Can Yoga and Meditation Help with Menopausal Symptoms?

As women approach menopause, they often face a range of physical and emotional challenges. From hot flushes to mood swings, this transitional period can be tricky. While medical interventions are available, many women are turning to more natural alternatives like yoga and meditation to help manage their symptoms. But can these ancient practices really make a difference? Let’s take a look at how they can be beneficial during this time of transition.

The benefits of yoga for managing menopausal challenges

Yoga, with its gentle stretches and calming breathwork, can offer some relief for menopausal symptoms. Poses like Child’s Pose and Legs-Up-the-Wall can help reduce stress and anxiety, which are often heightened for many at this life stage. These poses also promote relaxation, which can help improve sleep quality—a common concern for menopausal women

Yoga can also improve flexibility and balance, which tend to decline with age. This can help reduce the risk of falls, which is particularly important at this time as bone density decreases. In addition, the focus and mindfulness required in practice can help women stay mentally sharp and focused, combating the cognitive changes that can occur during menopause. ‘Brain fog’ is a common feature, with many finding it difficult to concentrate or recall information as easily as they once could. These can be unsettling aspects to experience and having a comfortable and safe environment in which to explore these changes is helpful.

The power of meditation for menopausal transitions

Meditation is another powerful tool for managing the phases of menopause. By calming the mind and reducing stress, it can help improve mood and promote a sense of well-being, which are essential for navigating the emotional ups and downs. Incorporating mindfulness into daily life can enhance self-awareness and give women more tools to cope with the changes their bodies and minds are undergoing.

Yoga has been shown in numerous scientific studies over many years that it can  increase levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate our mood and stress. Meditation, on the other hand, can reduce levels of cortisol, the stress hormone that can exacerbate menopausal symptoms. By balancing these hormones these practices, when done regularly, can help women experience a smoother transition. Working on mindfulness can also help women develop a more positive outlook on life, which can be particularly beneficial during these sometimes challenging years.

Healthy ageing habits

There is no doubt that improving overall physical health is to our great benefit as we age. Yoga can help maintain a healthy weight, which is important as metabolism tends to slow down during menopause. It can also improve cardiovascular health, which is crucial as the risk of heart disease increases as protective oestrogen levels drop. Meditation, by reducing stress and inflammation, can contribute to better mental well-being, strengthening our self awareness and cultivating a sense of calm at a time when we may feel many things are beyond our control.

Practising yoga and meditation during menopause can also provide a sense of community and support. Joining a class or group can connect women with others going through similar experiences. This sense of camaraderie can be incredibly empowering and can help women feel less isolated during this transitional period. Community and connectivity are key features of successful ageing. Helping to keep us focused, passionate and purposeful – all vital aspects to feeling the very best we can as we hit midlife and beyond.

Keeping happy and whole

These practices are very valuable tools for managing menopausal symptoms. From reducing stress and anxiety, to keeping our bodies strong and supple, whilst improving sleep and mood, they offer a whole body approach to life change management. By incorporating them into our daily or weekly routine, women can enhance their overall quality of life during this transformative time. Menopause may bring change for different people in different ways, so having a tool kit of things that bring joy, connection and reinvigorate zest for life are vital. They enable us to cope with the ebb and flow that life asks of everyone.

Explore your local area for supportive groups that you feel comfortable sharing with. It may be that you try a few before finding your perfect fit. Go alone, or with a friend if that keeps you accountable or gives you the extra confidence boost to try something new. Hitting menopause can feel like a shock for some, but it offers an opportunity to evolve, change and recreate ourselves once again. If you are struggling with symptoms, reach out to professionals that can support you through this stage, offering fresh ways to be you. Check out meditation on Mornington Peninsula, or your local area, to explore classes. If you feel you need extra support, private yoga sessions are a great way to try the modality with the expert guidance of a teacher who can work at your pace.

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