cathy louise broda

#115 – Cathy Louise Broda Yoga and Menopause

Cathy Louise Broda ( | @cathy.louise.broda )

An honest talk about yoga and menopause. As well as loving the colour purple.

Learning with John Scott in 2000 | 7 years of primary series | The original Ashtanga community in the UK | Practice with joy | Moving into the middle and older phases of the body | Body recovery after giving birth | Change in cycles | Hot flashes & talking yourself out of them | Hormonal changes in the body | Going crazy before neutral | Flexible then stiff | The importance for male teachers to understand | Practising during menstruation | Effects of nutrition on the body | Craving quiet space | Changes in diet | Celebrate being a woman

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Perimenopause is the time before menopause. A woman’s hormone levels start to change causing symptoms like:

  • Irregular menstrual cycles – ovulation becomes less regular. Flow can be lighter or heavier
  • Hot flashes – hormone changes can start to create hot flashes.
  • Sleep problems – due to hot flashes or “night sweats”.
  • Mood changes – hormone levels change meaning some women have more mood swings, irritable.
  • Decreased fertility – ovulation becomes less regular so it’s harder to conceive.
  • Changes in sexual feeling – less interested in sex.
  • Loss of bone density – with lower oestrogen bones lose density faster than you can replace bone.
  • Changes in cholesterol levels – lower oestrogen levels can make you start to have “high cholesterol”.
  • Other symptoms can be vaginal dryness, weight gain, slow metabolism, thinning hair, and dry skin.

Menopause is when you have not had a menstrual cycle for at least a 12-month period. Menopause can happen in your 40s to 50s. The average age in the US of menopause is 51 years old. Symptoms can continue as with “perimenopausal” symptoms, and you can also experience:

  • Fatigue, difficulty concentrating or memory loss, dizziness, weight gain, incontinence, bloating, changes in body odour, depression and anxiety, breast pain, headaches, joint pain, burning tongue, muscle tension, dry itchy skin, osteoporosis, gum problems, anxiety, brittle nails, tingling in the legs/arms.
  • Early Menopause or Premature Menopause can happen any time before the usual age of 40s-50s. Early menopause can come with having a hysterectomy (removal of ovaries), chemotherapy (cancer treatment) or stress.
  • It’s important if you have early menopause that you have a balanced diet and take medical advice to make sure you remain healthy.

Cathy Louise has been teaching Ashtanga Yoga for 31 years. Her first teacher was Beryl Bender Birch, who she did a two-year apprenticeship with in New York in the late 1980s. Cathy Louise's early studies with Beryl still inform her teaching today. Cathy Louise met Pattabhi Jois during his first visit to New York and received his blessing to teach Ashtanga in 2000.

Known for her transformative hands-on adjustments, Cathy Louise's teaching style also owes much to John Scott. In the late 1990s, she assisted John in his Mysore classes in London and then inherited her own Mysore-style classes at Astanga Yoga London. While in London she taught vinyasa yoga at Triyoga, did a year-long apprenticeship in Pregnancy Yoga with Lynne Pinette, and met Nancy Gilgoff who was pivotal in empowering Cathy Louise as a female Ashtanga teacher.

Cathy Louise's Pregnancy and Mom & Baby classes draw on her experience as a mother of three. In her Ashtanga classes too, she openly shares her journey as a woman so students may learn how best to adjust the practice of yoga in all stages of their lives.