If you are a woman going through menopause, you may be feeling the effects of fluctuating hormones. This may lead to you seeking any means necessary to find relief.
You may find yourself spending money on supplements, gadgets, books, or turning to your health practitioner for answers. You may be tempted to immediately look for a medication to help balance the hormones and reduce the symptoms.
Yoga For Menopause
There are alternative ways to go about handling these side effects of menopause. And one of those options is yoga, something that can be done in the comfort of your home, or in a yoga class.
Yoga has been shown to help alleviate many of the symptoms brought on by menopause. Let’s take a look at some of the poses that help deal with specific symptoms of menopause.
NOTE: If you are not familiar with these poses, a quick internet search can show you how to perform them. If this is your first time trying yoga, a beginner’s yoga class is a good idea. This way you will learn the types of yoga poses, how to do them correctly, and the benefit each pose provides.
1. Reclining Poses
Some examples of reclining yoga poses are
- Supta baddha konasana, also known as the reclining bound-angle pose
- Supta virasana, also known as the reclining hero pose
Help With Hot Flashes
Reclining poses help relieve you from hot flashes. These poses encourage softening in the abdomen and chest
[pullquote]Hot flashes cause a rise in core body temperature along with a rapid pulse rate.[/pullquote]
While the exact cause of hot flashes is unknown, it is one of the most common symptoms of menopause, experienced by nearly 80% of all women. Disappearing as quickly as they appear, hot flashes often leave a woman feeling cold while her body tries to correct the fluctuation.
NOTE: Any poses that require gripping or tension in the body can make hot flashes worse, so using props to support the whole body is a good idea, or simply start with more fluid and relaxing poses.
Help With Fatigue
Gentle supported back bends are a great help in reducing fatigue because they encourage the chest and the heart to open. The supta baddha konasana, a deeply restorative pose, helps improve respiration and circulation.
[pullquote]Progesterone levels plunge, likely causing fatigue.[/pullquote]
Fatigue is the second most common complaint when it comes to menopausal symptoms. The lower progesterone will also disrupt your mood and sleep.
2. Forward Bends
Two common forward bend poses are
- Uttanasana, or the standing forward bend
- Prasarita padottanasana, also known as the wide-legged standing forward bend
Help With Anxiety And Irritability
To soothe the mind and reduce stress, bending forward and shutting out distractions and stimuli can be of big help.
[pullquote]During menopause, estrogen imbalances can cause anxiety, nervousness, and irritability.[/pullquote]
When you are under stress, the sympathetic nervous system increases the blood circulation to the brain. When the body is under constant stress, the sympathetic nervous system can be stuck in overdrive.
You can rest your head on a bolster or blanket to reduce tension.
3. Supported Back Bends
A great option is inversions, such as sarvangasana, which is also known as the shoulder stand.
Help With Depression And Mood Swings
Supported back bends allow a sense of lightness into the body. Poses like the sarvangasana can help improve a depressed mood.
[pullquote]Long periods of fatigue combined with a sense of mourning for the life they once knew can trigger bouts of depression.[/pullquote]
For many women, menopause is a time for mourning their youth, as it signals an end to the child-bearing years. The frustration of feeling like you don’t have control of what is going on with your body can also leave you depressed.
Help With Memory
They work on improving memory and dealing with brain fog, helping collect fragmented thoughts. These poses help with deep breathing and balance the body and mind.
[pullquote]Such issues hold true for girls going through puberty, pregnancy, and women who have just given birth as well as those in menopause.[/pullquote]
Periods of great hormonal fluctuation can cause brain fog or fuzzy thoughts. There are greater demands being placed on your body during these great hormonal fluctuations.
4. Deep Breathing Exercises
- Adho mukha svansana, also known as the downward-facing dog pose
- Savasana, also known as the corpse pose
Help With Memory
These poses encourage deep focused breathing, soothe the nerves, and calm the mind, which can improve mental alertness and also put the body into a state of balance.
What’s given here is just a small sample of the poses that can help you in your quest to reclaim balance, peace, and harmony during menopause and beyond. Whether you are new to yoga or have been practicing for years, implementing a yoga routine that aims to help with menopause symptoms provides immeasurable benefits.