Yoga Therapy and Menopause


 نتيجة بحث الصور عن ‪Yoga Therapy and Menopause‬‏
1. Introduction
With today`s increased life expectancy, many women spend one-third of their life after menopause. Yogic life style aims to improve the body, the mind and everyday life
“The Heart of Yoga” gives some definitions ofYoga:
Yoga is the movement from one point to another, higher one;
Yoga is bringing together, unifying two things;
Yoga is action with undivided, uninterrupted attention.
These definitions of yoga have one thing in common: the idea that something changes. This change must bring us to point where we have never been before.
The most commonly performed Yoga practices are postures (asana), conscious breathing (pranayama), and meditation (dhyana). Yoga has known as a tool to maintain good health and prevent, deal or cure diseases.
Yoga tools were introduced in ancient texts as a system of self-empowerment and healing.  In old texts yoga is defined as a state of mind. During the menopausal period women start to shift their interest to developing their spiritual side. It is good time to become aware of oneself and also to support natural changes using the timeless wisdom of yoga in a practical way.
Ancient masters described human beings in a very complex way - everything is connected to everything. Understanding that we all have higher consciousness and wisdom inside us, is a big step towards a process of self–discovery.
In the work we would like to present yoga in a very practical way and to give wider and deeper understanding of human system. It will help to move forward and to be more conscious about these connections and through this to achieve higher level in spiritual development.
This work is based on ancient knowledge of Yoga and Ayurveda. Thanks to Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, T.K.V Desikachar and Kausthub Desikachar we have the opportunity to use knowledge of ancient tradition in a practical way.

Whatever place, whatever time, the ancestors have framed yoga practices to suit them all. Only the attitudes and circumstances of human beings changes.
T.K.V Desikachar and R.H. Cravens “Health, Healing and Beyond”



 نتيجة بحث الصور عن ‪Yoga Therapy and Menopause‬‏


2. Objective of Study
We chose this topic because we observed that women at the age of 47-61 in our groups had multiple menopausal symptoms. There where physical and psychological problems, wish to find a new meaning to life, and spiritual development. They had not found complete relief from modern medicine. Therefore we decided to turn to Traditional Yoga for finding supportive tools and methods. The purpose of this study was to present yoga as a method for coping with menopausal symptoms and help women to find ways to live healthier and happier life with deeper understanding of this natural process.

2.1. Theses
  1. Explaining the process of menopause through Yoga philosophy helps to understand this stage of life broader and deeper and to accept changes.
  2. At middle age a lot of patterns from the past are already well established. How to face and break down old patterns that are not useful anymore, and find new ones? It requires self-awareness and stability of mind.
  3. Fear is a basic feeling and belongs to our fundamental patterns. It is causing anxiety and stress. In menopausal period a lot of fears are appearing: ageing, diseases, loneliness, non-acceptance by society, losing job etc. Asana, pranayama and meditation as Yoga tools help to replace these patterns and give strength and courage to go through this process.
  4. During this period of life it is very important to work with concept of faith. It helps to find strength for personal development and to continue life journey in more positive way, finding joy and satisfaction in a deeper level. There are certain practices in Yoga, which help to reach the higher state of faith.
  5. Women’s physical and psychological health is in process of changing, bringing confusion and also predispositions for serious diseases. Traditional Yoga practice and Ayrveda are giving relief in many of these cases.
  6. Women are often helpless in front of emotional and hormonal instability that may cause sleeplessness, irritability, mood swings, depression and tensions in social relations. The suffering grows because of confusion in thoughts and feelings. Tightness appears on a body, breath and mind level. When practicing Yoga we use movements, pranayama, sounds, chant, meditation and teaching of yoga philosophy as tools for finding a state of clarity of the mind
  7.  Low self-consciousness, stressful life and illnesses decrease life energy. By practicing Yoga concentration and self-consciousness increases, bringing inner life force back and it appears by better life quality.
  8. During menopause the focus starts to move towards the spiritual part of personal development. The individual practice supported by group meetings gives motivation and helps to be interested about this process.
  9. Appropriate Yoga practice and trustable relationship between care-seeker and care-provider leads the care-seeker safely forward step-by-step.

