By Constadina Zarokostas-Vasiliades
First Published on April 20, 2015 at: http://menopausemission.com/menopause-and-yoga
Exercise is essential when going through menopause. It helps keep the blood circulating properly, strengthens muscles, decreases stress and mood swings, and most importantly it helps keep your mind centered. Yoga is a great form of exercise to do during menopause for all these reasons, but as for helping to keep your mind centered, it is probably the best form.
With age comes wisdom, and menopause can help push a woman deeper into her sense of independence and knowledge of who she is. Mindful yoga includes focusing on how your body moves and reacts to each movement; helping to quiet the chatter in your head through focusing on your body – or you may lose your balance and fall over. A very interesting metaphor for life – pay attention to what is going on with YOU in order to come into your “center,” ultimately aligning body, mind and spirit, into a state of Integration. Menopause is the stage of life that can truly allow a woman to do the inner spiritual work of “Know Thyself.”
Yoga expert Angela Kolias, author of Alpha Omega Yoga: The Art and Science of Self Transformation, outlines the meaning of yoga as simply “Union.” To unite is about uniting with the Divine. Becoming One – whole, holy.” She notes that the practice of yoga can help transform who we are when we focus on proper body alignment/posture (Asana) and breath (Pranayama).
When doing yoga during menopause, according to Angela “restorative and therapeutic yoga is best for this stage of life transition.” Gentle enough for those who have never practiced yoga before, restorative and therapeutic yoga is calming, centering, relaxing, and slow paced. Anyone having trouble with sleep would benefit from this form of yoga as well.
Most yoga studios provide a restorative or therapeutic yoga class, but may call it something else. Be sure to ask your preferred yoga studio what they have to offer that is within these two classifications.
Having gone through menopause herself, Angela found it essential to continue practicing yoga through all her symptoms. She also states, “I do support natural hormone (bio-identical) therapy, as well as orthomolecular medicine, which is analyzing the body’s natural chemistry levels and then supplementing accordingly. I know many are not comfortable or knowledgeable regarding this realm of medicine, which is leading edge.”
What form of exercise and therapy someone follows while going through menopause is individual – according to how each individual body reacts, but restorative and therapeutic yoga is a great way of tuning into your body’s needs and reactions to each different type of therapy while going through menopause.
Look for my next article, Yoga Poses for Menopause, to try two key yoga poses to help you get through your menopause symptoms.