Hatha Yoga › Petra Coveney
Hatha Yoga is the name given to all physical yoga postures and breathing techniques to prepare the body for meditation. However, hatha yoga is commonly known for yoga with an emphasis on steadiness, so expect more static poses and longer yoga pose holds. The slower pace of Hatha classes makes it suitable for beginners, however it also provides a focus for more advanced practitioners and the possibility to explore the merging of breath, mind and body. Hatha Yoga provides the basis for many other forms of yoga including ashtanga yoga, vinyasa yoga, power yoga, yin yoga and restorative yoga. You may wish to follow your practice with yoga nidra, meditation or relaxation.
Awakening to Yourself
Oestrogen is an anti-inflammatory, so your perimenopausal symptoms can include sore joints and muscle stiffness, especially around the hips, shoulders, wrists and ankles. Join Petra for this simple morning class with somatic movement to help you limber up, lubricate joints and set a positive intention for your day ahead. You can even practice this class in bed.
Strength and Empowerment
Join Petra for this energising Hatha class designed to build bone and muscle strength while also boosting your brain and heart health. This short sequence includes modifications for osteopenia and lower back pain as well as frozen shoulders, which are common menopause symptoms of low oestrogen.
Cooling Hot Flushes
Hot flushes are not just physical sensations of heat - they start in your brain. Low oestrogen can make your internal temperature gauge over-sensitive to small changes causing either hot flushes or cold chills. These symptoms can also be triggered by stressful thoughts, and if you feel embarrassed by your hot flush, this stressful feeling can make the flushes hotter and last longer. Join Petra for this class to both cool your body and calm your mind. She shows you two simple cooling breath techniques and subtle versions you can practice in public. This is followed by her Hot Flush Wave guided visualisation, Ocean breath and a restorative supported reclined cobbler pose to release heat and relax.
Menopause Yoga: Befriending Your Body
A soothing and calming yoga class to cool hot flushes and help you surrender to the natural process of change associated with the perimenopause and menopause. Expect hip opening stretches and simple somatic movements through the spine which lead to a restorative yoga practice, followed by a deep relaxation, a guided meditation and a mantra. This class is taught wholly on the floor and is very gentle and grounding. It is designed to help you befriend your body with kindness and self-compassion at a time when your body is transforming and can feel out of your control. You will need a yoga mat, a strap or belt, 1 bolster and 2 cushions (or household equivalents), and 2 blocks (or thick books). NB - Modifications: take extra care with hip and knee injuries. Osteoporosis: avoid flexion rounding your back in forward folds; keep your spine straight. Trauma: please note that hip opening poses and stretches across the chest can release tension but may also trigger trauma. Follow your own breathing pace, pause the practice when needed and find a comfortable resting pose.
Menopause Yoga for Strength
A gently strengthening yoga class to re-energise and empower by building strong bones. This dynamic hatha yoga class with poses that are held for 10 rounds of breath helps build bone mineral density and muscle mass, and raise the heart rate. This class has been designed to help prevent osteoporosis (weakened bones), sarcopenia (muscle loss) and cardiovascular disease, which can develop post-menopause. Expect a range of simple heart-lifting backbends to energise, breath work, a restorative yoga pose, relaxation practice and seated meditation. You will need a strap or belt, 2 bolsters, a cushion, a blanket, and 2 blocks. NB - Osteoporosis: avoid flexion rounding your back in forward folds; keep your spine straight. If you have previously experienced panic attacks, avoid holding your breath and instead follow your own breathing pace.
Yoga for Osteopenia
This is a brief yoga tutorial of some of the ways you can use a chair to modify your yoga practice if you have osteopenia (weakened bones) which can affect women as they go through the menopause. If you have osteoporosis, you must always consult your GP before practising yoga, and ask your osteopath or physiotherapist which range of movement is suitable for your body.