A guest post by Julie Ann Garrido
If someone told you that yoga can help alleviate your peri/menopause symptoms, what would you think?
But here’s the thing. We are all aware that Harry Potter has a magic wand. But did you know that yoga has similar powers too? And these can be really handy at this stage of a woman’s life? Who knew? Certainly not me.
About Julie Ann Garrido
Julie Ann Garrido is founder of Yourself Yoga – a company that helps women navigate their menopause journey with the help of yoga. Having spent several years suffering with crippling anxiety, loss of confidence and painful joints, Julie knows only too well how menopause can wreak havoc on the quality of your life.
But then she discovered yoga and was astounded at the positive difference it made to her symptoms. She found an inner calm, renewed confidence and happiness, plus a drive and passion that she didn’t know she had!
This transformation set her on a mission to ‘give back’. Now fully qualified in Yoga for Menopause and passionate about health and wellbeing, Julie is determined to share her knowledge, experience and expertise, so that she can help you make that same transformation.If you’re anything like I was, you would struggle to believe them. Yes, I think we all know that yoga is very Zen and keeps us flexible, but how does any of that alleviate hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain, and the numerous other symptoms that can make our lives a misery?
Although I’ve always been an exercise addict, I had never been drawn to yoga. I naively thought it was for hippies or acrobats. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I discovered yoga at the grand age of 52 and even then, I was coerced into doing it.
I had always been a swimmer – since being a teenager in fact. However, everything changed when I acquired a nasty ear infection that severely affected my balance. Doctors advised me to no longer swim. I was devastated.
Several people suggested I try yoga to help my balance, but I just wasn’t interested. However, very reluctantly, I decided to give it a go and I was blown away with the difference it made to my health and happiness – not to mention my perimenopause symptoms.
If I only knew then what I know now. How many times do we say this to ourselves?
Of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing, and practicing yoga earlier would have made a HUGE difference to my perimenopause hell.
My nightmare began in my mid 40’s. I had just gone through divorce, so naturally I put my symptoms down to stress. However, anxiety and irritability, coupled with fatigue, zero patience, paranoia, and depleted energy levels all crept in – even after I went on to happily remarry. One minute I would be up and the next I would be down.
Simple things like travel, even for a vacation, would start to stress me out in the build-up to going. I had run my own business for 30 years and felt comfortable giving business presentations, but suddenly I didn’t have the same confidence. Neither did I have the ability to retain information – it’s like my brain was shrouded in fog.
I would also worry about the tiniest things, mulling things over and becoming paranoid about minor details. When one issue became resolved, I would quickly replace it with another.
My stamina for regular exercise dwindled as I lost energy, and gradually my shape began to change. Where once I had a waistline, I now started to resemble Sponge Bob Square Pants.
Of course, a good night’s sleep became a thing of the past thanks to night sweats and anxiety. Libido was also consigned to my treasure trove of memories.
Yoga was a game changer. As well as the physical benefits, I began to feel calmer and my mind stopped spinning; all within a few weeks of starting to practice.
So, were my improvements a coincidence? The answer is a resounding NO. As my passion for yoga grew, I decided to become a yoga teacher and that’s when I learned just how much yoga really can help fight menopause.
So, what exactly is the big deal about yoga and peri/menopause?
Not only does yoga detoxify both mind and body, there are also specific poses and techniques that help relieve particular symptoms of peri/menopause.
For example, a standing forward fold has the power to stimulate our endocrine system – the control center for our hormones. Likewise, a pelvic tilt can help nourish our pelvic organs, and certain breathing techniques can ease hot flashes and control panic attacks.
Every time we step on a yoga mat, we detoxify our bodies. Yoga helps boost our immune system and improves digestion too. It also calms our mind; helping ease anxiety, depression, and fatigue.
As our joints become stiffer and muscles ache due to the drop in estrogen, yoga helps the body to loosen and lengthen so that we can enjoy improved flexibility and range of motion. Over time, yoga can improve our body alignment that will result in better posture and a flatter tummy as we slouch less. We also have yoga to thank for relieving back pain, sore necks, and many other common muscle problems.
Yoga also helps alleviate brain fog by helping to focus our mind; bringing us firmly to the present. With increased awareness of our body and breath, we can enjoy improvements in our overall wellbeing as we stress less about past and future events.
When it comes to weight gain, a regular yoga practice can help to raise our heart rate and burn off calories. However, it is the added mental and emotional benefits that inspire us to become more focused and conscious of what’s on our plate. A win win.
Yoga also comes to our rescue in post-menopause – when we are at threat of osteoporosis – with so many poses helping to strengthen our bone density.
And, let’s not forget balance – why I began yoga in the first place. Yoga helps bring our mind and body back into alignment and balance. This is so important as we age, and our balance deteriorates.
And, as the hormonal changes continue to swirl, yoga can help us connect with the deeper and more spiritual side of ourselves; giving us long lasting contentment and happiness.
Need I say more?
I could go on and on.
If after reading this, your interest is piqued, please join my FREE online class for beginners. It’s every Saturday at 10am EST / 3pm GMT. The only way to begin is to begin.
If you would like to join my Facebook Group – Yoga for Peri/Menopause – you will receive a FREE e-book: How to beat Menopause with Yoga
Don’t dismiss yoga before you have given it a go. And, if you haven’t already figured it out – the answer to the title question is……the Magic Wand.
You can reach Julie at:
Free class: www.yourselfyoga.com/book-online
Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/yogaforperiandmenopause