Yoga and the Menopause

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A post by menopause expert Eileen Durward:

I love Yoga!

It has been with me since I was 14, not always constant, but I have practiced it on and off over the years.

I can’t remember the exact reason but when I was 14, my Mum and I decided we wanted to learn Yoga.

We were in a rural area, so no classes back then but we sent away for a book, Yoga for health and Beauty by Joan GouldI still dip into it today, either for poses or for nostalgia!

Life does take over and for many years I went to classes where ever I was living if I could or I practiced at home but it was when the menopause started that I realised the true value of this wonderful practice.

Approaching the menopause I did lots of research on diet, lifestyle, supplements, herbs etc. I realized that exercise and relaxation were key elements to a healthy and happy menopause. I decided to focus on Yoga as I really don’t like running, aerobics, gym,s etc!

I have a very busy life and going to regular local classes isn’t always possible, my salvation came with getting in Sky TV.

Suddenly, there was Lifestyle TV and lots of Yoga programmes, different poses every day (I get bored easily and basic DVDs didn’t last long!), short sessions-great for before work and long sessions- for the weekend.

I was in Heaven!

I also discovered matrix DVDs where you can make up your own different programme every day.

I have found that doing Yoga before work 3-4 days a week has kept me really fit, supple and has the most wonderful calming/relaxing effect, which is vital during the menopause.

I have just come back from a walking holiday in Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands. I’ve been without any walking practice for the last 4 months as the weather here in Scotland has been very bad.  But because of the Yoga, my fitness level was really high, and I had no problem with the steep mountain paths..

I am in no way an expert at Yoga, any good teacher would probably be horrified at my self-practiced poses but it is my aim to continue forever!

My most memorable Yoga Moment?

Last year I did a travelling/camping holiday in Egypt.

There I was, at dawn, in the White Desert in Western Egypt.

We had camped out under the stars. It was freezing.

I was dressed in thermal underwear, my fleecy PJs, thick socks and pink woolly hat doing Salutation To The Sun.

Even writing about it now makes my heart sing!

About Eileen: Eileen lectures, trains and writes extensively on the menopause, and is often to be found quoted in health magazines and on health-related websites.

Eileen is happy to pass on her personal knowledge and experiences to help those who are still unsure of what is happening to them. For tips & advice on the menopause take a look at Eileen’s Menopause Blog


The Menopause:  In the United Kingdom, “menopause” is called “the menopause.” I like the “the.”  Makes it sound oh so important, which we Friend for the Riders know it is.

The Pyramid:  Eileen is standing in front of the Pyramid of Khafre at Giza in Cairo, Egypt.