Menopause is a major turning point in the life of a woman directly related to her womanhood. Beginning of menopause marks the end of youth in a woman. It is the stage after which a woman is incapable of bearing a child. Menopause is caused when the production of estrogen hormone in the body is significantly decreased. Menopause is a stage of life not a disease.
EXACT AGE OF MENOPAUSE: The exact age of menopause differs from woman to woman. In normal women, menopause occurs somewhere between 45 to 50 years of age. In specific cases if there are surgical operations in the body like removal of uterus, it may occur earlier. It may also be late in some women due to many reasons. But, delay of menopause after 52 years is an indication of certain irregularities in the body. The ideal age of menopause is 50, affirms Sushruta, the great medical scientist of ancient India: The menstrual blood that is present in the body from the age of twelve comes to exhaustion at fifty after which the body is ruined by old age.
YOGIC MANAGEMENT OF MENOPAUSAL PROBLEMS: Yoga offers many practices to successfully manage the problems of menopause and its affects on women. Following are some of the practices which help in countering many problems of menopause: 1. Vaginal problems: Marjari Asana, Simhasana and Vyaghrasana help in toning up the female organ. They help in managing the vaginal problems like petechia, vaginal irritation and the like. 2. Prolapse: Vyaghrasana and Mulabandha help in contracting the vaginal region and hence help in preventing prolapse. 3. Urinary incontinence: Mulabandha is greatly helpful in preventing urinary incontinence. 4. Joint pain and osteoarthritis: Practice of various postures of Pavanamuktasana is a great help in managing joint pain and osteoarthiritis.
- Stooping shoulder and hunched back: Practice of Ustrasana, Ardhaustrasana, Bhujangasana and Sarpasana are extremely helpful in correcting and preventing the stooping shoulder and hunched back.
- Reduction of fat: Paschimottanasana, Yogamudra, Sasankasana, Naukasana, Agnisara Kriya, Kapalabhati and Bhastrika are helpful in reducing fats mainly from the abdominal area. Salabhasana is helpful in reducing fat from the thighs. Practice of Suryanamaskar is highly effective in reducing fat deposits from the whole body proportionately.
- Insomnia: Savasana, Matsyakridasana, Makarasana and Adhvasana relax the muscles of the body and relieve tension from the mind and hence are effective in combating insomnia. Irritation and anxiety are also reduced significantly when the physique is relaxed. Savasana has been described as a practice which relieves tiredness and gives rest to the mind.
- Ocular problems: Practice of Trataka is extremely helpful in managing the ocular problems. Swami Swatmarama is also of the view that Trataka cures many eye diseases.
- Lethargy: Trataka is equally helpful in removing lethargy. Trataka has been rightly described as a practice which removes the hurdle of lethargy. Suryanamaskara is an excellent practice for removing lethargy and inducing enthusiasm.
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