

It was no longer just a group of menopausal ladies on a wellness retreat, it was a group of friends with a deep connection. Everyone looked out for each other, and everyone supported each other through laughter and tears.

After this retreat, I realised that I needed another word for community and I found one. It’s called Kinship – a unity of women with a deep understanding of each other, with a profound connection, and a strong bond that cannot be broken. I learned that a community like this will last well beyond the retreat, and as long as the memories do.

It truly was a humbling experience, and as much as the ladies thanked me for guiding them, I had to thank them too for the 5 valuable lessons they taught me.

If you're interested in joining one of our menopause wellness retreats, please check availability on our next escapes.

bottom of page