Ask The Experts Column
"Can yoga help me manage my menopause symptoms?"
A: Yes, yoga exercises (Asana), breathing techniques and meditation/ mindfulness have been proven to help women manage many menopause symptoms, including hot flushes, Menorage, anxiety, insomnia, low mood, lethargy and headaches. The stretching and balance elements of yoga also help you to stay flexible, build bone density and retain muscle mass, which are also vital in post menopause when women are at risk of osteoporosis, obesity and cardiovascular disease. And some of the more dynamic yoga exercises help you to manage weight gain, strengthen your heart and tone your midriff where we often get a ‘muffin top.’
However, there are different types of yoga so if you are having a hot flush, Hot Yoga in 40 degrees C heat is not going to cool you down! And while Restorative Yoga is the perfect way to relax and reduce anxiety, it won’t strengthen your muscles or bones. You need the right style and balanced combination of yoga to suit your stage of menopause and the symptoms you personally are experiencing. Menopause Yoga offers three different yoga, breathwork and meditation classes specially designed for different menopause stages and symptoms:
· The perimenopause or ‘Summer’ sequence releases an excess of physical heat, and emotional anger, frustration and sometimes fear of the future;
· The menopause or ‘Autumn’ sequence reduces anxiety, insomnia, fatigue and feeling overwhelmed;
· The post menopause or ‘Winter- Second Spring’ sequence reignites your fire and zest for life, building strength, stamina, with a positive body image and outlook on your life ahead.
It includes a toolkit of tips and techniques that are easy to follow at home, and you can also join online classes and workshops to meet other women going through this stage of life. Meeting other women and sharing experiences is as beneficial as the yoga (it is proven to reduce stress) and we share a lot of laughter and (virtual) hugs.
So, yes, yoga can help manage your menopause symptoms, but it needs to be the right style of yoga for your symptoms and in the company of other women going through menopause to have the maximum benefit.
PLEASE NOTE: In October - November 2020 there will be a research study into the benefits of yoga for women going through menopause. The results will be announced in December.