Yoga is an ancient practice, developed in India thousands of years ago. It is a powerful and effective way of maintaining health, wellness and a connection to your body.
Yogic wisdom can help facilitate your passage through perimenopause, menopause and beyond. Not only is Yoga a form of exercise but it is also a meditative practice that helps you develop peace with and within yourself.
For women who need support accepting the changes that menopause brings, Yoga postures and Yoga breathing can help a woman foster a healthy relationship with herself.
The practice of Yoga has two parts:
- Structured breathing
- Structured postures/poses.
Postures are held for a particular length of time that is measured in breaths.
The beauty of Yoga is that it can be enjoyed at virtually any age and by any physical ability. Instructors are versed at creating adaptations so all can experience the benefits that Yoga has to offer.
This form of breathing is deep and full. You experience the fullness of the chest expansion as you inhale and the depth of release as the abdomen and diaphragm push air out of the lungs on the exhale.
In a 1992 study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, researchers experimented with paced Yoga breathing to reduce hot flashes. Thirty-three women who were experiencing frequent hot flashes tried this technique and reported a significant reduction in the frequency of hot flashes.
Try the following as a hot flash is coming on:
- Slow your breathing to a rate of about one breath every 10 seconds.
- It helps to count slowly from 1 to 5 for each inhalation and from 1 to 5 for each exhalation.
- As you slow down your breathing, you may feel your hot flash release!
Rhythmic, deep breathing like this also calms the central nervous system, ease the mind and can help release emotions. Mood swings and irritability can be tempered by this type of breathing as well.