Yoga and "mind body" type programs are constantly showing more and more benefits. Even though you may find yourself feeling extremely inflexible and uncoordinated when you try yoga, it's worth it to keep going especially if you have tight muscles (including low back) and now recently if you are experiencing the symptoms of menopause. According to a study presented at the 52nd annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine(ACSM), yoga and pilates have shown these benefits.
This study looked at the effects of yoga on quality of life and flexibility in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women.
* Researchers at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in Pomona studied six women, ages 44 to 62, who participated in a one-hour-long yoga class twice a week for eight weeks. Participants were also given a home exercise program, and instructed to practice on the days when they were not in class. The yoga program used in the study was lyengar, which focuses on a specific sequence of poses that address menstrual disorders, menopause and pregnancy.
* “Five of the six women who participated in the yoga program had an increase in low back flexibility, and five out of six had reduced menopause symptoms,” said M. Alysia Mastrangelo, Ph.D., PT, lead author of the study. “Those who experienced menopause relief had a decrease in hot flashes and night sweats.”
* Mastrangelo points out that a benefit of increased flexibility is that this often helps reduce lower back pain. In addition, more flexibility can one to more easily perform activities of daily living such as housekeeping, gardening and shopping.
Yoga is great and I love doing it. As a runner I see great benefits from it. It helps with my flexibility and certain poses require stability, strength, balance and coordination. Who doesn't need a little more of that? Now it has shown to help with menopause. Find a class and tell the instructor it's your first time and she/he will help you with the poses. If you did yoga before and didn't like it, find a different type of yoga. There are all different type of practices out there and you may find one that fits you.