The number of women who begin practising yoga after the age of 50 is on the rise with women realising that yoga is the perfect way to reduce and often eliminate the discomforts associated with menopause and ageing.
The benefits that can be reaped from yoga are far higher for women than men, as women tend to experience hormonal fluctuations throughout their lives. The hormonal changes we experience in menopause are the same hormones affecting us during menstruation, which can also cause PMS.
So how can yoga help women during menopause?
It lowers stress
Yoga controls breathing, which in turn reduces anxiety. It also clears all the negative feelings and thoughts from the mind leading to a reduction in the symptoms of depression. It is a proven, effective method to reduce and control anger. When practising yoga regularly the overall sense of calmness increases and as a result, a happier, stress-free life can be led.
It eases physical pain and discomfort
Practitioners are known to have higher pain tolerance. Aches and pains associated with menopause can be eased along with any back pain, chronic pain or neck pain you may be experiencing. Practising 5-10 rounds of the sun salutation per day will cause dramatic relief from general aches and pains.
It decreases the hassles of hot flushes
During the menopause, hot flushes are caused by an excess of pitta in the body that has to come out! General yoga poses will help. Movements should be slow and weight bearing, paying close attention to the rhythm of the breath and position of the tongue to the roof of the palate during practice. This allows the mind to become calm and stabilise.
It reduces blood pressure
A common symptom throughout menopause is night sweats. Regular yoga practice reduces high blood pressure and promotes oxygenation and blood circulation in the body, in turn easing the terrible night sweats. By taking our focus away from the stresses and strains of the outside world, we focus on what’s happening now and on managing any anxieties.
It’s a natural remedy
Yoga is a fantastic and natural way to help alleviate the pain associated with the menstrual cycle. So many women suffer in silence or take endless pills, but yoga is an ideal way to soothe the symptoms, that you can do either in a group or in the comfort of your own home.
Yoga is great for the joints
Yoga has been proven to help people suffering from problems associated with joints, such as arthritis. While not all menopausal women will have arthritis, it’s a health concern that’s often associated with ageing – research from the USA shows that practising hatha yoga can help to ease joint pain, fatigue and other related symptoms.
A yoga position that is particularly useful to learn when it comes to soothing the menopause is Sukkhasana or easy pose. Sit cross-legged on your mat with your eyes closed. Take 3 deep breaths – in through your nose and out through your mouth. Allow your mind to rest. Acknowledge the thoughts as they pass through your mind and just bring your attention to the breath. And relax…
Visit Yoga Bellies for further advice.Last modified: June 10, 2021