Me: Yvonne Cattermole

I have been a complementary therapist for over 20 years. Various personal experiences have led me to explore Eastern styles of working

I have two websites: embodied health has been my practice for over twenty years; and this one. I feel drawn to create another space that focuses on all things’ womb and woman. This is a space to celebrate being a woman. It’s evolving and I’m not sure of the end shape.

This was prompted by a recent course I attended for yoga in pregnancy. My own pregnancies brought me to yoga in the nineties and I have been teaching for ten years. It is only now that I have been looking at teaching yoga for pregnancy and active birth. During my studies, the comment was made that it is unusual to have a group of women come together for yoga with a common reason. As a therapist I work with women who have issues with fertility, menstruation (too little, too much), perimenopause symptoms, menopausal issues, osteoporosis, weak pelvic floors, anxiety and self-confidence issues, exhaustion … there are lots of reasons for women to come together and share the best and worst of our journeys. I’ve never felt drawn to do this before. It just feels like it’s needed. I need it.

We have wisdom to share that isn’t found in a text book. Stories from mothers, grandmothers, sisters and daughters

Some of the high and lowlights of my journey:

When I was training to be a reflexologist (1999), I fell pregnant with my second child and it gave me the push to set up my therapy business. It was the start of a heartfelt journey that continues today.

I loved pregnancy. It happened without much attention. I was huge in both pregnancies. My first birth was difficult; my second birth was powerful and empowering. I practised yoga during pregnancy and continued with individual lessons after pregnancy. The practice and my teacher (Chris Fielder) allowed space to honour the needs of my body. It was only in the second pregnancy that I began to realise the focus yoga brought to the mind. I was not good with change, it left me feeling out of control. I loved my children but I found the baby stage challenging. Exhausting. A huge responsibility. Yoga had the potential to allow me to ride the constant changes that young children bring to every day life and the body of a mother. It took a while to appreciate the more subtle effects of practice

Wind on twenty years, I am now perimenopausal. I am counting each day without a period, wondering if I’ve cracked this stage. I suspect not but maybe! Last year, my cycles dictated my activities and my moods. Only a couple of days each month but I certainly felt ravaged by the process and an exhaustion returned that I had not experienced since having young children. In January I stopped all alcohol which has had a huge positive effect on my mental and physical health. I am not suggesting this is necessary for everyone. It was/is necessary for me.

When I started my periods at 13 I was in complete denial. I didn’t want any attention, I definitely didn’t want to discuss it. I did not tune into my body. This continued beyond my first pregnancy and childbirth experience. The power of the contractions and my emotions was completely overwhelming. I had looked after my physical body but had not connected my mind and my emotions to the process. I had not embodied the lessons of yoga. The second pregnancy and birth were different. I knew what was coming! I was more than two years into parenthood, I had adapted to having another human being completely dependent on me. And I was a bit older, a bit wiser.

Yoga is consistent in my life. The teacher I see now, has watched me be an emotional perimenopausal blob on the mat during some lessons. I can’t thank him enough for sticking with me

Yoga and bodywork keep me aligned mentally, physically and emotionally. Join me to create practice to support you in your journey as the Embodied Woman

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