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Navigating Perimenopause with Yoga: Finding ease and cultivating self-trust

As women approach their 40s and 50s, they may experience a transitional phase known as perimenopause, which precedes menopause. The lead up to menopause maybe uncomfortable and poorly misunderstood. Many women feel confused, alone, and unsupported. During this time, hormonal fluctuations can lead to a variety of physical and emotional symptoms that can disrupt daily life. However, there is good news: incorporating yoga into your life can provide significant relief and support during this transformative period. In this blog, we will explore how practicing yoga can help you navigate perimenopause with grace and find balance amidst the changes.

Hormonal Balance and Emotional Well-being:

Perimenopause is characterised by hormonal shifts, often resulting in mood swings, irritability, anxiety, and depression. “Meno-rage” is a term coined to describe this surge of anger which can be felt like never before. The level of estrogen — the main female hormone — in your body rises and falls unevenly during perimenopause causing these shifts to transpire alongside many changes in our brain structure, and connectivity.

Yoga offers some powerful tools to stabilise and balance these emotions and help us work through this desire to understand and connect deeply with yourself. The combination of breath work, mindfulness, and movement in yoga can calm the nervous system, reduce stress, and enhance emotional well-being. Practices such as restorative yoga, gentle flow sequences, and meditation can promote relaxation helping you manage the emotional roller coaster that may accompany perimenopause. Curiosity, acceptance, and compassion can help you harness this unfathomable energy that you may sense while redirecting it to meaningful actions.

Managing Hot Flashes and Night Sweats:

One of the most common symptoms of perimenopause is hot flashes and night sweats, which can disrupt sleep and daily activities. Yoga's focus on breath control and mindful movement can provide relief from these uncomfortable experiences. Certain yoga poses with calming effects such as viparitta karani

(legs up the wall)

, supported supta baddha konasana (reclined bound angle) with bolsters or cushions behind the knees may help you regain a sense calm and help you get back to sleep. Additionally, your calming breathing exercises such as deep diaphragmatic breathing, sitali breathing, golden thread breath may help mitigate the intensity of hot flashes, and bring a sense of relief and relaxation.

Strengthening Bone Health:

As women experience a decline in estrogen levels which may lead to a loss of bone density and an increased risk of osteoporosis. Weight-bearing yoga poses, such as standing postures and balances may enhance strength, and improve overall bone health. Yoga also improves balance and coordination, reducing the risk of falls and fractures as bone density decreases.

Enhancing Energy Levels and Sleep Quality:

Fatigue and sleep disturbances are common during perimenopause due to hormonal shifts and associated symptoms. Engaging in a regular yoga practice can boost energy levels and improve sleep quality. Active yoga styles, like a Vinyasa style (we have Slow Flow, Ashatanga), can increase circulation, elevate heart rate, and invigorate the body. Conversely, gentle yoga, yoga nidra, and restorative practices can promote relaxation and facilitate a more restful sleep. By incorporating both dynamic and restorative yoga into your routine, you can optimise your energy levels and help establish a healthy sleep pattern.

Perimenopause is a natural phase of a woman's life, and while it may present challenges, yoga can provide immense support and relief during this transitional period. By practicing yoga, you can cultivate emotional balance, manage symptoms. Practice with qualified yoga teacher to tailor your practice to your specific needs and listen to your body's signals throughout your journey. Embrace this transformative time with an open mind and heart, and you might find yourself navigating perimenopause with grace and inner resilience.

Consult your care provider for medical advice and we hope you find one where you feel supported and heard. We would also like to share some additional resources:

  • WellFemme: WellFemme is a Telehealth service provided by General Practitioners with expertise specifically in menopause and perimenopausal care. They provide evidence-based menopause information, advice and treatment in collaboration with their clients’ usual General Practitioner. WellFemme’s services are strictly limited to women’s menopause-related healthcare needs.

  • Looking for a peri/meno friendly GP? View some options here.

  • TedTalk from Dr. Lisa Mosconi: How menopause affects the brain. Watch it here.

You’ll find heaps of talks and research from Dr. Lisa Mosconi online with really great, evidence-based advise.

Other References:

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