Petra Coveney is the Founder of Menopause Yoga
Q: How Can Yoga Help You Manage Your Menopause?
Yoga can help manage the physical and psychological symptoms that many women experience during the transition from perimenopause to menopause. It can also improve their long-term physical and mental health in post menopause when the depletion of oestrogen can lead to osteopenia and osteoporosis (brittle bones), sarcopenia (muscles loss), and the risk of cardio vascular disease. As women are now living longer, yoga can help retain muscle flexibility, general mobility and balance which we need to avoid potentially dangerous falls. However, the greatest benefits of yoga will be experienced if you include it as part of a holistic approach to health and wellbeing that includes nutrition, lifestyle and medical advice from your doctor and other health professionals.
Q: Can you take Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and practice yoga and wellbeing?
Practising Yoga is effective as part of a holistic package of self-care that can include: Hormone Replacement Therapy, nutritional advice, counselling, complimentary therapies, such as massage, acupuncture, aromatherapy, reflexology etc., Taking HRT does not mean you have to exclude the other therapies. Women need individualised care and support so it’s important to find the right kind of support for you.
Yoga can also benefit women who are not able to take HRT. However, Yoga cannot replace or rebalance the hormones that your body loses during perimenopause to post menopause.
Depending on the style of yoga you practice, a regular yoga practice can help boost your physical strength (bones and muscles), mental resilience, heart health, sense of balance (to avoid dangerous falls) and keep you flexible, supple and mobile.
- Reduce stress and improve sleep.
- Relieve menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes, joint and muscle aches.
- Rebalance your emotions, such as Menorage, anxiety, low mood.
- Restore depleted energy caused by insomnia and fatigue.
- Reinvigorate a sluggish metabolism, tone and strengthen muscles, build bone density, balance and boost heart health.
- Reinforce positive thoughts that improve self-esteem.
As a result, yoga can help you to feel good about yourself. When we feel well, we are more able to make healthy decisions about our lifestyle (nutrition, exercise, work-life balance), as well as our relationships.
Please remember that yoga is not sport or a competition; you will gain most by going at your pace and treating your body with kindness and compassion. A little and often is better for your health and wellbeing than pushing yourself once a week.