Yoga and Menopause
A Great Way to Cope With Your
A recent study from India has shown that regular yoga can help alleviate hot flashes and increase memory. So Yoga and Menopause is a great combination for fitness, relaxation and symptoms relief.
Yoga increases the levels of mood regulating chemicals in the brain. This explains why you feel such a sense of wellbeing after a yoga work out (at least after you have mastered the basics). It also provides help for other typical menopause symptoms, such as heart palpitations, sleeplessness, headaches and many more.
Hatha Yoga and Menopause
Yoga has many disciplines but the most familiar form is Hatha Yoga, which combines physical movements and breathing techniques. This is the form we are referring to here. The goal is to bring mind and body into harmony by combining postures, breathing and meditation.
Traditionally, the practice of yoga goes beyond the poses and breathing. It also includes meditation, diet and supporting behavior. However, today most training concentrates on the breathing and flow of poses.
Yoga should be taught by an experienced teacher. You can certainly start with some basic poses on your own but to get the real benefits you will need the training.
Here is a great video with Yoga teacher Ester Eckhart: “Yoga for Beginners” to get you started.
Yoga, and Menopause exercises that focus on the mind-body connection, are very beneficial for your menopause symptoms and your overall health. They reduce anxiety and the thread of chronic problems caused by stress.
In essence, any condition that is aggravated by stress can benefit from mind-body exercises such as yoga. And menopause certainly fits the bill of “stressful” condition.
Although Pilates is not a form of Yoga in the strict sense, it has enough elements of it that we are including it here.
Pilates could be described as “Yoga on Steroids”.
Pilates is all about core strength and it focuses on the muscles around the middle of the body. Pilates requires a lot of concentration and focus, and breathing is a very important aspect. This is the Yoga similarity – your focus on breathing, your body postures and the principles.
Additional benefits are increases in strength, flexibility good posture and the ability to control different muscle groups. You will also find that you walk taller, your posture changes, your attitude improves and the flabby section around the middle firms up.
It is best to have a trainer in the beginning to teach you how to do the exercises correctly but after you mastered the Pilates principles you can easily do the workouts at home.
If you can afford it, find a Pilates studio and get some “reformer training” for maximum results. There are a variety of “schools” of Pilates. Personally I likeStott Pilates and the training by Allan Menezes. Some of the CDs will give you a good cardio workout after moving to the intermediate levels and speeding up the routines.
Women are more at risk for heart disease after menopause. And exercise regimens that provide relaxation, strength training and cardio are triple winners. So try Pilates or Yoga, and menopause problems will certainly get better.
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