From Puberty to Menopause, Yoga Offers Health Benefits for Women of All Ages
Yoga Is Part of a Healthy Lifestyle
Making yoga part of your daily routine offers multiple health advantages, including:
Managing the special health issues that affect you throughout your life is a little easier when you make time in your schedule for yoga. The ancient discipline uses breathing, meditation, and a series of poses to improve fertility and relieve the unpleasant symptoms of menstruation and menopause.
Yoga Takes the Pain Out of Your Period
Shedding the lining of your uterus every month sounds like a fairly minor process, but this basic biological function can cause cramping, headaches, nausea, fatigue, swollen breasts, and lower back pain. Pain medications can be helpful, but unfortunately, some medications can cause distressing side effects. Yoga offers a natural way to control pain and cramping while reducing fatigue.
Nursing students who participated in a study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine reported fewer, less intense cramps after participating in a yoga program for 60 minutes once a week for three months.
Try these poses to reduce your menstrual symptoms:
- Ustrasana (Camel Pose). The camel pose opens your abdomen, strengthens your back muscles and reduces back pain, fatigue, and cramps.
- Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Big Toe Pose). This pose relieves cramps, back pain, and sciatica.
- Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Pose). Janu Sirsasana relieves cramps by massaging your organs.
- Matsyasana (Fish Pose). The fish pose stretches your abdominal muscles and helps reduce pain due to cramping.
Practicing Yoga can Boost Fertility
Stress and muscle tension can make it more difficult to get pregnant. Practicing yoga relieves stress, stimulates the glands that produce hormones, and increases blood flow to your reproductive organs. A study conducted by the Fertility Centers of Illinois and Pulling Down the Moon discovered that participants who participated in 45 minutes of vinyasa yoga and 30 minutes of group discussion with other infertility patients weekly over the course of six weeks reduced their anxiety scores by 20 percent.
Poses that can improve your fertility include:
- Dandasana (Staff Pose). The staff pose moves your pelvic floor into the proper alignment and improves the functioning of your lymphatic system.
- Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose). The bridge pose stimulates your endocrine and immune systems. The endocrine system produces hormones that control reproduction.
- Tadasana (Mountain Pose). This pose also helps align your pelvis and strengthens your core.
- Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero's Pose). Supta Virasana opens and stretches the abdominal area.
Menopause Symptoms Fade Away with Yoga
Changing hormone levels during menopause can leave you feeling moody, exhausted, and hot. Although hormone replacement therapy does relieve the symptoms of menopause and peri-menopause, taking the medications may increase your cancer risk. Yoga offers a simple, natural way to regulate your hormones and reduce insomnia, stress, aches and pains, blood pressure, and hot flashes.
If you are tired of dealing with the symptoms of menopause, try these poses:
- Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend). Uttanasana can help reduce irritability and stress.
- Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose). This pose opens your hips and is beneficial for your pelvic organs. It's also an effective stress buster.
- Supta Padmasana (Reclining Lotus Position). When a hot flash strikes, Supta Padmasana can help you turn down the heat.
- Adho Mutha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog). Make this pose part of your daily yoga practice if you suffer from hot flashes, fatigue, headaches, or insomnia.
Yoga offers an excellent way to stay healthy no matter what your age. Call us today to enroll in a class.
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine: Effects of a Yoga Program on Menstrual Cramps and Menstrual Distress in Undergraduate Students with Primary Dysmenorrhea, 06/17/16
Fertility Centers of Illinois: Yoga to Reduce Stress and Enhance Fertility
Yoga Journal: A Gentler Practice for Your Period, 11/07/2012
Yoga Journal: Restorative Yoga for Fertility: Poses You Can Do at Home, 08/28/07
Parents: Fertility-Boosting Yoga Poses
Mind Body Green: 7 Ways Yoga Can Help Women Through Menopause, 05/09/15
Yoga Journal: Yoga for Menopause, 08/28/07
Harvard Health Publications: Yoga – Benefits Beyond the Mat, 2/15