If I only knew then what I know now….how many times do we say this to ourselves? Of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing, however, in my case, I really do wish I had been more prepared for menopause and its ugly sister, perimenopause. Now that I’m almost on the other side of both, I want to share my experience with you and explain why I’m on a mission to help others fight menopause with yoga.
Looking back, I reckon the first signs started to appear in my mid 40's. I had just gone through divorce, so naturally I put my symptoms down to stress. However, anxiety and irritability, coupled with fatigue, zero patience, paranoia, and depleted energy levels all crept in – even after I went on to happily remarry. One minute I would be up and next I would be down.
Simple things like travel, even for a vacation, would start to stress me out in the build-up to going. I have run my own business for 30 years, so I was used to travel and felt comfortable giving business presentations, but suddenly I didn’t have the same confidence. Neither did I have the ability to retain information - it’s like my brain was shrouded in fog. I would also worry about the tiniest things, mulling things over and over; becoming paranoid about minor details. When one issue became resolved, I would quickly replace with it a new worry.
I was no stranger to a healthy diet and regular exercise, however, this also changed. My stamina for regular exercise dwindled as I lost energy, and gradually my shape began to change. Where once I had a waistline, I now started to resemble Sponge Bob Square Pants. Of course, a good night’s sleep became a thing of the past thanks to night sweats and anxiety. I would lie awake for hours worrying and fretting about the silliest of things that I had no control over. Libido was also consigned to my treasure trove of memories.
However, my world dramatically changed when I began practicing yoga and meditation in my early 50's. As well as the physical benefits, I began to feel calmer and my mind stopped spinning. I still had many of the other physical symptoms (although not as bad) but I was happy to trade these for feeling less anxious and more relaxed. Was this all just a coincidence? Had my symptoms disappeared due to some other reason? The answer was NO. As my passion for yoga grew, I decided to to become a yoga teacher and that’s when I learned just how much yoga really can help fight menopause.
I am by no means advocating that yoga is a cure for menopause, but I know at firsthand what a difference it made to my life. Yoga offers a holistic approach that offers relief to everyone and helps alleviate MORE symptoms than ANY OTHER SINGLE SOLUTION.
Yoga is open to all ages and levels of experience, even complete beginners like I once was. I know from teaching ladies who are battling menopause just how much it helps them too. Combined with good diet and self-care routine, yoga could be your guiding light towards the end of a long and harrowing tunnel.
If I knew about the benefits of yoga back then, my struggle would have been so much easier. But here I am today with a burning passion to help others and a thriving business that includes private teaching, a successful Yoga for Menopause Facebook Group, two e-Books and a growing online membership for ladies who want to be guided on their yoga journey.
Don’t let menopause beat you…..let’s beat it together with yoga!
If you would like to know how yoga can help you in peri/menopause, join our Facebook group Yoga for Peri/Menopause and enjoy free tips, advice, yoga sequences, classes and meet other like-minded women who are undergoing the same challenges. Beginners are most welcome!