I began doing Bikram Yoga 12 days ago (at age 60) and wondered today, “What if I had embraced it while I was going through menopause?” After all, many of the yoga poses truly do work on your organs that regulate and balance hormones, as well as your muscles, tendons, and arteries.So….I decided to see what I could find regarding how yoga, (Bikram in particular) can help with hormonal regulation. I found this article, written by Eleanor McKenzie.When I was going through menopause in my mid-50’s I discovered an amazing ‘PATCH LIKE’ product that when worn on the skin, offers quantum energy to the body. Today they are called Quantum Relief Strips www.DaveandJoy.comand are exclusive to a company called Tavala.These thin strips are made of synthetic silk and look like Band-aids with the letter Q on them. I remember that they helped balance my body, my chi and Chakras, and eventually my hormones so that my body came into balance. When it did- BAM, no more hot flashes or night sweats!
Flash forward to Bikram Yoga and how it can help women during hormonal shifts, menopause in particular.
On average, women experience menopause around age 51. (For me it was around 54 or 55) Some women hit menopause at a much younger age and have to cope with the physical and emotional impact of early menopause. Bikram yoga offers women help with the symptoms accompanying the hormonal changes — if you can stand being in a hot room when you have a hot flash.
Medical Support for Yoga
Doctors Charles Hammond and Lori Bastian at Duke University, and the menopause expert, Dr. Christiane Northrup give the thumbs-up to yoga for women with menopausal symptoms. All agree that it can balance hormones, reduce feelings of anxiety or depression, help you to sleep better, and it can help control hot flashes, which for many women is the most distressing symptom.
Dr. Bastian suggests that yoga also helps support women who are going through the menopause without using hormone replacement therapy, or those women who are trying to stop taking HRT.
Bikram yoga, performed in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit, may not seem an obvious choice for a menopausal woman, but Dr. Northrup suggests that if the heat is bearable then this form of yoga can help you stretch your muscles, a sentiment Bikram yoga instructors agree with.
She also points out that yoga helps stabilize your weight, reduces blood pressure and increases your overall fitness, making it easier for you to cope with the wide ranging number of menopause symptoms. Love To Know Yoga reports that some menopausal women love the rapid detoxification process Bikram provides, although it does warn that the heat of the room may be unsuitable for anyone experiencing regular hot flashes.
Bikram Yoga and Osteoporosis Study
Osteoporosis, or thinning of the bones, is a significant problem for a number of menopausal women, so the weight-bearing, but low impact, yoga postures are an aid to maintaining bone density. A 2010 study published in the scientific journal “Chinese Medicine” on the effects of Bikram yoga on osteoporosis and bone mineral density showed encouraging results for menopausal women. The study participants — a group of pre-menopausal women — took Bikram classes three times a week for three years. Bone scans were taken at the beginning and end of the study period. The results showed that the women had a bone mineral density above the average expected for healthy women of a comparable age who had not practiced Bikram yoga.
Bikram Yoga Considerations
According to Bikram Choudhury, if you do his yoga for 60 days it will totally transform your body, your mind and your life. However, before signing up for a Bikram class there are a few points to consider. If you have diabetes, cardiovascular or respiratory problems you might find that Bikram is too hot and too strenuous for you. If you have any of these conditions you should consult your doctor, and talk to a qualified Bikram instructor, before starting classes. Also, if you haven’t exercised for some time, you may find the Bikram yoga style too demanding for a beginner, and you may prefer a less strenuous Hatha yoga class.
If you do choose a Bikram class, stay well hydrated and alert the teacher if you experience discomfort, such as hot flashes.
So there you go…a potentially powerful way for women to take control of their body, their hormones and get mega health benefits. I am not sure I would have been open to Bikram Yoga back when I was going through menopause- I was more into the weight training fitness programs like P90X which both Dave and I did together twice, back to back. 180 days- wow!
If you are experiencing hormonal shifts/changes in your life (whether it is menopause or not) I suggest giving Bikram yoga a try. Also use the Quantum Relief Strips, placed below your belly on the Dan Tien. The strips will help balance your body’s energy, chi, Chakras etc. and allow your body to reach a peaceful, comfortable place where it can self-regulate what it needs.
Give the Quantum Relief Strips time to work….especially on hormones. I don’t recall if it was in my first 28-days or 2nd month using them when I began to notice tremendous benefits!
Aren’t our bodies miracles?
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