Undergoing menopause can be quite a milestone in our lives, shifting the way a woman looks at life, and how they see themselves. With menopause, women go through a lot of emotional and physical changes and many find yoga particularly helpful during this transitional phase.
The menopause is a natural transition in a woman’s life cycle. Hormone fluctuations and resultant symptoms accompany each female biological life stage and changes are felt on all levels; physically, emotional and spiritually as we take stock and prepare to move on.
Yoga helps us to be present and meet whatever is arising with kindness and curiosity. At a time where we may have a confused relationship with our bodies, yoga can help us move with, rather than against natural physical tides.
The Symptoms of Menopause
Some women go through menopause without any noticeable symptoms at all. However, it’s more common for women to experience symptoms of menopause such as hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, and sleeplessness. There is a huge shift in hormonal output and the consequent stress on the endocrine system can make even mild symptoms challenging.
Menopause and perimenopause symptoms can often bring anxiety and stress, which takes a toll on our emotional and physical well-being. It’s important to find different self-care practices that can help you during this period of adjustment. This is why it’s important to try yoga to help support and celebrate this next phase of life.
The Struggles of Managing Menopause
Menopause may take your body on a journey of physical changes, and this can deplete the energy levels we are used to. Yoga can help us maintain a strong and healthy body as well as help us celebrate all that we are capable of. Creating strength and flexibility can nurture an embodied mind and acceptance of a changing shape.
There is a sound body of research that links yoga to stress reduction, and a regular practice can help address physical menopause symptoms as well as cultivate a positive mindset.
Yoga is much more than just physical poses. At its core, it is a compassionate practice that balances mind, body and spirit while bringing new energy into the body.
How Yoga Can Help with Managing Menopause
Yoga can help you relax and focus your mind on the present, letting go of the pressures of life and helping you with the transitions that come with menopause. In fact, practicing has been found to regulate your sleep cycle and heart rate, reduce stress, and boost your mood.
Here are some tips to incorporate into your practice:
For disturbed sleep try Nadi Sodhana (alternate nostril breathing) which induces a sense of calm and is said to balance the brain.
For brain fog try meditation techniques with open eyes – like meditating on a candle flame. This helps discipline the mind to rest on one thing.
For bone health try weight-bearing postures such as Plank pose and balances such as Tree pose.
For blood presssure try 3 part yogic breathing to help bring more oxygen into the body while at the same time sending a calming signal to the brain.
For an energy boost try backbends such as Bow pose to open the chest and release energy.
Other Self Care Practices for Managing Menopause
Self-care can be anything you do for yourself that’s good for your health and well-being, including engaging in a physical activity you enjoy or engaging in a hobby. There are several other activities to add to your list in conjunction with yoga.
For instance, getting a massage after taking a yoga class can be a blissful experience. Meditation and more restorative yoga practices such as Yin Yoga are also great to help calm and relax the mind and body.
Get Physical and Emotional Support
To conclude, menopause is one of the great transitions of a woman’s life and a regular practice can provide vital support to body and mind during this time. Yoga also teaches us to nurture and honour all of who we are. If yoga is not already in your life give it a try!
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