Many people wonder if it's a good idea to do yoga for signs and symptoms of menopause, and the answer is a resounding "Yes!" Many members of medical communities support the practice of yoga to improve your quality of life during this time.
Interest from the Medical Community
Some medical professionals encourage women to begin or continue a yoga practice to reduce anxiety and depression, encourage better sleep, control hot flashes, and balance hormones.
A few university researchers have evaluated the impact of yoga for signs and symptoms of menopause, including:
Practicing Yoga for Signs and Symptoms of Menopause
No one particular style of yoga seems to be better or worse than another for menopause practice, but there are some things to consider if you're new to yoga.
- If your hot flashes are pretty frequent, Hot Yoga or Bikram Yoga may be uncomfortable, as these styles are performed in rooms heated above 80 degrees.
- Conversely, some women consider the heat detoxification of these two styles helpful.
- If you're experiencing periodic spotting, talk to your yoga instructor about safely doing backbends, Plow Pose, and Bridge Pose.
- If you're exercising for the first time in a while, start with a gentle yoga practice such as Chair Yoga so you can better interpret your body's reaction, and ease fatigue gradually.
- While every woman is Wonder Woman, there's no need to keep up with everyone is a yoga class. Listen to your body, and use yoga equipment such as blocks, straps, and bolsters to aid postures.
- Breathe, breathe, breathe. Full breaths not only help you move easily from one posture to another, but also stream fresh oxygen into the bloodstream and encourage you to be more calm.
Poses to Ease Menopausal Symptoms
In LoveToKnow Yoga's article, Yoga Asanas for Menopause, we outline many of the yoga postures that help to alleviate some of the more disconcerting signs and symptoms of menopause. Some of those include:
- The Sun Salutation Sequence is a dynamic flow that helps you establish your intention for the day by increasing your energy. Transition into each posture gradually, holding a pose for approximately 10 seconds, or challenge yourself by moving from one pose to another with fluid motion, and hold each posture for 20-30 seconds.
- Try some inverted poses such as Downward Facing Dog Pose and Standing Forward Bend to encourage hormonal balance and massage the uterus and other organs.
- To promote better sleep, ease into Lotus Pose or Hero Pose for 10 minutes before bedtime. As you sit, close your eyes, and acknowledge this state of being. Accept this natural course of your physical evolution, and release the worries of the day.
To manage hot flashes, try the Sitali Cooling Breath:
- Make the shape of a small "o" with your lips, and raise the tongue slightly inside your mouth without touching your gums or teeth.
- Inhale. Notice how cool the breath is.
- Place your tongue at the back of your front teeth, and exhale through your nose. If you put your hand in front of your nose, you'll feel your body release warm air.
Practice Sitali breath slowly, never forcing it, with an inhale of four counts and an exhale of eight. It takes a few tries to properly exhale through the nose while your mouth is open, but soon you'll be able to calmly move through a hot flash.