Most women will develop menopause around the age of 51, and at this time, you’ll likely be looking for ways to ease the symptoms. Something you want to try is some yoga positions to help menopause.
Yoga can help with menopause by helping you centred in your body and connect with it so you can notice the changes. Some of these changes can be more subtle than others.
You may notice that you develop symptoms such as hot flushes, irregular periods, heavier periods, lighter periods, night sweats and flushing.
One of the first signs you may notice is not experiencing menstruation for 12 months. This indicates that menopause has begun, whereas if you’re still menstruating, but it’s unpredictable, you may be in perimenopause.
How yoga can help with menopause
Lyn Savage is a qualified yoga instructor who specialises in teaching students to connect to themself and focus on the breath as they move and learn to feel their bodies.
She is also one of our amazing Wellness experts and has shared some of her knowledge on how yoga can help with menopause…
“Menopause is a time when women need to become more conscious of their bodies and learn to take better care of themselves,” she says.
“When we’re younger, our bodies bounced back from ‘abuse’. This abuse may come in the form of bad dietary choices, too much alcohol not enough exercise. The list is endless, but for many in this phase of life, the body starts to fight back.”
“Suddenly, the extra weight around your belly becomes stubborn, and a quick diet no longer does the trick. You start to feel the dramatic effect of a hangover after an evening of indulging in too much wine.”
“Whatever your’ wake up’ call is, you start to look more carefully at your habits and how they affect your day-to-day physical feeling and mood.”
Lyn says this is a time to look after yourself, to put yourself first. To look at your choices, how you eat, how much sleep you get and how you exercise.
All these things can dramatically affect how smoothly you move through this time in your life. Yoga can help with menopause and the easing of the symptoms.
Symptoms of menopause
The most common symptoms of menopause are hot flushes, which occur in around 75 per cent of women who go through menopause.
Other symptoms include:
- Weight gain
- Depression and anxiety
- Reduced bone and muscle mass
- Vaginal dryness
- Reduced libido
- Poor concentration & memory
- Increased urination and urinary tract infections
- Dry skin
- Tender breasts
- Stiff joints
- Thinning hair
- Increased heart rate
- Increased facial, chest and neck hair
Yoga positions to help menopause symptoms
Many changes happen in your body when you go through menopause, and you’ll often find it hard to start something new. The good thing about doing yoga to help menopause is that you can begin slow and at home.
Other tips for alleviating symptoms include wearing loose, light clothing to avoid excess heat when hot flushes occur and carrying a manual hand fan.
Also, exercising for at least 20 to 30 minutes per day as exercise is also associated with improved sleep, increased energy and a better mood.
Can yoga help with hot flushes?
Yoga does not stop hot flushes, but it can aid in helping to reduce the mental effect they have on you and, therefore, on your body.
“We turn to more restorative yoga when we look for a way to curb these symptoms and to calm our nerves,” says Lyn.
“The aim of a practice designed specifically for menopause is to find relief from hot flushes by choosing poses that cool the body. We step away from a vigorous practice and direct our focus to something more restorative and cooling.”
Cooling poses include:
- Forward Fold
- Puppy Dog Pose
- Fish Pose
“A dynamic pose that can have a beautiful calming and cooling effect on the body is Flowing Half Squat,” adds Lyn.
“Moving from side to side in a rhythmic, fluid way, guided by breath, will flood the body with the essence of cool flowing water, thus relieving some of the heat from the body.”
Yoga positions to help with stress and fatigue
“Over this period [menopause], a lot of change is going on through the body. This can have a big impact on the quality of our minds.” Says Lyn.
Yoga can reduce the emotional symptoms of menopause, doing more than just treating physical pain.
Energising and stress relieving poses include:
- Legs Up the Wall
- Warrior II
- Downward-Facing Dog
These all help increase oxygen and blood flow and calm the mind to help you deal with the many menopause symptoms you may experience.
Practising yoga safely in menopause
Hopefully, you can see how yoga can help with menopause, but before jumping in, you must ensure your practice is safe. Whether doing yoga positions to help menopause or perimenopause, it’s vital to look after yourself.
Aches, pains and joint stiffness are more common as you get older and common menopause symptoms, so it’s a good idea to start slowly. Start by doing warm-ups, such as simple body stretches and then build up to the more intricate positions to help menopause.
Make use of furniture to support you if you feel the need. Don’t push your body into movements if you feel uncomfortable or they seem too difficult.
A great idea if you’ve never done yoga before is to start by going to a class with a professional instructor. Yoga can help menopause and be done at home, but getting tips and advice from a professional will ensure you’re not doing more harm than good.
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