Relieve Some Symptoms with Yoga
A friend of mine discussed with me she is in menopause. I said congratulations! Menopause does not need to be a horrible experience.
A regular yoga practice can make a world of difference in a woman’s experience of menopause. And a regular practice before this phase can comfort the transition, says Suza Francina, author of Yoga and the Wisdom of Menopause, 2003.
If you practice yoga before menopause, the poses that are especially useful for coping with uncomfortable symptoms are already familiar, allowing you to reach for them like an old friend.
If you have never tried restorative yoga poses or a slow vinyasa flow, try something new today. I know firsthand this is the best menopause medicine at your disposal. I have been a student and a practitioner for over 2 decades and all the while preparing my body for menopause since my 30” s.
Yoga Poses for Every Menopause Symptom
Walden suggests incorporating more cooling and restorative yoga poses. Any gripping or tension in the body can make hot flashes worse, so using props such as bolsters, blankets, and blocks to help support the whole body is a good idea. Placing the head on a bolster or chair during forward bends, for example, helps calm the brain and relax the nerves. Supported reclining poses can also help promote complete relaxation. Sputa Buddha Konasana ([reclining angel pose) and Supta Virasana, (fixed firm) allows the abdomen to soften and any tightness in the chest and belly to release. Some of these poses can also be found in our livestream Bikram class consisting of 26 of the same poses.
Depression and Mood Swings
Too much progesterone (or a drastic drop in estrogen) can also contribute to everything from a bad case of the blues to severe clinical depression. But yoga practitioners have long known that everything you do with your body can affect your thoughts and attitude. Sometimes something as subtle as a shift in posture can lighten a dark mood. If a woman stands tall, with dignity—opening and broadening her chest—and walks with confidence, she announces to the world (and, most important, to herself) that she is grounded, happy, and in tune with her surroundings.
Specific poses create a mental state that positively affects the mind. “Backbends, especially if supported, allow a sense of lightness into the body,” They stimulate the adrenals and massage them into action. Also, the heart and lungs open and take in more oxygen. Chest-expanding poses energize the body by improving respiration and circulation, and thus counter feelings of depression. Many yogis have discovered that inversions, such as Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stance) can help improve a depressed mood. “By turning everything upside down, inversions influence your emotional being in a positive way. Personally, speaking I love Yoga Sculpt with its upbeat tunes with a combination of yoga poses followed by weights to help build muscle strength, toning and and burning calories. Most importantly feeling good inside and out!
Fatigue is second to hot flashes. Plunging progesterone could be the culprit, especially if the fatigue is coupled with depression and lethargy; if a woman feels inexplicably weary for days or weeks on end, depleted adrenal glands could be part of the problem.
Try a supported backbend, allowing the chest and the heart to open and often bring renewed energy, determination, and joy.
One of my favorites for this is Supta Baddha Konasana, reclining angle pose. A deeply restorative posture, it can instill feelings of safety and nourishment. It also opens the chest, improves respiration and circulation, and helps lift the spirits while completely supporting the body.
Join us today for any of our livestream yoga classes and find what works for your body.