Menopause can bring on a whole host of uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, heightened anxiety and trouble sleeping. While menopause is inevitable if you’re female, the good news is you have options for dealing with this change. Sure, you can rely on over-the-counter medications, or, you can try an alternative approach: yoga. Because the positive effects of yoga extend through the entire body, you aren’t just targeting one of your symptoms through the practice, you’re targeting multiple areas at once, providing relief sooner.
You don’t have to go to a yoga studio to enjoy its benefits. Poses can be done in the comfort of your own home! Here are just some ways practicing yoga for menopause can help your body adjust through this life stage.
Lower stress levels
One of the core concepts of yoga and meditation is breath regulation. By controlling your breathing, you calm your nervous system and diminish stress levels in the body. Since an overactive nervous system leads to inflammation, and inflammation to stress, it’s safe to say that daily yoga practice can make dealing with this menopausal symptom a whole lot easier.
Minimized physical pain
As you age, aches and pains appear in new places. Gentle yoga is a low-impact exercise and provides new practitioners a way of slowly easing into the practice. Yoga relieves back and neck pain, and some yoga poses are specifically targeted to relieve lower back pain. The bottom line is: if something’s hurting, there’s a pose for it.
Regular training strengthens your body and improves your physical fitness. Because increased weight gain usually accompanies menopause, incorporating this exercise into your routine will not only help you shed those excess pounds, it will help you reduce fatigue and improve energy.
Irritability has long been an unfortunate side effect of menopause. Deep breathing is encouraged in yoga, and the fresh intake of air can boost your energy levels and your mood. Also, self-acceptance and a positive outlook are key attributes that develop over time through practice, which can help shift your focus from the negative aspects of menopause to aging gracefully with optimism for the future.
Fewer night sweats
Although night sweats can happen for numerous reasons – medical conditions, medications and hormone fluctuation – regular practice helps lower body temperature, reduce blood pressure and increase healthy blood circulation. These benefits are known to diminish frequent night sweats over time.
Now that you know the benefits of yoga, why not give it a try? Here are some simple poses to get you started:
These poses are simple enough to do at home yet effective enough to help you keep discomfort at bay. Check out Yoga Journal for tips on how to do these poses safely. Be mindful, while gentle and restorative yoga work to counteract symptoms of menopause, there are some types of yoga that aggravate it. Avoid hot yoga and rigorous, fast-paced sessions.
Need help managing menopause symptoms? Talk to a medical provider near you.