Hold That Pause
Hold That Pause

Yoga for Anxiety and Depression in Perimenopause

Viniyoga DVDsThis past week we had a lively discussion on Facebook on the topic of anxiety and depression in perimenopause. It is a topic I’ve addressed at great length here at Hold that Pause.

There’s a reason for that, too. It’s a huge problem for women in perimenopause. Right up there next to the, “I think I’m going crazy” symptom of perimenopause. Which is probably why the only solutions the medical community seems to have are anti-anxiety medication and anti-depressants.  

While it bothers me to no end, I will admit there is a time and a place for these medications. The last thing I want to do is heap guilt on women who might feel they are their best option. I have certainly taken them myself, so far be it from me to point fingers.

But, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look for better alternatives, and frankly, any time we can avoid taking medication to treat our physical symptoms, I’m all for it.  Last week, I did a post on using imagery, positive affirmations, and deep breathing as a treatment for anxiety in perimenopause. As one who has had more than her fair share of anxiety attacks, and even full blown panic attacks, I know these techniques work.

I’m also quite fond of Yoga as an alternative to drugs. Due to my lifelong affliction of scoliosis, numerous ruptured disks, and the onset of osteoarthritis, I live with a level of pain that is difficult for me to articulate to most people. Because of my aversion to narcotics to manage the pain, I have relied on alternative treatments such as trigger point and deep tissue massage, various forms of exercise, and a technique of Yoga called Viniyoga

To date, I’ve never found a technique of Yoga which managed my back pain as effectively as Viniyoga. So I was completely delighted when I recently learned that Gary Kraftsow, the founder and director of the American Viniyoga Institute, has also designed Viniyoga techniques to treat anxiety and depression.

Like all of the Viniyoga exercises, the techniques focus on breathing, repetition, and good form. Viniyoga is also gentle. So if you haven’t been active in your life, or do not feel you have the physical strength or flexibility to do Yoga, it will be perfect for you.

Gary Kraftsow explains in great detail in the DVDs, the different physiological and psychological issues which can cause anxiety and depression. He even addresses hormone imbalance, though only briefly. While I personally highly recommend the Viniyoga techniques as an alternative therapy for anxiety and depression in perimenopause, I also want to emphasize they are not a cure-all, and should not be relied upon in isolation as a quick fix.

Good eating habits, restful sleep, simplifying your life, addressing hormone imbalance, and any possible adrenal fatigue or thyroid dysfunction should also be part of your treatment plan for addressing anxiety and depression in perimenopause.

That said, I cannot recommend Viniyoga enough. If you are looking for alternatives to anti-anxiety medications and anti-depressants to treat anxiety and depression in perimenopause, try Viniyoga.

Magnolia Miller is a certified healthcare consumer advocate in women's health and a women's freelance health writer and blogger at The Perimenopause Blog.

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Tags: Complimentary & Alternative Therapies

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About the Author

Magnolia is dedicated to empowering women to take responsibility for their own health.