I have to confess that I've never taken to yoga. I've been to a few classes and liked them; I once even bought a yoga mat to practice poses at home, but the last time I used it was 8 years ago when Max was learning to walk, and I would lay it down on our hardwood floors to cushion his falls.
So I was rather relieved when I wasn't assigned to the yoga group as part of a recent clinical trial on exercise and menopausal symptoms. But perhaps I shouldn't have been.
A new, just-published study in the journalMenopausefound that women who took yoga classes twice a week for 4 months rated their menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes and insomnia, as mild, compared to their non-yogi counterparts.
The study was small – only 44 women. One group of 15 did nothing; one group did yoga; and another did stretching exercises with a physical therapist. Those who did nothing reported the most bothersome symptoms, including insomnia. But interestingly, both the yoga and stretching group rated their symptoms about the same – mild compared to the other group.
"We are not saying that yoga can cure postmenopausal symptoms," Dr. Helena Hachul, one of the study authors, told Reuters Health. "But it can improve and relieve them."
Though the results of the study need to be confirmed in a larger population, and though there were no description of which poses or stretches helped, I believe any form of relaxation can help. It seems like a no-brainer to me.
Perhaps I'll dig up that yoga mat from the basement, if I didn't sell it at our last garage sale.
Video: Yoga Remedies : Yoga for Menopause Symptoms
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