299: Yoga for Menopause with Niamh Daly

About half the world’s population experiences menopause at some point in their lives, yet it is still not very well understood and people at this stage of their life may not get the support they need. Niamh Daly fills in some of the gaps we may have in our understanding and knowledge of menopause.

Niamh teaches and supports women in navigating life changes, especially menopause, whether medically, surgically, prematurely or naturally induced, through adapted yoga and nutrition. She trains yoga teachers worldwide to understand menopause and the stages immediately preceding, and after, and how much support they can give through additions to, and enhancements of the canon of yoga. 

As yoga teachers who are working with people who are in this peri, menopausal, menopause, postmenopausal phase, we need to understand how we can better support them. Niamh explains the fluctuating nature of peri-menopause, how nutrition and exercise requirements may change for people at this stage, and why yoga is beneficial for them. She also questions why prenatal yoga and pregnancy is covered in many YTTs but not any of the menopausal stages, despite that being something more relevant and applicable to many people. 

Key Takeaways:

[3:29] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode – Niamh Daly.

[7:53] What does Niamh do and who does she do it for?

[10:52] How do we know when we or our students are in the perimenopause stage? Niamh explains that there is actually a stage before perimenopause that isn’t often talked about.

“There has been research in yoga for serotonin, yoga for oxytocin, yoga for bones, yoga for heart health, yoga for brain health, yoga for sleep, all of which coming together, create a very convincing pool of evidence to support the use of yoga to help women through menopause.”  ~ Niamh Daly 

[16:50] People in the late reproductive stage can have symptoms that mimic perimenopause or even conditions related to thyroid function. How can people get a definitive answer about what is really causing the changes in their body?

“Women spend more time in the perimenopausal transition and post-menopausal then they do pregnant and yet there are no first-line yoga teacher trainings that really even mention menopause in the training.” ~ Niamh Daly

[19:58] Shannon pops in with a snippet of a conversation she had with Ashley Hagen about OfferingTree.

[23:51] How does yoga help with perimenopause?

“I’m really in the business of trying to help women befriend their changes and their body through menopause and beyond and before menopause.” ~ Niamh Daly

[30:29] Shannon and Niamh discuss the research supporting the idea that yoga is beneficial for menopause.

[32:17] There is a huge lack of education around this topic despite the fact that half the population goes through menopause and a large number of yoga teachers are also in this demographic.

“We need to learn to embrace the changes because otherwise, we’re fighting ourselves till the day we die.” ~ Niamh Daly

[33:38] Where can yoga teachers learn more about yoga for menopause and how to better serve this segment of the population?

[38:03] Niamh shares a bit more about health at every size and how that impacts perimenopause.

[43:02] Language is also a big part of the education that Niamh offers.

[44:36] Reach out to Niamh to connect and learn more.

[45:52] Continue the conversation! Shannon shares some of her key takeaways – what are yours?


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