On thing we women have problems with is our hormones. In the yogic tradition we call the hormones "the guardians of the soul". Sounds kind of beautiful, right? They affect us so much. Our physical health, our emotional health our well being. It can be quite confusing with hormones. The endocrine system is rather complex and the hormones also affect each other. So I asked my friend Robyn at Hormone Diva to sort things out when it comes to hormones. Check out her website and her products. She is selling tea for cramps and hot flashes. You can take a quiz on her website to have an idea what hormone imbalance you have. Enjoy the post!
The amount of women with hormonal imbalances continues to rise at pretty staggering rates. So many women are plagued with infertility, bothersome periods and wicked menopause that it’s practically epidemic. The truth here is that even though the numbers may show experiencing these things is ‘normal’, in reality it’s far from it.
My periods were always irregular- right from being a 12 year old girl getting her period for the first time to very recently. When I was younger I didn’t know that was wrong. I also didn’t realize that the depression, weight gain and extreme fatigue I felt wasn’t normal. Eventually I found out I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and finally had a reason for my problems. That reason is hormonal imbalance!
To help you decide whether what you are feeling is normal or not, the major signs of hormonal imbalance are listed below. While this list is by no means exhaustive (there are over 150 symptoms for PMS alone!!) they are the major ones most women I come across are experiencing.
Irregular, Painful or Absent Periods
Menstrual periods, on average, should come every between every 21 to 35 days. Most women average around 28 days. If your cycles are not within this range, it is very likely you have a hormonal imbalance. There is a delicate balance between what the brain signals and how our body creates hormones. When this is disrupted, you may experience irregular or absent periods. The most common cause of this is too much estrogen and too little progesterone. The same goes if your periods are very painful. Menstrual cramps shouldn’t keep you chained to the bed for days or using up that bottle of Midol.
Anxiety, Irritability and Depression
Life has its ups and downs. We all experience moments of feeling sad, dejected or downright pissed off. This is a normal and wonderfully frustrating part of life. If you feel particularly depressed or anxious much of the time (or before your period) than it’s possible you have a hormonal imbalance. The cause of these symptoms ranges from the standard excess estrogen to low progesterone to nutrient deficiency and poor digestion. If you feel the emotional symptoms of a hormonal imbalance, and are truly suffering or feeling out of control, consult a doctor or therapist.
Belly Fat and/or Persistent Weight Gain
Ahhh. . .the dreaded belly fat!! We are a very image-driven society, and you may be feeling the pressure of the media, family, friends or general ideals of what beauty is. Skinny with a taut tummy isn’t the norm and you should love yourself no matter what. That being said, excessive belly fat (like the kind pouring over your waistband) is dangerous to your health. The belly fat is usually a result of imbalanced hormones- namely insulin and cortisol. Controlling blood sugar and stress response respectively, an imbalance in one will cause an imbalance in the other. Excessive estrogen or low thyroid function could also be a cause of this.
Fatigue or Low Stamina
If you are feeling sluggish, fatigued or exhausted- your hormones could be imbalanced. Remember that stress-managing hormone cortisol? It is manufactured in your adrenal glands, glands that sit atop your kidneys. If you are chronically stressed your adrenals become too tired to manage your stress hormones, and sex hormones take a hit. This is extremely common for women with horrible PMS or menopause symptoms. All the energy you want is there for the taking, and once hormones are in balance, you will be able to roll with the punches and live your days high on life.
Trouble falling asleep. Trouble staying asleep. Tossing and turning. Waking feeling unrested. These are the most common sleep disturbances you might experience. If you are headed in the direction of menopause or just have vicious PMS and having sleep problems- it could be your hormones. As we age, our ability to produce melatonin (the sleepy hormone) decreases. Combine that with lowered estrogen and calming progesterone, sleep can be hard to come by. If sleep disturbance plagues you it could mean hormonal imbalance.
Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
Probably the most common menopausal symptom I see it hot flashes. You may feel all of a sudden very hot, your face may be flushed and you could also feel anxious during a hot flash. These episodes can be extremely disruptive to your life. Night sweats are essentially hot flashes that happen at night, and may wake you from sleep. As if sleep wasn’t already hard to come by! Hot flashes can occur because too much estrogen compared to too little progesterone. Thyroid, adrenal, digestive and other imbalances can cause hot flashes.
Acne or Skin Problems
As a woman with PCOS, I’m all too familiar with the plague that is adult acne. In the case of PCOS, the acne is most often due to excess estrogen and testosterone, creating very oily skin prone to deep, cystic breakouts. If you acne predominates your chin and jawline, it’s likely that hormonal imbalance is the cause. If you skin is dry, thinning or itchy, menopause (including low estrogen) and underachieve thyroid could be to blame.
From young to old, many women experience bouts of low sex drive. You may even notice that your libido is higher during certain times in your cycle. Often low libido is caused by low estrogen, in the case of fertile and menopausal women. Stressed out adrenal and thyroid glands can cause hormonal imbalances leading to low libido as well.
You may be feeling overwhelmed with trying to figure out what is going on with your body. There are so many answers and even more possibilities. Putting all of your symptoms together to complete your body puzzle is the first step to making positive change. This quiz will do just that, and help you with your next steps.
By: Robyn Srigley
Robyn Srigley is The Hormone Diva, a women’s holistic health coach. Robyn’s own journey with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) jumpstarted her passion for helping women replace their anxieties with joy to open possibility in their lives and break free of hormonal imbalance. Robyn is the health writer for her local BUZZ Magazine, is a regular contributor to Be Prepared Period.com and is featured on MindBodyGreen. You can find out more about her work at www.thehormonediva.com
I have a passionate relationship. It makes me to connect with my inner self. I feel like I become vibrant & full of light and love. I´m talking about mantras. Mantras are included in Kundalini yoga and MediYoga tradition (the yoga form I teach). You chant it mentally as it helps keeping focus and you chant it loudly in meditations and sometimes in the yoga poses. Actually it was the mantras that made me fall in love with yoga in the beginning. Here´s my story & why mantras is good for you.
