There are many post-menopausal health benefits of yoga for the modern active woman with such benefits including both the physical and psychological.
Many westerners dread the approach of the menopause thinking it is the end of life as they know it, however eastern philosophies hold that this change in life should be embraced along with the added insight and wisdom it provides. Menopause occurs between the ages of forty and sixty. During these menopausal changes there are often hormonal imbalances, hot flushes, night sweats, palpitations, unusual cravings for sweets and carbohydrates, fatigue, weight gain, depression, mood swings, insomnia, anxiety, joint pain, and back pain. Post-menopausal women are left with an increased risk of heart disease, osteoporosis and joint pain, which is why many women are showing an interest in the post-menopausal health benefits of yoga.
The physical health benefits
- Yoga for menopause can have many positive effects helping a woman understand her body and mind better. Yoga poses, along with breathing exercises and meditation can help balance the endocrine system and strengthen the body’s internal organs. Yoga can strengthen the heart, thickening it's walls and reducing the risk of heart disease post menopause.
- As yoga poses involve holding strenuous positions for periods of time this helps loosen stiff joints and knotted muscles as well as massage the lymphatic system making movement easier and reducing the negative effects of conditions like osteoporosis. Also, as yoga is fundamentally a resistance exercise, it can help reduce bone mineral loss as a woman ages.
- Additionally yoga has been shown to reduce the effort associated with other strenuous tasks making the activities of daily living easier for post-menopausal practitioners.
- Finally ,another of the post-menopausal health benefits of yoga occurs due to the way it can improve balance and core stability reducing the number of falls and trips in older women, a chief cause of hospitalization.
The psychological health benefits
- Another of the post-menopausal health benefits of yoga is psychological, the ability to handle hormonal changes better as yoga aims to unify the mind, body, and soul. As a women becomes more adept at yoga the natural transition of menopause can also become easier. Another of the post-menopausal health benefits of yoga is the effect on depression following the onset of menopause.
- Yoga encourages positive thinking and peaceful, happy emotions and like other forms of exercise has been shown to have a positive impact on depression. Finally yoga has been shown to help with the mental health of all age groups including post-menopausal women reducing symptoms and improving social and occupational functioning across a range of conditions.