Yoga eases menopause symptoms. Hot flashes, night sweats, irritability, mood swings, anxiety and fatigue are just some of the symptoms of menopause that cause women a great deal of stress. Yoga helps to restore a sense of inner calm. It oxygenates the body and optimizes the function of numerous organs.
The Challenges of Menopause
During menopause, rapid fluctuations in body chemistry and hormone levels can leave women feeling a wide range of uncomfortable symptoms. Sudden tears, trouble sleeping, depression, aching joints and tense muscles are common symptoms that may cause formerly vital and energetic women to worry about their future. Will they experience these symptoms permanently for the rest of their lives?
Feelings of doom and dread are not uncommon among women dealing with menopause. This combination of physical discomfort and psychological pressure can pose a tremendous burden. To add to the challenges, some women deal with thinning hair, weight gain and an increase in facial hair during menopause. The range of the symptoms experienced can lead to lower self-esteem and a general loss of interest in life.
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga is known to decrease these challenges for menopausal women. It benefits both the body and the mind. Yoga relaxes and stretches the body. It builds muscular strength. Yoga improves blood circulation and oxygenates the cells and tissues. A regular yoga practice optimizes the organs of the female reproductive system and the endocrine glands. It also enhances the health of the nervous system, digestive system and brings the body’s organs into greater balance.
A Study of Yoga and Menopause
In an eight-week study of menopausal women, those who participated in a yoga program experienced fewer and less severe hot flashes than menopausal women who were not practicing yoga. Additional findings in the yoga group were less fatigue, fewer sleep problems and decreased joint pain. Overall, the women in the yoga program experienced greater vigor.
Choosing a Yoga Program
One important point for women wanting to practice yoga to relieve menopausal symptoms is that not all yoga programs are created alike. Some yoga studios offer classes specifically designed for menopausal women. It is important for these programs to include stretching postures, meditation techniques, breathing exercises and a general understanding of the unique challenges of menopause. In the eight-week study, for example, the yoga program also included group discussions and a deeper study of yoga principles.
Traditional yoga techniques are not limited to simply performing poses and postures. A yoga instructor who is deeply familiar with the practice of yoga can help to incorporate practices that reduce anxiety and stress, and lead to a greater acceptance of and awareness about the physical and mental challenges that accompany menopause.
In conclusion, yoga is highly beneficial for menopausal women. In addition to increasing blood circulation, oxygenating the cells and creating greater balance in bodily organs, yoga increases personal awareness. It relieves some of the anxiety and stress that accompany menopause. Through a traditional yoga practice that observes the connection between the mind, body and spirit, menopausal women can cope more easily with their unpleasant symptoms and experience greater energy and vitality.