5 ways that practicing yoga during the Menopause can save your sanity!
I could give you more than 5 reasons why practicing yoga during the Menopause is a good idea for women, but I’ll try to keep it simple. Here are the 5 main reasons why, when peri-menopause hit, I was on the mat looking for ways to navigate the night sweats and the anxieties that took hold and shook me to my core.
It was a bit of an insult then to my ego to learn that I had more to learn as I entered the time of hot flashes, and more importantly, new ground to cover.
Soothes and normalises anxiety and depression
I’m still learning and it’s with this new learning that I now offer this workshop to you, in the hope that we can find ways to plant new seeds for your own ‘new ground’.
You discover that you don’t need to just ‘ride it out’ or wait until our ‘pausing’ passes. When we adapt our usual yoga routine, to a routine that can regulate our hormonal cascades, we can soothe and normalise anxiety and depression that can occur during this time.
Decreases hot flashes & night sweats
The menopause can bring hot flashes and night sweats which are caused by an excess of pitta (the Ayurvedic dosha for “fire”) in the body that has to be released. A yoga routine that allows the nervous system to settle will decrease hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia and nervous states of mind dramatically.
It’s a natural remedy and we have more solutions than our predecessors ever had. We don’t need to go down the route of HRT or medicalise this important transitional time. Yoga is a natural way to help alleviate the pain associated with the menstrual cycle. So many women suffer in silence or take endless pills to reduce pain, but yoga can help soothe the symptoms without having to suffer. It helps bring you to a calmer place emotionally and physically, allowing us to rest and sleep more fully.
Gives us the power back
Practicing yoga we discover that we can take the power back into our own hands and look for the solutions that support and nourish us. We become our own solution instead of trying to ignore our symptoms. Menopause is indeed a wake-up call to take care of ourselves. Or, as a doctor friend of mine used to say, “Either take time to be healthy or take time to be sick.”
Gives us time to pause
Yoga allows us time for self-reflection. During menopause there is a tremendous shift and release of energy that can be both unsettling and liberating. One of the most common longings during the menopausal transition is for solitude. Consider the deeper implication of the word “men-o-pause.” According to both spiritual teachers and authorities on women’s health, during menopause we are being urged, both biologically (physically) and on a soul level (spiritually), to pause from everyone. To pause from our daily responsibilities and take some much needed quiet time just to be with ourselves.
Simply makes us feel better
Yoga makes you feel good. You’ll get more sleep and you will feel better. It’s why on a personal level I have continued to do yoga for the past twenty years and plan on doing it for at least the next twenty. Yoga helps you control your breathing, which in turn reduces ones anxiety. It also clears all the negative feelings and thoughts from the mind, leading you toward a more blissful state. It is also a highly effective method of reducing and controlling anger. When practicing yoga regularly, your overall sense of calmness will increase and as a result, a happier and stress-free life can be led.
With all the wonderful benefits , you have to ask ‘why not’ rather than ‘why’.
Deirdre O’Connor will be in The elbowroom on Saturday 7th November to give a workshop on yoga for The Menopause.