Yoga at any time of life is an enormously valuable tool. But how can Yoga for menopause help you? Yoga can ease the symptoms associated with the perimenopause phase of your life to a considerable degree. It can also address and care for many of the longer-term health concerns that women may have in the years after menopause. This article will help you discover how.
First let’s remember that menopause is a natural phase, not something to fix. To a great degree, it’s how we deal with it that makes the difference between a tough journey and an easier one.
Menopause is a huge biochemical change in the body. Hormones are the ruling forces of the behaviour of our cells. Their changes have unavoidable effects on our body and mind. Some women may benefit from medical intervention (hormone replacement therapy (HRT)), some may not need it, and some may not be able to tolerate it.
There are cultures where the symptoms of this time are less pronounced for many women, and onset can be later. This may be due to diet, or perhaps due to fewer chemicals in the environment/products used. But it may also be due to culture and it’s effect on the very thing that Yoga can ease so well: stress. Stress is well documented as one of the major contributors to a more symptomatic menopause.
Where is this stress coming from and what are it’s effects? Grab a cuppa! I may be some time!
If menopausal symptoms are, in fact, more pronounced in the Western world, it may be because of the stress that comes from societal expectations. You don’t have to be in a high-powered job while perhaps also minding elderly parents to experience chronic levels of stress. Even spending time on social media looking at all the images of who we’re supposed to be has a significant affect on our stress levels.
In the West, women are expected to be career oriented, excellent mothers, great partners, fabulously sexual, to eat superfoods and little else, keep fit and slim, be ethical and eco-friendly, have an impressive exercise regime, and live and look like they are a decade younger than they are. They also tend to have younger kids by the time they reach middle age (having put off their baby-making til later than the previous generation) and have elderly parents to mind (now that we’re living so much longer).
The effects of stress are wide ranging. They are also similar to many of the symptoms of menopause, and known to exacerbate them. Not only can chronic stress lead to sleep disturbance, anxiety, exhaustion, low-mood, low libido, and palpitations for instance (all peri-menopause symptoms), it can also lead to consumption of bone and muscle tissue, weight gain, joint pain, heart and brain health risks, which are all long-term health concerns post-menopause.
The great news is that Yoga can help with all these symptoms, because it works on both physical and emotional levels, aiding in muscle tone, bone density, physical comfort, and greatly reducing stress.
But it’s not about a magic pose. It can help you make a whole shift in the way you live in your body, mind and heart, which can become a normal part of your changing life. But only if you find a teacher who understands those changes. Because if you approach Yoga to get “good at” a pose or a whole load of them, you may end up with more stress in your body and brain than you began with!
Your body has different needs now. If your teacher is aware of how differently your body responds to physical exertion in these years, she will make sure you are not doing more harm than good.
Even if you learn some of the breathing techniques (proven to help with perimenopause symptoms) you will begin to see improvements in your stress levels, sleep, and energy. Then you will feel more able to address the physical struggles you may be feeling, and start to feel strong and well again.
You can learn to use yoga to help with menopause. It’s an amazing resource addressing many of the issues you may face: for bone density, muscle mass, sleep, recovery after exercise, mood, joints, and for reigniting the comfort, pleasure and esteem with which you inhabit your fascinating body.
If you’d like to know more, I’m happy for you to contact me. If you’re hoping to ease you symptoms, and you’d like to book in with me click here
If you are interested in my Teacher Training in Yoga for Menopause (one of only 2 of it’s kind in the world) click here.