At a certain age, women will experience perimenopause. It is the time before menopause, and it is the transition to that stage. As a result, women at perimenopause may start experiencing some unpleasant symptoms that interfere with their daily lives. Luckily, yoga for perimenopause can help relieve it.
Yoga is good in many aspects, and it’s not a surprise to see it’s useful for perimenopause as well. If you are not sure about joining a yoga class just yet or haven’t found one you truly love, don’t worry– there are some amazing poses you can do at home, which will ease your struggle. This article will teach you how to soothe your perimenopause symptoms through yoga.
What Is Perimenopause and What Are Its Symptom?
Perimenopause refers to the transition to menopause. Actually, perimenopause means “around menopause”. It’s preparing you for the end of your reproductive years. Also, it can start at different ages. So, just because a woman entered the perimenopause stage, it doesn’t mean another will experience it at the same age.
Perimenopause starts a few years before actual menopause. During this stage, the ovaries start generating less estrogen, and this process lasts until menopause. Menopause is when your ovaries are not releasing eggs anymore.
Perimenopause refers to the transition to menopause.
In general, the perimenopause period will last around 4 years. However, all women are different, and each body is different, so this period is not set in stone. Some may deal with it for 4 years, whereas for others, perimenopause starts only months before menopause.
When there have been 12 months since a woman stopped having her period, it means perimenopause ended. Before the end of this stage and before entering menopause, a woman may have different symptoms. Here is what we may have to go through:
1. Mood Changes
Perimenopause may knock on the door and bring mood swings, increased depression risk, irritability, and other related symptoms. The hormonal changes are the culprits. In some cases, other factors may also help make this worse.
2. Irregular Periods
This is one of the most common symptoms because as the body is preparing for menopause, there will be fewer and fewer periods. The menstrual cycle will become irregular and you’ll never know if you’re going to get your period again or not. The amount of time between periods will depend on each situation – it may be shorter and longer, all because of ovulation.
3. Sexual Function Changes
There will also be changes when it comes to your sexual functions. There may be changes in desire and arousal, although, for some women, things may stay the same.
4. Hot Flashes and Sleep Issues
Another very common symptom of perimenopause is hot flashes, accompanied by sleep problems. Also, how long the hot flashes are and how often they occur depends on each woman. The same goes for their intensity. As a result of hot flashes, there may be sleep problems.
5. Bone Loss
You may lose some bone mass because of the decreasing estrogen levels. So, this puts women at higher risk of osteoporosis.
6. Cholesterol Level Changes
Estrogen decrease will also lead to changes in cholesterol levels. For instance, some women may end up dealing with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, which is not a favorable situation. It puts the person at risk of heart disease. If they don’t go to that extent, they may still have a decrease in the good cholesterol, respectively high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
Hot flashes are common during perimenopause. The intensity and frequency can vary.
Yoga for Perimenopause – Exercises that Help Soothe Symptoms
Yoga for perimenopause can be very effective in relieving the different symptoms a woman may be dealing with before she reaches menopause. In order to make sure yoga has an effect on your body as soon as possible, you need to detect the perimenopause symptoms first. Once you are 100% sure perimenopause is causing them, you can start incorporating a yoga routine into your schedule.
If you start early, the transition to menopause will be smoother, and the symptoms and struggle will be lower. Believe it or not, but mood swings, hot flashes, and other symptoms can be soothed with some yoga poses.
What exactly are the best yoga practices for a woman at perimenopause, though? Below you will find some exercises and poses for reducing the symptoms associated with perimenopause.
1. Legs Up the Wall Pose
This pose is not that hard, and it will help you with your sleeping issues. If you do this before going to bed or when you wake up due to your perimenopause symptoms, you can try this pose to fall asleep easier and wake up feeling fresh.
What you have to do is get on the floor in front of a wall. Then, swing the legs up against the wall, and lower your back slowly to put your head on the floor. You can also add a pillow or a bolster under your lower back. Hold this for 3-5 minutes while breathing deeply.
This is a great pose to do before sleeping.
2. Sphinx Pose
This pose will increase your joy, vitality, and energy. Here’s how you can get into this pose.
First, get on your stomach and lie like that while having your legs in a straight position and keeping your arms by your sides. Bring the elbows under your shoulders, while making sure your palms are resting flat on the floor. Then, press your pelvis down into your floor. This will help release some of the tension in your glutes and lower back. Next, press your chest forward as you lift, and keep your spine and neck aligned while looking straight ahead.
This pose encourages us to soften our bodies, in particular, the broad ligament between the ovaries.
3. Cat/Cow Pose
The cat/cow pose is, as you can tell, a combination of two different poses. The steps to achieving this pose are not that hard.
You should get on your floor and place yourself on your hands and knees. Line up the wrists beneath your shoulders. As for the knees, you should line them up beneath your hips. Keep them apart at a distance equal to your inner hip-width.
Inhale, and when doing so, tuck your toes under and expand your upper chest forward. In the meantime, make sure you keep your lower abdominals engaged, while your lower back stays in neutral. Exhale, and as you do this, relax onto the tops of your feet. Then, round your back through the lower spine, and relax your head completely. Coordinate the movements with your breaths while working at an individual pace.
Sync your breath with your movements to fully benefit from two poses.
4. Seated Wide Angle
If you’re experiencing some heavy bleeding, this can also help soothe the symptom as you transition to menopause. It’s a spread-legged yoga for perimenopause pose and it may not be what you want to do at the moment, but it will help you a lot.
Take a folded blanket and sit on its edge. Extend your legs at a 90-degree angle as you’re doing it, or as wide as you are comfortable doing. Your spine should be straight. Then, hinge at the hips and walk your hands forward between your legs. When you feel a stretch in your legs or back, you can stop. Hold this pose for one minute or longer. A bolster can stay between your legs for support if you think you need it.
Seated Wide Angle increases blood circulation to the pelvis and lifts and tones the uterus.
5. Downward Facing Dog
The downward facing dog is also a great pose if you are dealing with perimenopause as it increases bone density. As a side effect it also improves your memory.
To reach this pose, get on all-fours first and keep your hands under your shoulders, while your knees stay under your hips. Then, press your hips back while straightening your legs. You have to be folded forward with your hands and feed both on the floor, like an upside-down V shape.
Next, press your hands into your floor and slightly rotate your biceps outward. Keep pressing your hips toward the sky, and your chest toward your legs. You will feel a stretch in your calves, hamstrings, and shoulders.
Downward facing dog is an active pose, so be gentle and don’t go over your limits.
6. Fan Posture
The fan posture can also help you relax during your perimenopause period.
Start with your legs at a distance of one leg’s-length apart, and make sure your toes are facing forward. Then, line up your heels behind the wide parts of your feed. Fold forward at the crease of the hip, and make sure you keep your spine long. At the same time, hold on behind your ankles, and keep your neck and head straight. Balance your weight through the four feet corners. Lastly, open through the chest and make sure to relax your shoulder blades onto the back.
Fan Posture or Prasarita Padottanasana.
Yoga for perimenopause is something you should consider. As you have seen, perimenopause and menopause come with many physiological changes to our bodies that may pose serious health risks. Yoga is a great way to ease the physical discomfort and feel relaxed. However, seriously consider adding strength training for women over 50 to your weekly routine as it is the real changer.
Give these poses a try and let me know how they are working for you! I am pretty certain you’ll be in a better condition and mood if you practice them regularly.
Mother, wife, school teacher and yogini. Finds peace and a much needed exercise in yoga. After a few years of just yoga, she’s now exploring other kinds of training and eating routines looking to stay fit to keep enjoying traveling and discovering the world.