Manage Menopause Symptoms With This Healing Yoga Practice
This healing yoga practice is specifically designed to help mitigate the challenges and symptoms of menopause.
French actress Brigitte Bardot said that it’s sad to get old, but it’s great to ripen! With our life expectancy increasing every year, I much prefer to look at aging through Brigittes’ perspective.
The “Change” can be a journey that is long and difficult, with many physically challenging symptoms. There can also be many mental and emotional challenges. However, as Boomers with zip, we Zoomers can use these challenges as invitations to slow down and look at our lives more deeply, and see how we can open up to new options in eating and movement.
In many cultures, wisdom and age are honoured and revered. Our challenge is to make the passage enjoyable as we transition through into new territory in our lives, and we can do this by honouring ourselves with the gift of self-care.
How Yoga Helps
Yoga is very effective at dealing with the wide ranging challenges and symptoms of menopause and andropause. A Gentle Yoga practice mitigates the effects of stress, by balancing the nervous system. This is the beginning of the creation of a space for deep healing to take place.
Yoga balances the endocrine system, reducing symptoms and bringing balance to the mind as well. A restorative Asana practice that cools the nervous system is an excellent approach to managing symptoms including moodiness, depression, anxiety, insomnia, hot flashes, and many more.
During this time we are experiencing a whole series of hormonal changes, and these imbalances do not happen in isolation. They affect our emotional state, our mental performance and our overall well-being. While Yoga is helping our physical bodies we are also engaged in healing on the emotional and mental planes.
Here we are in the 3rd and 4th acts of our lives, and at this stage our bodies are literally slowing us down and putting us on pause. Yoga is a practice that takes us inward, into the body, where we can discover new ways of being, that many times exceed our highest expectation of what we are capable of…. And it also takes us inward into the quietest place inside ourselves. This is where we find peace… and stillness … and wisdom.
Physically, the practice helps balance the endocrine system, which calms the hormones, and cools down hot flashes while evening out moodiness, irritability, and discomfort.
Taking a very gentle practice strategy and spending more time in the rest and digest aspect of the nervous system is key. Once we have established that “relaxed” is our natural state, then so many other issues and symptoms become much more manageable.
Yoga Best Practices for Menopause/Andropause
Here are some practical ideas for dealing with and managing symptoms:
Use every opportunity in your asana practice to go into a cycle of this truly healing pose. As we did in the video, we take the heels together and let the knees splay apart. If we do five minutes legs up the wall this way, and then five minutes seated, and then 15 minutes of the reclined version, we will feel a positive shift of energy in your body and mind. These poses move heavy and dormant energy that may be stored in the hips and legs, activating and balancing the 1st and 2nd chakras, which govern our sense of stability and creativity.
Use the Sitali breath to act as a cooling breath. Imagine a cool ice blue light coming through the surface area of the tongue exposed to the air you are inhaling. Breathing through the left nostril while gently holding the opposite nostril can be an excellent way to activate the body’s air conditioning system.