By Cathy Howe
Yoga has recently received the credit it deserves as a means of achieving a healthier, more balanced and less stressful lifestyle. (Finally!) Yoga is also widely touted for its highly effective therapeutic value in treating some of the everyday — and not so everyday — aches, pains and anxieties that can disrupt our lives.
For many women, menopause is a very disruptive and unsettling stage of life. Not only does it usher in heightened and more frequent states of anxiety, it also adds layers of stress and uncertainty to already-overloaded lives, along with concerns and questions about the physical changes taking place in our bodies.
If you search the Internet for information about managing the “symptoms” of menopause, you will find no shortage of resources, recommendations and “prescriptions” for navigating the transition from the reproductive to the post-reproductive years in a woman’s life; but calling the side effects of menopause “symptoms,” as we often do, is to classify it as something that needs to be cured, circumvented or “fixed” when, in fact, it is simply a natural progression in the female life cycle that needs our understanding. Even so, menopause can be fraught with uncomfortable side effects as the body shifts from one life stage to the next.
Yoga for menopause can help. Yoga’s tool kit is perfectly suited for the topics that are most concerning for the majority of women — how to manage hot flashes, how to maintain healthy bones and even tips for improving mental focus (“where did I leave my car keys?”) and relieving irritability.
But, what if you have never done yoga and don’t know where to start? What if your days of youthful athleticism are far behind you or never occurred at all? What if you don’t know a downward facing dog from a stray cat or haven’t touched your toes in years? What then?
In Yoga for Menopause at Sunrise Yoga, students explore simple and accessible yoga postures requiring no previous experience, as well as basic breathing and meditation techniques that can help cool the body and soothe an agitated disposition. Students also learn some of the reasons behind the side effects of menopause — what’s happening to our bodies, and why — and receive tips for continuing their practice at home.
And just as important as the physical benefits of yoga, students may also discover a sense of camaraderie — friendship and fun with like-minded women who are coping with the same concerns.
The six-week series is offered on Tuesday evenings and is designed for the woman whose menopausal experience is either on the horizon, in progress, on the wane or completely “over.” There are no age restrictions or physical requirements — couch potatoes with creaky knees and stiff joints are welcome! Class size is intentionally small to allow for the comfortable exploration of this very personal side of a woman’s life journey.
To find out more, contact Sunrise Yoga at 336.778.1233, or visit SunriseYoga.net. Let yoga help you move comfortably across the threshold to a new and deeply rewarding stage of life.