HYT was developed by Dinah Rodriguez, a long time yoga practitioner and therapist from Brazil. Finding that Hatha yoga alone wasn’t enough to help with conditions and symptoms women were experiencing due to an imbalance of hormones, and encouraged by her gynecologist, she set out to research and design a special practice for women that would help balance hormone levels and remedy symptoms of Menopause and Perimenopause.
After much research and practice drawing on techniques learnt from different traditions, she designed a practice that she found helped eliminate symptoms of menopause and perimenopause, and also helped correct thyroid imbalances, menstrual problems (PMS, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, polycystic ovaries, infertility), and carpal tunnel syndrome.
She has combined yoga postures, breathing techniques (pranayama), Tibetan circulation of energy techniques and yoga nidra (relaxation and visualisation) to create a unique and dynamic practice that focuses on creating energy through breath and circulating to the glands associated with hormone production (pituitary, thyroid, ovaries and adrenals). The exercises are easily done, or easily modified for all bodies and fitness levels.
Dinah recommends the practice to all women over 35 whether experiencing symptoms or not. Our hormones naturally change from this age onwards and practicing HYT can keep levels balanced and raised and prevent the symptoms that low hormones cause that gradually creep up on us throughout perimenopause and at the onset of menopause.
Beginning in perimenopause and throughout menopause and post menopause, more and more women are taking Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to help relieve their symptoms and reduce the risk of diseases (breast cancer, osteoporosis and heart disease).
Research shows that the progesterone and oestrogen our bodies naturally produce provides the best protection against these diseases and symptoms without the danger of side effects associated with HRT or low hormones It makes sense then to help our own bodies continue to produce progesterone and oestrogen into our senior years. There is a natural decline in the levels of our hormones, and it is possible for levels to drop off gradually while remaining symptom free, with reduced risk of disease. The practice will also keep you flexible and toned and you can practice well into your 80’s!
It is estimated that 50% of women experience low or less commonly hyperactive thyroid, due to added stress in our lives, some say fluoride in our water, and other environmental toxic loads that our bodies have to navigate. HYT can help strengthen the thyroid and balance hormone production again.
There are other influences on our hormone levels of course, including diet and stress. HYT has specific breathing and visualisation exercises to soothe stress levels and help with insomnia, and the practice itself creates balance, revitalisation and relaxation.
HYT is contra-indicated in pregnancy and with certain conditions ie: active endometriosis, large fibroids, hormone dependent breast/uterine cancer or history of. Some conditions require you check with your doctor or medical professional before beginning practice. If in doubt please contact me.
“I came upon Hormone Yoga Therapy (HYT), through a friend, at the same time I was beginning to experience hot flushes, insomnia, vaginal dryness and getting really irritable a lot of the time. This was also after years of perimenopause where my thyroid was low (Hashimotos), and my thinking and digestion suffered cyclically.
I heard Dinah Rodriguez was coming over from Brazil to Edmonton to do a workshop, and went ahead and signed up. I loved it and went on to do the teacher training with her. At 85 she’s an inspiration, fully alive, heartful, dynamic, and kept us on our toes the whole time she was here. Myself and others in the workshop and training already experienced relief of our symptoms while practicing over that time with her. After 3 weeks I no longer had any hot flushes (I’d been having at least 9 or 10 a day), all vaginal dryness disappeared, and my libido was better than its been in a long time. I was amazed. I’m completely off all fermented plant oestrogens that I was taking now and I practice 5 times a week.
I really enjoy the practice, its dynamic, energising, relaxing and has a clear format. It connects me through my breath to my body, and to my womanness. It strengthens the perineum and the core muscles and I find its a wonderful way to start my day. I understand more and am more aware of the changes my body is going through as I transition into menopause. Since starting the practice I actually have my menstrual cycle back which I’m very happy about. It is naturally becoming less and I have none of the symptoms I had before.
After 4 months of practice, my oestrogen levels have increased more than 260%, my progesterone and testosterone levels are up and my thyroid has improved.”
Katharine Hansen is a certified Hormone Yoga Therapist, Registered Massage Therapist, Cranio-sacral therapist, Registered Yoga Teacher and Certified Coach specializing in Women’s Health.