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WHAT IS YOGA AND HOW CAN IT SUPPORT THE MENOPAUSE?

maria hastings menopause yoga specialist Sep 03, 2022

Yoga is an ancient practice, originating in India, that has endured for 1000’s of years.

It’s a practice that includes breathwork, movement, meditation and relaxation, and there’s a wealth of scientific evidence highlighting its positive impact on well-being.

It’s a wonderful practice to support you through the changes of the menopause transition, with techniques to calm the mind, ease aches and pains within the body, and strengthen and enliven.

The word Yoga, actually means UNION; union of body, mind and breath. When we move mindfully, staying connected to our breath and the sensations in our body, we can come into the present moment, the restlessness in our mind can settle, we can find a sense of peace, and manage our stress and worries.

Yoga is a really effective practice for managing the physical and psychological symptoms you may experience during perimenopause and menopause.

Yoga is multi-layered, and can support you on many levels:  physically, psychologically, socially, spiritually, practically.

You may be familiar with some aspects of yoga, and their ability to impact how we feel physically, mentally and emotionally, such as:

  • Physical postures, like Child Pose to quieten the mind, and relax the back and hips; Tree Pose for focus and balance; Warrior Pose for strength, focus and determination
  • Breathing exercises to soothe and calm, or to feel focused and energised.

and you may also be aware of elements relating to reflecting inwards, quietening a busy mind, and finding stillness.

You may be less aware of the philosophical part of Yoga. With principles that help us manage how we relate to ourselves and the world around us. Principles like non-violence, truthfulness, self-discipline, contentment (acceptance and appreciation). As you practice Yoga, you can work with those principles and this can bring about real transformation in how you feel.

Menopause is a transformative time in your life, a significant transition that affects you on many levels: physically, psychologically, socially, spiritually, practically.

Yoga for Menopause, acknowledges all these aspects of your transformation and can support and empower you through every stage of menopause.

What is “Menopause Yoga” and How Can it Help?

“Menopause Yoga”, created by Petra Coveney, supports women at each stage of menopause, experiencing specific physical, mental or emotional challenges. It uses specially adapted yoga practices, breathing techniques, and mindful meditation exercises, to help manage menopausal symptoms, such as Hot flushes, Anxiety, Low Mood, Brain Fog, Difficulty Sleeping, Tiredness, Joint Pain, Muscle Aches, and much more.

“Each element within a Menopause Yoga practice is chosen for its therapeutic benefits.”

Each element within a Menopause Yoga practice, whether it’s a pose, sequence, breathing practice, philosophical principle, meditation, is specially chosen for its therapeutic benefits.

Some elements are designed to ease certain symptoms or challenges that can occur at specific stages of menopause, such as:

  • Breathing techniques and mindfulness exercises to ease hot flushes or menopause rage, that can be more common at peri-menopause.
  • Standing poses and balances to strengthen weakened bones and muscles, that can be more common at post-menopause.

Menopause Yoga acknowledges that we can need different things as we go through the different stages of menopause. Many elements of Menopause Yoga are helpful to women in any stage of menopause, such as gentle movement to ease aches and points and mobilise stiff joints, or breathing exercises to calm an anxious mind, or lift a low mood.

“A Menopause Yoga practice will promote rest, and help manage and reduce stress.”

A Menopause Yoga practice will promote rest, and help manage and reduce stress. This is one of the key ways to alleviate many menopause symptoms. When our stress hormones are under control, it becomes easier for our system to come into balance.

A Yoga practice during menopause encourages you to listen to your natural instincts, to develop a deeper awareness of your symptoms, to tune into how you feel, and what you need to support you.

"Menopause Yoga, is about much more than just the yoga practice itself, it brings women together."

  • To learn more about Menopause
  • To share experiences and learn from each other
  • To learn how to support yourself in a holistic way
  • To feel empowered in making choices about how to approach your Menopause.

Each experience of menopause is unique, but we are all on the same journey together. Menopause Yoga helps us to remember that we are not alone.


What Style of Yoga do you Practice in Yoga
for the Menopause?

There are many different styles of yoga!

In menopause Yoga, every element is chosen for therapeutic purpose, to be supportive during menopause. Practices are designed to promote rest and manage stress, and leave you feeling nourished and restored, rather than depleted or exhausted.

Yoga for the Menopause can include:

  • Yoga poses or postures, for example Child Pose, Tree Pose, Warrior Pose, Sphynx Pose.
  • Yoga breathing practices, for example to calm, to cool, to enliven.
  • Meditation and mindfulness
  • Gentle flow, or vinyasa, movement linked with breath, and slow somatic movement
  • Restorative yoga, deeply relaxing postures, where the body is fully supported with props
  • Yoga Nidra, or yogic sleep, like a guided meditation, deeply resting in all layers of the body and mind.
  • Elements of Yin Yoga, which works deeply into the joints, ligaments, fascia.
  • Qigong from Traditional Chinese Medicine, which promotes a healthy flow of energy through the body and the organs.
  • Yoga philosophy, practicing in a framework of principles that guide how you interact with yourself and the world around you - such as practicing non-violence, truthfulness, acceptance, self-compassion.

 

How Do I Begin to Practice Yoga During Menopause?

“Menopause is a wonderful time to begin or return to a yoga practice.”

Yoga for the menopause is specifically designed to be a practice that is accessible, enjoyable and nourishing for women of all ages and bodies, not just those who have practiced yoga before. It is especially suitable for women who may not have moved in a while.

You may wish to join a Yoga class, a short course, a workshop, or even a day retreat. There are many options available in-person, and on-line. Find a yoga teacher that you connect with, perhaps one trained specifically in Menopause Yoga. I’d recommend finding a teacher who will help you adapt your yoga practice to suit you as an individual.

Every experience of menopause is different, each body is unique, each life experience is unique, each person’s circumstances and symptoms are unique.

Find a yoga teacher that helps you begin where you are.

I hope you come to love yoga, and feel supported by it on your menopause journey.

Join me for more short practices to help you begin by Clicking the Image Below 💗

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