What did women do before the internet? What did we do without the ability to research and get information about our health and our bodies? I am 43 years old and one of my current interests is learning all about Perimenopause - the transitional phase leading to menopause. I am currently in this season of life and it can be a rollercoaster ride of hormonal shifts and physical changes but I am doing my best to educate myself and navigate through this season of life with grace. While none of us experience perimenopause in the exact same way, below are a list of the most common symptoms:
Changes in sexual desire
Trouble with sleep
Joint and muscle aches
Having to pee often
Every woman goes through perimenopause and it can last for years and hormonal shifts can happen as early as your mid-thirties. However it is most common to notice hormone shifts between ages 40 and 44. While this journey can be challenging, a powerful wellness practice that can help you gracefully glide through it is yoga. The ancient practice of yoga offers a multitude of physical, emotional, and mental benefits, making it an ideal companion during perimenopause. I have been practicing yoga for over 20 years and as a yoga teacher and and lover of yoga, I was thrilled to learn that yoga can really help during Perimenopause. Let's go over the benefits of this amazing wellness practice!
1. Hormone Balance and Regulation
Perimenopause often brings erratic hormonal fluctuations. Yoga postures, known as asanas, stimulate and massage the endocrine system, helping to balance hormonal levels naturally. Some poses, like the supported Bridge Pose and Butterfly Pose, are particularly effective in this regard.
2. Emotional Stability
Mood swings are a common feature of perimenopause. Yoga is renowned for its ability to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. The practice encourages the release of endorphins, the "feel-good" hormones, promoting emotional stability. Poses such as the Child's Pose and Savasana (Corpse Pose) facilitate relaxation and tranquility.
3. Improved Bone Health
With declining estrogen levels, bone density may decrease. Weight-bearing yoga postures help to strengthen bones and muscles, reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Poses like Downward Dog, Triangle Pose, and Warrior II engage major muscle groups, contributing to better bone health.
4. Enhanced Sleep Quality
Perimenopause often leads to sleep disturbances. The relaxation techniques inherent in yoga, combined with controlled breathing exercises (Pranayama), can promote restful sleep patterns. Practicing deep breathing before bedtime can help you drift into a deep and rejuvenating slumber.
5. Hot Flash Management
Hot flashes are a well-known symptom of perimenopause. Yoga can help you cool down. Postures like the Shavasana (Corpse Pose) and Sitali Pranayama (cooling breath) provide relief from the heat, both physically and mentally.
6. Pelvic Floor and Core Strength
During perimenopause, the core and pelvic floor muscles may weaken. Yoga focuses on core strength and stability, with poses like the Boat Pose and Goddess Pose targeting these areas. Strong core and pelvic muscles offer vital support for your body during this transitional phase.
7. Mind-Body Connection
Yoga is not just about physical postures; it's a holistic practice that encourages a deep connection between mind and body. It promotes self-awareness and mindfulness, enabling you to embrace the changes in your body and mind with acceptance and love. I love that after a yoga class I feel more grounded, calm and centered. I love that during a yoga class I am breathing deeper and releasing stress with each exhale. And I love that each yoga pose helps regulate my mood and body.
Perimenopause is a transformative journey, and yoga empowers you to embrace this phase with grace and resilience. The practice of yoga encourages you to connect with your inner self, promoting self-acceptance and a deeper understanding of your body. Through yoga, you can navigate the challenges of perimenopause with a sense of empowerment and well-being, and emerge on the other side of this transition as a stronger, more self-assured version of yourself.
Incorporating yoga into your daily routine can have a profound impact on your journey through perimenopause. It's a path to not only physical well-being but also emotional and mental harmony during a time of significant change and transformation. I recommend getting a yoga mat at Target and looking up local yoga studios in your area so that you can learn from a certified instructor. If you are already a seasoned yogi, try including a home yoga practice a part of your morning routine. This has helped me so much with my energy and stress levels. You can access classes online or at a studio and create a yoga habit so that you can feel your best during this transitional time of womanhood. Embrace yoga, and embrace the journey of perimenopause with open arms and a heart full of gratitude for the strength and wisdom it brings to your life. You got this!