The Benefits of Yoga during Menopause
Yoga has never been a replacement for professional medical advice, but there is and always has been a strong connection to complementing physical and mental wellbeing within this ancient practice.
As a woman moves into the ‘Autumn’ menopausal stage of life so many metamorphoses unravel, not only in the physical body but also within her entire framework of body, mind and spirit.
Yoga practices sit under a wide umbrella of support for this delicate time of life, and it can be of a huge benefit. Even as a complete beginner to yoga, there is something for all and every menopause symptom! How does the saying go? “It’s never too late to start!”
Taking a new perspective on yoga, a regular practice during the menopause can play a major part in daily lives to help manage and ease the physical and psychological symptoms that menopause presents.
A few of the more common symptoms we hear about are usually insomnia, weight gain and the loss of confidence. Menopause Yoga ‘hacks’ as I like to refer to the practice sometimes, might include a focused breathing or visualisation exercise to help ease the mind and settle the body whilst tossing and turning in the dead of the night. A targeted posture, such as a plank pose not only helps with improving and increasing bone density but also tones the abdomen and arms, addressing weight gain and osteoporosis. And just for a moment, sit back and reflect on articles and news feeds you’ve come across over the years relating to Olympic athletes priming with breathing and meditation exercises before an event – Menopause Yoga incorporates these same, effective priming principles when it comes to managing some of the psychological menopause symptoms that surface during the Autumn years.
As an experienced yoga practitioner, does this mean we need to change our approach to yoga? No more headstands or contorting the body into a pretzel?
Nahhhh, not necessarily. If you’re someone who enjoys that feeling of a sweaty, juicy, dynamic flow, stay with that… An energetic practice will maintain your bone density and will help with weight management and of course, lift up your mood with the surge of feel good hormones flowing through your body.
However, the Autumn yogi branching out to honour this stage can benefit with an incredibly nourishing effect on the body, mind and spirit. By including a slower-paced stretch style class it helps to nourish the physical body, your vital organs and can support adrenal exhaustion. A daily meditation and or breathing exercise could make the difference to having a spring in your step as opposed to dragging your feet along all day. As with all practices, if we imbed a few Menopause Yoga hacks into the cellular memory we can call upon these for support in our times of need. For example, when experiencing a hot flush, if you engage the menopause hack of breathing and visualisation… and your body and mind is well versed in the technique, it could possibly help minimise the effects during a hot flush episode.
With the unpredictable estrogen fluctuation, Menopause Yoga could be a valuable and powerful practice well worth investing your time into, helping navigate the Autumn menopause stage of life with newfound confidence, control and joy!
Sue Yen is in the midst of her Autumn years and is the founder of ‘Triple Goddess Yoga’- a platform designed specifically and dedicated to menopausal women.