This month we talk to Anna Paskins, Yoga Alliance & Body Balance Instructor. Her teacher training commenced in 2018 where she undertook a course for teaching exercise to music, specifically for stretching, improving core stability and relaxation. In 2019, her passion for yoga continued and she visited South-East Asia to adopt and learn a more traditional Eastern style of yoga. The teachers here inspired her to undertake the RYT 200 yoga course in a not-for-profit organisation in Cambodia, that works to provide water to Iocal villages. She is now a self-confessed ‘Yogi’, sharing her journey and recommend yoga to anyone and everyone to try.
Here Anna discusses how Yogic breathing can help beat brain fog during the menopause.
Have you recently made a cup of tea and let it go cold, before remembering that you made it? How about forgetting where you placed your car key or perhaps spending minutes searching for your glasses to find them sitting right on top of your head?
These are just some of the few everyday forgetful things we do as we go about our daily lives. However, you may have found that since being in the menopause, that forgetfulness is a more frequent occurrence – fear not, you are not alone. In fact, research by Pauline Maki, (director of women’s health research at the University of Illinois) states that 60% of women in perimenopause and menopause report that their memory is not as good as it used to be!
So why are we in a constant cloud of forgetfulness and confusion called ‘Brain Fog’ and what can be done to help?
‘Brain Fog’ put simply is mental fatigue. Menopause can cause many symptoms such as insomnia (worsened by night-time hot flushes and night sweats), anxiety and stress which as a result leads to our minds overworking in a tired state. After a restless night it can be hard to concentrate on work or tasks at hand, and our mind ends up in a scramble. However, there are some amazing tools out there to help declutter your mind, centre your thoughts and it takes all but 5 minutes!
Have you noticed that when your mind is in a spin, panic, or even brain fog, your breath quickens, your heartrate increases and your body tenses? This is your central nervous system talking. Yogic breath work is an ancient practice used for thousands of years and has shown that paying attention to our breath can centre your mind, relax your body and even aid clarity of thought.
How to practice yogic breath work to help the brain:
- Sit or lay in a comfortable position (whether that’s on the floor cross legged or simply lying in bed). Close your eyes.
- Take a deep breath in through your nose counting for 4 long counts. Feel the breath rise all the way up from your belly, into your lungs and reach your eyebrows.
- Hold for 4 counts. Breathe out through your nose for 8 counts and feel your body relax and let go of all tension.
- Once you have done this a few times, you can then start to raise your arms up above your head with the in-breath and lower them with the out-breath.
- Repeat for 5 minutes.
- Do this twice a day morning and night and your mind and body will be centred, clarified and forever thankful.