Menopause (or perimenopause for that matter)causes many symptoms for women as they go through the transition. Women complain of hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, depression and a host of other issues. I decided to find someone who viewed menopause differently than the majority. That person is Christiane Northrup. Her book, The Secret Pleasures of Menopause, focuses on all of the positive aspects of menopause. Ever since reading it, I no longer think the negative thoughts that I once thought when I heard the "M" word.
I also researched yoga for menopause, as I'm a big believer that yoga can help you deal with just about anything.I've been practicing yoga for over 30 years, so I can see and feel the benefits everyday of my life. If you're going through perimenopause or menopause and are looking to ease the transition with yoga, here are some tips:
Yin Yoga -- Women going through these changes are typically of the age when they are exposed to many stressors: children are striking out on their own, the media is telling them that they are old, job changes, dealing with aging or ailing parents, divorce and/or death of a spouse. Change is the order of the day and that can be unsettling at best and downright frightening at worst. Yin Yoga is a slow, grounding practice that enourages introspection and body awareness. Here are some DVDs to start with: Yin Yoga: The Foundations of a Quiet Practice, Insight Yoga with Sarah Powers, and Presence Through Movement: Yin Yoga.
Sitali Pranayam -- Sitali is a cooling breath technique that I recommend to many of my clients -- whether they are male or female or going through menopause or not. This breath is calming and soothing. Ujjayi Breath is also helpful.
Supported Yoga Postures -- Downward Dog (placing a block under the forehead), Standing Forward Bend (placing a block vertically under the forehead), Standing Wide Legged Forward Bend (placing a block either vertically or horizontally under the forehead), Legs Up the Wall (with a bolster under the hips and a small pillow over the eyes), and Bridge Pose (placing a block vertically under the sacrum area) are some of my favorites.
Try it, you might just like it.