The Joy of Hot Flushes!
Guest blog by lucy blenkinsopp, yoga teacher & health & wellness coach
The Joy of Hot Flushes
When I was growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, menopause was always called ‘The Change’! Now that I am in my late 50’s I can really relate to that.
Looking back, the changes started around about 40 with these intense hot flushes that came when I felt excited or sometimes when I had a cup of tea. They started at my feet and like a wave rolled through my body but within a minute or so, were forgotten. Heading into my late 40’s they became more intense and lasted longer. I became a cliché, stripping off clothes in the middle of the supermarket aisle. Along came night sweats, waking me up in a pool of sweat, deeply unattractive and extremely unsexy.
Aged 49, I discovered Hot Bikram Yoga, it was love at first sweat and highly addictive. I started going regularly and then I noticed some magic happening. My flushes stopped as did my night sweats, my skin became softer and I didn’t need moisturiser or deodorant.
How could sweating profusely for 90 minutes in 40-degree heat and 40% humidity eliminate the hot flushes during the day and the night sweats? There’s no medical evidence as to why this should happen, but there are plenty of testimonials from women experiencing this! But certainly, without doubt, coping with the hot room means your body copes with hot flushes more effectively. Something else happens when you do hot yoga, you start to crave really healthy hydrating food and so without even thinking about it, eating habits may change and as far as alcohol goes, you become a complete lightweight.
Physically, doing yoga has made my body very strong, I’ve lost some weight and I’m not quite so baggy at the edges. I still have a belly and my arms are not in any way perfect, but I know I’m doing what I can. Yoga is all about breathing, stretching and twisting and because of that I haven’t had any problems with my waist expanding, and I do believe that there are certain yoga postures which are particularly beneficial for keeping the definition in the waist area and not getting the thickening aspect which is often associated with menopause. Just as a side note, I noticed a big shift in my energy and whilst I definitely do feel and look my age, I rarely feel tired, or exhausted unless there is a good reason and I know that I am giving my life the best shot and I can't do more than that.
To be honest I don’t see that there is much choice about doing yoga. In fact, we are the only mammals on this planet who don’t stretch. Hundreds of years ago in India, when people used to go to the doctor he would prescribe a Yoga Sequence to get them back to health and I can absolutely see how that works. There are many different types of yoga and there is something for everyone. If you have tried one type and you didn’t feel the love, then please do try another.
It's never too late to start yoga
Of course, it's never too late to start yoga. Although I wish I’d started earlier, I’m grateful that I just started. Today is a good day to start wherever you are in life. The truth is yoga will change the way you look, eat and feel. I’m now nearly 58, have been a Yoga teacher for 7 years and have also trained as a health and wellness coach.
Now, here's a thing about menopause, which is rarely talked about and I think is undervalued. As hormones shift during menopause, we often feel less maternal, less like looking after families, cooking daily, cleaning up and so on. We’ve had enough and with this lack of maternal instinct comes an Amazing Liberation.
This is the ‘change’ that I’m talking about. Menopause is not a phase, it is life changing and recognising that, it’s now time to take life by the hand and recognise that we only get one. This is our time to have a midlife reinvention and do the things that light us up and make us feel effervescent and passionate. We need to have a purpose now that our maternal instincts have gone.
I feel such gratitude that I found my passion, even if I had to wait till I was 50!
This is what I do in my coaching. I help ladies who are stuck in their relationships, careers, weight, exercise routines to feel the change within them, find their purpose and enjoy this wonderful midlife reinvention. I feel such gratitude that I found my passion, even if I had to wait till I was 50!
If you want any help finding your YOGA or reaching your health, wellness, weight-loss goals. If you don’t know what your ‘Purpose’ is anymore then please, please, please do get in touch. I offer a 50-minute complimentary video call to see if we have the right connection. Health and wellness are my passions and I love to help women find their groove.