Yoga and menopause: a solid marriage
‘You might be thinking ‘I have never done yoga before so why would I start now?’ Read on to find out just how beneficial yoga can be to help alleviate your menopause symptoms.
Yoga lowers stress and anxiety levels
There are two functional parts of the brain that play a key role in stress. The functional brain and the emotional brain – the latter one is able to initiate a ‘stress response’ via the sympathetic nervous system, which culminates in adrenaline and cortisol racing through our circulation. Every time we hold a posture, the logical brain is being activated. At the end of a series of yoga postures, the logical brain has had a ‘workout’. You feel mentally calm as it is keeping your emotional brain quiet. Stronger connections within the logical brain keep the lid down on the emotional brain and the stress response. This is why yoga can be so effective at battling stress and helping reduce anxiety, with the latter being one of the most common symptoms during menopause (1).
Yoga also controls breathing and in turn, a controlled breath reduces anxiety. It also helps clear negative thoughts and calm the mind, which leads to a more blissful state.
Yoga helps lower blood pressure
A common symptom during the menopause is night sweats. A regular yoga practice can help reduce high blood pressure and promote oxygenation and blood circulation in the body. This in turn, can help ease those terrible night sweats.
Yoga helps soothe general aches and pains
Aches and pains associated with menopause like back and neck pain, and chronic pain in general, can be eased along with a regular, gentle yoga practice.
Yoga helps alleviate hot flushes
Some ‘asanas’ or poses can help alleviate the discomfort of hot flushes. When experiencing hot flushes, your movements should be slow, paying close attention to the rhythm of your breath. This allows the mind to become more calm and stabilised. If you are already a seasoned practitioner or Yogini, you might want to consider modifying your yoga routine and introduce a more gentle approach by doing restorative and cooling poses.
Yoga helps build strength
Joint pain and bone health are also issues that some women have to deal with during menopause. As women’s hormone levels fluctuate and oestrogen levels go down, women’s bone health can suffer resulting in osteoporosis. Yoga can help make your body strong. Certain yoga poses tone both large and small muscles all over your body in balance with one another, whilst building stamina and flexibility.
Yoga aids sleep
A gentle restorative yoga practice focused on deep breathing to calm your mind and release physical tension before bed will help you wind down and get better sleep so you will wake up rested and refreshed in the morning. This combination of breath and movement activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which helps counteract stress.
Yoga is a natural way to help soothe some menopause symptoms and help bring you to a calmer place emotionally and physically.
We have included a series of yoga flows in our Four Pillar Lifestyle Plan. Why not give it a try.
The Science behind Yoga and Stress’, by Dr M Storoni MD PhD<