Why Birthlight Yoga for the Menopause?
Menopause is a key time of change for women. Whether this transition is experienced easily or with difficulty, women welcome a chance to be in the company of other women who are going through or have been through the menopause. At Birthlight we pay huge importance to enabling a circle of women (even online) and the creation of a safe and supportive space to be heard and to share experiences and wisdom. Many women feel alone during this time, so this shared experience can make a massive difference to normalizing it, whilst recognizing that each woman must make her own unique journey.
This collective safety and intimacy is an ideal setting for the yoga practice to take place in a way that is truly supportive of each woman, to help her find the right balance of tone and release both physically, mentally and emotionally. The body and mind are going through natural but significant changes at menopause so the practice is adapted so that in turn each woman can discover or remember her own innate ability to adapt.
When women share how they feel, we as teachers can listen and offer the practices that respond to that woman’s or that group’s needs from week to week. This is what one of my students wrote to me after last week’s class which I am currently teaching online – she is going through the menopause and also has ME so energy is a big issue for her:
I just wanted to say a big thank you for your supportive session on Tuesday. I always enjoy and benefit from the Women’s group and yesterday there was such a lovely mix of strengthening and relaxing postures. I felt so much better afterwards and it is fantastic that I can fall straight into bed at the end! I really value the thought you put into these sessions whilst remaining flexible and sensitive to the group’s needs expressed at the start of the session. You are an inspiration!
ParticipantBelinda Staplehurst’s Yoga Class
We can make a big difference to women’s lives during the menopause. Stress levels are often elevated so one of the keys to a smoother transition is to offer yoga that promotes vagal tone. At Birthlight we recognise the fundamental importance of relaxation and breathing, so this is always included in our classes – but our yoga is much more than just restorative yoga. Birthlight yoga is a rich tapestry of elements which weave together to support the menopausal body and mind. These include a wide range of strengthening and energising practices, internal toning for the core and pelvic floor, a chance to explore and be playful, to share paired and circle practices with the other women. We offer practices in progressions which enables women to go deeper at their own pace as well as to enable everyone to participate irrespective of their yoga experience or physical ability.
Come join me for our next Birthlight Yoga for the Menopause training so that you too can feel confident as a teacher in offering this rich treasure chest of practices to menopausal women. You can also join our training if you are wishing to explore this for yourself, or maybe you would like to do both!
Belinda has been a Hatha Yoga Teacher since 2000 and is a Senior Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance. She grew up in France but is based in the Midlands, UK. Belinda joined Birthlight in 2015 as a Perinatal Tutor after completing multiple Birthlight diplomas specializing in land practices. Belinda has developed her knowledge and practice further and now also tutors for Maternity Professionals and Well Woman Yoga. She is a tutor for Birthlight courses in France and regularly runs training in the UK, China and Russia.