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Home > Health & Wellness > Yoga versus Menopause
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Yoga versus Menopause

Yoga versus Menopause

What does yoga have to do with your hormones? Plenty!

Just about every yoga pose you do has an impact on the hormonal endocrine system (think of it as a network of glands that make hormones).  This system influences almost every cell, organ and function of your body.  Every different stage and chemical change in a woman’s body is brought about by the endrocrine system, therefore making yoga a fabulous way to support this system and keep your hormones healthy.

Perimenopause and Menopause vary in duration and severity with similar symptoms, which can be both physically and emotionally destabilising. During this stage you experience erratic fluctuations of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. In very simple terms, estrogen is responsible for making us feel good. When estrogen levels decline, our bodies are disfuntional. For example, estrogen helps keep your skin clear and your bones strong. Take estrogen away, and most of your body functions become unstable, which can explain many of your symptoms.

It can start in your late 30’s and end in your mid 50’s with symptom’s typically including weight gain, fatigue, joint & muscle pain, low libido, insomnia, mood swings, hot flushes, anxiety, depression, night sweats and hair loss. These are just some of the 34 symptoms associated with menopause. Not fair is it?!

Do any of these sounds familiar?

For a lot of women use HRT (Hormone Replacement Treatment) is a simple and obvious solution for managing menopausal symptoms. But since several major studies have shown that HRT exposes women to serious health risks, such as breast cancer, heart disease, strokes and other life-threatening diseases, many women have begun seeking more natural solutions, like addressing diet, increased water intake, regular exercise and taking natural supplements and vitamins.

If you are new to yoga the perimenopasal stage is a great time to introduce yourself to the practice.  Or, if the mat has been a friend for years a lot of woman find that their once fast-paced and heated practice mellows into one with longer-held, sustained poses.  Slowing the practice down helps activate your parasympathetic nervous system (a tranquilizing effect on the body & mind), reducing stress & anxiety. We want to keep the body cool.  And a simple pranayama with a five-second inhalation and five-second exhalation for 15 minutes twice a day can cut hot flushes considerably.

Yoga can be a tremendous aid when the body and mind feel out of control; it’s like giving your body a hug from the inside.  Remember it’s never too late to start and the yoga will always meet you wherever you are at.

When we have the right tools and information we can make better choices for our health and our bodies.

I offer a 15 minute yoga practice on my YouTube channel ‘Debbie Lash Yoga’, or you can find me teaching at Earth Yoga in Palma and Portals.

5 YOGA POSES TO SOOTHE PERIMENOPAUSAL AND MENOPAUSAL SYMPTOMS

  1. SUPINE BOUND ANGLE POSE/SUPPORTED SUPTA BADDHA KONASANA

KEY BENEFITS

Regulates blood pressure as it encourages the relaxation response

Beneficial for women in all life cycle changes, relieves menstrual pain, improves circulation in the ovarian region and is helpful during pregnancy and menopause

Relieves sciatic pain

Release tension & hip pain

  1. LEGS UP THE WALL POSE / VIPARITA KARANI

KEY BENEFITS

Increases circulation to the abdominal organs

Passively opens chest, stretches the cardiac muscle and helps venous blood return to the heart

Reverses the effect of gravity on the entire body

Relaxes the parasympathetic nervous system

  1. SHOULDERSTAND / SALAMBA SARVANGASANAyoga poses

KEY BENEFITS

Known as the ‘Queen’ of asanas

Cools, calms and soothes the nervous system

Helps to balance the functioning of the endocrine system

Shifts energy and mood by being upside down

Develops mindfulness & concentration

Alleviates headaches

Strengthens upper body

  1. SEATED FORWARD FOLD / SUPPORTED PASHIMOTTANASANA

KEY BENEFITS

Stimulates circulation to the abdominal and pelvic organs

Relaxes the reproductive organs

Soothes and revitalizes the heart and mind

May lower blood pressure

Releases all the muscles in your back

Combats chronic fatigue and relieves headaches

Facilitates a sense of quiet, calm and letting go

  1. SUPINE HERO POSE / SUPTA VIRASANA

KEY BENEFITS

Opens the chest

Elevates your mood

Combats fatigue

Maintains flexibility of the knee and ankle joints

Stretches the quadriceps and hip flexors

BY DEBBIE LASH YOGA – https://www.debbielash.com/

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