In the last decade of teaching Pilates I have always said that I would never teach Yoga.

So, you won’t be surprised from the title when I say I have booked into a Hatha yoga course!

Why now?

I have been researching ageing well for the last year and discovered the benefits of practising Yoga, as you get older. For example, there has been research done in specific standing asanas, and how they help increase bone density, which is important, post-menopausal.

Yoga helps with reducing stress levels, which is a fundamental part of menopause self care.

As Hatha Yoga is low intensity it is generally easier to keep a consistent practice compared to something like running for example when you needed to be firing on all cylinders all the time.

Yoga compliments my Pilates practice very well and in 20 years time I think its how I will be exercising on a regular basis. A weekly Yoga and Pilates practice

It makes sense to me to therefore also be teaching it – well, mainly because I am a bit geeky that way!

My observations of teaching Pilates is that older people do not struggle so much with the physical exercise – as excises they can always be modified. They do struggle with the mental effort of learning something new and taking instruction. Learning something new is great for brain health, but can be a frustrating process. The earlier you start the better!

It is also useful to know where your flexibility and strength baselines are. If you do not start exercising until you retire, as I know I lot of people do these days. You have no idea if you have always been stiff and inflexible or if it is part of getting older. Most people seem very frustrated about getting older. I think it is better than the alternative!

Never say Never, it can be applied to many things. As we get older, it is easy to look backwards and to what worked when you were younger or fitter. This is not to say we should stop doing things. But to have a sense of detachment as to whether something is still serving us well or if we are doing it because we always have.

Saying you’ll never do something can be restrictive rather than allowing us to grow into our older selves with ease and grace.

What have you changed you mind about recently I would love to know ~ Samantha

Samantha Valand is the author of “The Menopause Diaries: A practical guide to healthy eating and exercising in your menopausal years”. You can find out more about her book here.