Posted on June 13, 2018 by in ,

The M Word

“Menopause”. There. I’ve said it.

It’s a time in life that can be hard to admit, and even harder to accept. A time of change, transition and wisdom. A second Spring. All fine when you feel upbeat and full of energy. But how about the other side of menopause – hot flashes, bloating and weight gain, exhaustion, anxiety and irritability, brain fuzz, the risk of osteoporosis, feeling overwhelmed, and just plain miserable!

Our hormone levels can fluctuate erratically and debilitating side effects can wreak havoc on our physical, emotional and mental well-being. Among the many benefits that set yoga apart from other forms of physical exercise is the effect the postures and breathing practices have, not only on the muscles and bones but also on the organs and glands.

Yoga can balance the endocrine system, easing suffering and providing much-needed relief from any unpleasant symptoms of menopause. The body needs extra rest and TLC at this time. Restorative yoga is a good practice for this time of life as the poses soothe and relax the nervous system while improving balance and keeping the body strong and flexible.

Support is provided by bolsters and blankets, and a yoga belt allows the body to move gently and deeply into poses without exerting a lot of effort. Adding an eye mask when lying down is instantly calming. Three nice rejuvenating poses to try at home which boost the circulation and relieve tiredness and fatigue are Viparita Karani (Supported Legs Up The Wall pose), Supta Baddha Konasana (Supported Lying Down Bound Angle pose) and Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Supported Bridge pose).

Adding a regular yoga practice to your schedule will help you to adjust to this new stage of your life and build a strong foundation for the next. Prioritize yourself. Let your practice ease the transition as you accept your body, just as it is.

Mary Dowling
Certified yoga teacher