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Yoga and Menopause / Andropause

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Sometimes these life changes comes out from the woods, when they really are least expected. Menopause can be one of those things. But is there a way of easing the bodily effects from menopause with out turning into anti depressive and hormones ??  Can Yoga help?? And how to know if you have menopause?? This not just for the ladies because menopause hits also the men. Symptoms just vary a bit…

Here is a list of symptoms that could be your menopause to you ladies.

Mens list is little different and there are constantly discussions about if it is a myth or not. But question; Why would it be any different to age for men than us women? Here is information about male menopause or also called andropause.

Here is also Baxters awesome post about our fellow male Yogis in menopause, because obviously I’m a woman and can mostly prefer to my own experiences.

What both men and women are though often experiencing is  the sudden stiffness in joints and muscles and can even experience pain issues, lack of energy, feeling low and the focus is straight out of the window.

Couple of weeks I was really frustrated about this new situation and it was definitely limiting my own Yoga practice. Suddenly I couldn’t even do a simple standing forward bend and moving in Surya Namaskars was a struggle I’ve not had since cancer and I lived in the same temple. I was devastated! And it did not seem to go away. My much loved vinyasa flow was no more a flow, it was getting stuck in traffic! My inversions in most cases just increased the symptoms and I got totally lack of energy and the hot flashes just got more aggressive. Omg… I have got in a menopause… (early menopause can be a result of heavy cancer treatments in many cases)

I had to take my self little time to go back to the basics. Study what made the symptoms worse and with once eased my being. Things like just to ground and land in asanas. Really creating a relationship between the ground, mind, breath and body. I use lots of props as support in backbends and choose softer inversions instead of the advanced once. A true practice of letting go – non attachment. I love inversion and sweaty, intensive flows… Letting it be. Being here is what is now.

It felt good to slow down even though it tok me a week daily practice to let the vinyasa flow from my mind. I missed it. But without even thinking I started to each time in discomfort of missing ”flow”, I started to turn my self over and over again towards my ujjayi breathing. With out even noticing I started to slow the breath down even more than usually and let every transformation and movement in my practice to take time through the whole inhalation vs exhalation. My practice became reeeaaaally slow. Much of the time I close my eyes and just move on the waves of breath and listening to my body how it wants to move. Being soft in the mind will cultivate the softness even in your body. How liberating !

I started to feel less stiff, annoyed, down and feeling less of pain. My mind is calmer and even my swollen tummy has started to take it’s normal look. I still have feeling of that my quality of sleep is not what it should but definitely better.

So even when you feel that your menopause is eating your joy of moving, don’t stop! Just change the characteristics of your practice until it feels ready to do more advanced practice again. It is okay to slow down and just good for each and one of us every now and then. Either you are in menopause /andropause or not.

Yoga has shown the benefits to calm down your sympathetic nervous system that will give you less feeling of discomfort and will balance you up to manage your every day life better. So give your self some love on your yoga mat and feel the difference. Be aware of what makes you feel worse and what makes you feel better. Advanced inversions and high tempo can increase your symptoms you don’t want , so listen to your body, be wise – Be a good Yogi.

Namaste!

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