Science has shown that stress and anxiety increase the intensity and occurrence of hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause in women. Recent studies (some listed below) found that meditation, breathing techniques (such as sitali pranayama), and yoga poses (restorative and gentle, in particular) can decrease the symptoms of menopause and perimenopause.
This is great news for all women because these practices can be included in our daily lives, even if we don’t have perimenopausal or menopausal symptoms. It’s never too early for women to start preparing for changes that will happen later in life.
In particular, yoga for menopause benefits women who are 35 and older because it:
- Helps to build and maintain strong bones
- Lowers blood pressure
- Decreases the risk of heart disease
- Helps you deal with emotional and life changes
- Decreases stress, while providing you with effective coping skills
- Builds and strengthens the muscles
- Encourages self-acceptance and self-love
- Gathers women in a supportive community (group classes)
- Improves memory
- Brings awareness to the body and mind
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Studies of Yoga and Menopause
- “For some women, self-help measures can help ease hot flashes. These include deep-breathing exercises when a hot flash starts; dressing in layers; lowering the thermostat; staying away from caffeine, alcohol, hot beverages, and spicy foods; stress reduction techniques like meditation and mindfulness; and doing your best to stay cool in general.” – Harvard Health Publications
- “Yoga is effective in reducing menopausal symptoms and should be considered as alternative therapy for the management of menopausal symptoms.” –Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
- “We found that, among healthy sedentary menopausal women, yoga appears to improve menopausal quality of life…” – American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Restorative Yoga Study – “…hot flushes per week decreased by 30.8% and mean hot flush score decreased 34.2%” – General Internal Medicine Section, San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center
- “…findings from studies to date suggest that yoga-based programs, breathing practices, and certain other mind-body therapies may be beneficial for reducing vasomotor and other menopausal symptoms.” –Department of Community Medicine, West Virginia University School of Medicine