If you are between the ages of 45 and 55, and your heart is racing (but not because you want sex), you have hot flashes, night sweats, problems sleeping, mood swings and irregular periods, you are probably menopausal. The good news is that these symptoms are temporary. Still, you probably want to be as comfortable as possible during the duration. One way to reduce your symptoms is to practice relaxation techniques. Yoga treatment helps many menopausal women.
Yoga, an exercise technique where you control your breathing, learn various poses and practice meditation, can help with many menopausal symptoms, such as decreasing hot flashes and helping regulate menstrual flow. A 2007 study conducted by researchers at the University of Washington concluded that yoga treatment improved menopausal symptoms. You can take yoga classes to teach you the various poses and techniques at a yoga studio, community center or a health club.
Yoga and Osteoporosis
One condition some postmenopausal women suffer from is osteoporosis, a loss of bone tissue, which leads to fragile bones. Weight-bearing yoga techniques can minimize or even prevent osteoporosis, according to Jan Maddern, yoga teacher and author of “Yoga Builds Bones.” Maddern calls Hatha yoga, which combines yoga with breathing, a miracle cure.
Vary Your Poses
To improve muscle and bone strength using yoga, you should try a variety of poses, which include standing poses, stretches, spinal twists, lunges, inversions and bends. These exercises are also helpful to regulate your hormones during menopause, says Maddern, by creating a harmony within your body.
Strenuous Versus Relaxed Poses
If you already have a vigorous yoga routine that incorporates strenuous poses, unsupported inversions or back bends, that might be too much when you are menopausal, and you might make your menopausal symptoms worse. Trisha Gura, Ph.D. and medical journalist, wrote in “The Yoga Journal” that more restorative poses using bolsters, blocks or a chair might work out better. For example, instead of doing your yoga poses unsupported, try resting your head on a chair during forward bends.
Forward Bends and Backbends
Relaxing forward bends supported by a chair or bolster can also ease stress, making you less irritable and anxious, which are common menopausal symptoms. When you bend forward, you shut out the external world and any distractions, which can soothe you and possibly help you sleep better. Bending backwards helps you to open your heart and lungs. You take in more oxygen, which energizes you, improves your circulation and can help with depression, says Gura.