3. Background and literature review
3.1. Background
Menopause is a normal process in a woman´s life. Explaining it through yoga philosophy will help us to accept and find out effective ways to go through this process. Women need support and instruction to accept the changes at different levels.
There are many women who would use natural support, but it is difficult to find in today´s scientific medicine. Teaching a new lifestyle and food habits, supported by individual yoga practice, gives a good base for the natural changes. Because of many side effects, there is fear and insecurity of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), in this case different kinds of alternative perspectives as Yoga and are helpful. Even if a woman uses HRT and wants to stop medication, it must be done slowly and replaced by something else that gives support. In this situation yoga therapy has many tools. Woman´s body will find its own resources when using natural way of coping with problems.
Medical help is not enough to overcome the fear of aging that many women have. The process of changes is very deep and not manageable only with medication. Fear is a fundamental feeling. Yoga system works with patterns, beliefs and deep feelings. When the person is ready, the change can take place step by step, supported by yoga teacher or yoga therapist.
There are many psychological problems in this period of life, and one of main questions is how to find courage and joy of living in this new situation. The spiritual part of one´s development becomes important.
The physical condition is going through dramatic changes. Very often women experience heaviness, weight gain, dryness of tissues, weakness, pain and other symptoms. Changes in body appearance and function decrease self-confidence and bring fear of diseases, depression and fatigue. Many women will start to fight against these changes with extreme diet, plastic surgery and excessive physical exercising. It creates a lot of stress and tension on both body and mind level. Yoga will help to accept changes in a gentle, suitable way through using wisdom of yoga philosophy, individual asana, pranayama and meditation practice. A good contact with yoga teacher or therapist will support the individual practice. This allows a woman to get deeper experience and understand herself, to go through these changes and to grow as a person.
Women are very often helpless in front of emotional instability during this period. It causes a lot of changes in sleeping patterns and difficulties in coping with everyday life. They need help to reduce irritability, mood swings and depression. Yoga as a holistic, self-empowering system, has methods of teaching how to achieve the state of clarity, how to get higher level of self-consciousness, how to take responsibility of emotions, and through this how to be more calm and better prepared for daily life.
Women experience feelings of loneliness very often during this period of life. Many women are alone, children have grown up, the partnership is not lasting anymore and low self-confidence keeps them alone at home. Joining with a peer support group (sanga) is an option in this situation. Women have a possibility to share their thoughts and experiences in a group.
Menstruation has stopped and because of that the very important cleaning system does not work anymore and it influences general health status: cardio-vascular diseases, joint aches, skin problems etc. Ancient knowledge of Yoga gives possibility to use a holistic way of helping women.
Woman´s physical and also psychological health is changing and because of that there are many predispositions for serious diseases. Reason for illnesses might be very different and healing has to be individual. Modern medicine interferes in an invasive way and healing process is not complete. In Yoga Therapy as a holistic approach, there is possibility to look at things from other side and to reach the cause of the problem.
During life every woman has lot of things that she needs to “digest” and solve. There is no possibility to postpone undigested and unsolved things beyond the time. In relationship with family, partner, friends, society, there are a lot of accumulated unsettled situations, misunderstandings and tensions needing to be completed. All these might cause many mental and physical illnesses in this period of life.
Since we live in a society where menopausal issues are rarely discussed openly (at least until fairly recently), many women are unaware of the symptoms that may occur during this time of their lives and in fact often find themselves bewildered by the changes they experience. This is important time of life and it helps to speak openly about it.
Every woman is unique and ultimately responsible for her own health and well-being. The action of every remedy is unique. The result of any treatment suggested herein cannot always be anticipated and never guaranteed.
Menopause is an opportunity for conscious change, not a disease to be treated. One idea of this work is to educate women and to give different options to solve menopausal symptoms.




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