Yoga for Menopause | Heal Depression in Menopause

Most women in the West dread the approach of menopause, and think of it as something that will end a happy life as they know it. Many women even take hormonal supplements to delay the onset of menopause. But in the East, menopause is thought of as a change that should be embraced, as it brings with it wisdom and insight. If you think about it, it’s a phase of life that cannot be avoided, and there are no real ‘cures for menopause’. And yet, women often enter it feeling afraid and unhappy.

Yoga for menopause can have positive effects on you, and can help you understand your body and mind better. Yoga asanas or poses, along with breathing exercises and meditation help to balance the endocrine system, along with strengthening the body and organs. This helps women to weather the hormonal changes better. Yoga aims to unify the mind, body and breath. As one becomes adept in the practice of yoga and meditation, she is able to accept herself and her body better, and this makes the transition easier.

Women who regularly practice yoga find that they are able to enjoy menopause, and experience the freedom, liberation and energy that it brings!

What are the Symptoms of Menopause?

Yogic asanas can help to relieve hot flashes, night sweats and other symptoms of menopause. Inverted postures such as the headstand, shoulder stand and bending poses like the downward dog have been accepted as providing calming effects. The regular practice of yoga, when combined with other exercises like walking, cycling or weight training can ease the symptoms of menopause, and make it easier on you. While the symptoms may not go away completely, their incidence can be reduced, and the intensity of night sweats and hot flashes will decrease.

Depression in menopause is also an important concern to women. The practice of yoga will help you to become more peaceful and accepting. Yoga also helps you to get in touch with your body, and know what is going on in an experiential way. When you meditate, you become aware of the changes in your body, and you will also realise that change is inevitable. This itself will help to keep away depression during menopause.

Yoga Practice During Menopause

Of course, if you start practicing yoga long before menopause, you will find the transition much easier. But even if you start during or after menopause, you will still feel the benefits of yoga. It is suggested that you join a yoga class, or study under a reputed teacher. You can choose between any of the branches of yoga, but a strong, grounded practice, like that of Hatha Yoga, will be most useful.
As a yoga student, no doubt, you will learn a variety of poses and techniques. During menopause, some of the techniques that will help include:
  • Tadasana or mountain pose
  • Virbhadrasana or warrior pose
  • Trikonasana or triangle pose
  • Padmasana or lotus pose
  • Leg raises
  • Kapalbhati cleansing techniques
  • Bhujangasana or cobra pose
  • Pavanmuktasana or pose to release air.
  • Anuloma viloma breathing techniques
  • Meditation