01 Jul How Yoga Can Ease The Burden Of Menopause
Menopause is one stage in life I am sure us women would like to avoid. The hot flushes, inconsistent menstrual cycles, mood swings and the unwanted kilos sneaking in isn’t something any woman looks forward to. But what if I tell you there is an easy way to manage your menopausal symptoms? One that may in time give way for the need for hormone replacement therapy?
Well yoga might well be your answer as it has proven to ease the burden of menopause and supports you during this emotional and physiological transition.
Menopause is usually associated with physical, hormonal and psychological changes of the body. Probably the most significant is that women’s menstrual period permanently stops. These changes experienced can happen gradually over a time or abruptly depending on the person.
With the fluctuating hormones comes hot flushes, changes in sexual desire, vaginal dryness, urinary problems, irritability, sleep disturbances, palpitations, backaches and changes in physical appearance. Sounds like fun right? The good news is there is strong evidence that yoga can help.
Yoga proving to be a beneficial treatment for menopause
A pilot study on the effect of Hatha yoga as a treatment for menopausal symptoms found yoga to be effective in reducing or controlling the feared hot-flash daily interference and sleep quality in post-menopausal women. This effect on sleep was further confirmed in another clinical trial of forty-four post-menopausal women who weren’t taking hormone replacement therapy. They found a specific sequence of yoga lowered insomnia severity and improved their overall quality of life and in-turn happiness.
A more recent study of sixteen healthy post-menopausal women discovered yoga can improve adiponectin levels, serum lipids, and metabolic syndrome risk factors. What this suggests is that yoga can be a great tool for post-menopausal women in addressing the awful symptoms of stubborn weight gain. Aniponectin is a hormone that is responsible for boosting our metabolism and helping our muscles use carbohydrates for energy while increasing the rate in which our body breaks down fat. This is significant as many women struggle with the extra weight gain as they endure this natural stage of their lives.
If that isn’t enough to convince you of the benefits of yoga during menopause, a recent report has spoken favourably on the effects yoga therapy has on hot flushes, night sweats and sleep patterns. To add to this, yoga improves cognitive functions such as memory (we could all use a little help with this one), balance and concentration. Evidence also points at yoga’s ability to decrease cardiovascular disease risk and related chronic disorders in post-menopausal women. This report continues on to conclude that yoga is a cost-free non-invasive therapy which should be strongly recommended to women of all menopausal age. With the right guidance, the author states, there is potential for yoga to provide physical, mental and emotional health benefits long-term.
So that is some pretty clear and positive evidence to suggest yoga can ease the burden of menopause and improve the quality of life of women going through this dreaded stage. What distinguishes yoga from other forms of exercises is that in not only works on the muscles and bones of your body, but also focuses on the health of your organs and glands.
The types of yoga practice specific to easing menopausal symptoms
Through regular practice of a variety of poses including standing, sitting, lying flat, bending backwards and forwards, twisting and inverted poses you are stimulating and activating the body’s glands, tissues, organs and cells. In particular, inverted poses allow for fresh, oxygenated blood to flow to the glands in the neck and body which can be significant during menopause.
Specific yoga poses that can be helpful for women going through menopause are ones that turn the body halfway or completely upside down. Try practicing standing forward bends, downward-facing dog and even handstands. These not only stimulate the endocrine system, but also the pituitary gland responsible for controlling the hormone levels that occur during menopause as well as regulating blood-sugar levels and body temperature.
Yoga poses which incorporate forward bends can also help to massage the uterus and abdominal organs as you gently compress the stomach. This leaves us feeling refreshed and rejuvenated as freshly oxygenated blood enters the area.
Yoga works to ease the emotional disturbance that comes with menopause and assists with breaking the cycle of adrenal exhaustion and fatigue. Above all yoga is a relaxing practice that helps to rejuvenate and restore balance. Regular practice of yoga may play an important role in easing your symptoms of menopause and improve your overall wellbeing.
If you are ready to try out some yoga, then checkout our online gym and our online yoga retreat. Join us on the 13th of July, 2015 or do it at your own time. All inside the online gym. Find out more about this here.