I had practiced yoga for about one year. I felt that this was something that truly got a hold on me deeply I couldn´t explain. In the summer I went to a yoga festival in a beautiful place on an island in Sweden. It was in the beginning of June and I had just finished my first yoga therapy 40 days challenge. (Actually that was the same program as the yoga program Empower & Balance) It had sure been a challenge doing yoga every day, but those 40 days with yoga as a therapy made big changes in me. Being a total nervous wreck and close to a breakdown before the therapy I had transformed into an amazing balanced person in harmony. Steady as a rock. It was in this state I found out about the yoga festival and me and some friends went there.
The place was beautiful with long beaches. I couldn´t believe it, it was like being abroad on an island in the Mediterranean somewhere. There were a lot of activities during the days. It started at 4 am and ended late in the evening. It was yoga classes outdoors and different kinds of workshops. I was of course very curious about the yoga that started at 4 am in the morning at the beach. And I was determined that I would participate at least once in the early morning. I decided to sleep on the beach the night before. That was a bad idea, it was freezing cold as it can be in early June in Sweden by the ocean. Anyway, the yoga started at 4 am. We woke up to some beautiful raga music. (Indian music) And the yoga started directly afte that. 1 ½ hour of yoga and after that 1 hour with mantra songs. I had of course been singing mantras before but these mantras were a little bit different, more difficult to remember and to sing. Fortunately there were handouts to follow the mantras.
Next to me a man was sitting, and he had probably sung this one hour Aquarian Sadhana a thousands of times. It was beautiful. It was like the mantras flew straight into my heart. It was love at first "sight", or should I say "singing".
We were sitting there for one hour singing on this beautiful beach and I felt that I was home. I belonged there together with those mantras. I don´t know about you but I believe in reincarnation and what I felt there at that moment, was that I must have done this before somehow in another lifetime. What these mantras did to me felt like coming to heaven.
Why is it good to sing mantras?
That singing makes you feel good, may not come as a surprise. There is something in the vibrations that reaches deep inside of you and in the yogic tradition it is also said that the tongue touches points in the mouth that has an acupressure effect. It affects the brain. What I feel and what my students also say about singing mantras is that it makes you feel good.
1. It increases your intelligence
Yes you heard right! It has been shown in studies that music can increase you IQ. In a study in US the IQ numbers were increased from 110 to 119. The music they used in that study was Mozart, (so I don´t know what affect other kind of music could have).
2. It can have a huge impact on your brain
Alzheimers Research & Prevention Foundation has been making studies on one particular Mantra meditation: Kirtan Kriya. In their studies they found out that Kirtan Kriya for just 12 minutes a day can improve cognition and activate parts of the brain that are central to memory. By the way, this is the meditation in Empower & Balance. It´s a very powerful and transformational meditation everyone should do in their yoga practice at one point in their lives.
3. Mantras help you to control your mind
Mantras can be a tool to help you to control your mind. Focusing on a mantra mentally or singing it, helps you not to be in your chattering thoughts. Focusing on mantra makes it more difficult for your thoughts to wonder around.
4. It has healing effect
From a yogic perspective mantra is about healing and open up your flow of energy in your chakras. The Indian yogis carefully and in detail have investigated the mantra vibratory effects for many centuries, and with its help linked up into a higher state of consciousness in harmony with the universe. One mantra that I love, is included in the yoga program Connect and Heal. it has a very lovingly healing effect.
5. It is a kind of affirmation
When you repeat a mantra, either in your meditation or in your yoga practice, the mantra in itself has a meaning. For example: One mantra we use in my yoga form is Sat Nam. It means I am true or Truth is my name. Repeating this mantra over and over again has some effect on you. For me personally the meaning of the mantra is not so important. I rarely remember the meanings. I just have trust that the mantra will do its good work anyway.
Why use mantras and not words you use in your own language?
It has been shown in a study in Sweden mantras have a better effect than, let´s say, just ordinary words like chair or table. It affects other parts of the brain. For me singing in an ancient language makes me feel more in harmony. Sometimes it can even be an advantage not to know the meaning of the mantra. But sometimes we actually sing in English in my yoga classes, but it´s very rare. What I hear a lot from my students is that they really love mantras. It makes them feel good.
Now I know that whenever I feel a little bit out of balance I can get some help coming back in harmony again singing some mantras. It is actually one of my best medicines to come back in balance again.
Do you use mantras? What kind of mantras?
If you are curious about singing mantras I can recommend two of my recently released yoga programs. Both of them have mantras included in the meditation.
Popular blog posts
A Breathing Meditation that helps to re-energize, detox & beat the heat
A quick health tip for your back and shoulders
A Yoga pose for sensitive people
How to get less affected by people
A Breathing exercise for anxiety & depression
Are you struggling with anxiety?
Five ways to get rid of your headcahe
One minute meditation
Yoga to start your day
Do you want to
LOWER YOUR STRESS, get more relaxed in your hips & pelvis and MORE BALANCED & EMPOWERED?
Get your ⤵
Helen Kåselöv is a yoga teacher and yoga therapist and the founder of Healing from within with yoga & food (former Yoga for Endometriosis & Pelvic pain). Helen has a history of severe endometriosis and is today helping women with endometriosis, PCOS, uterine fibroids and other pelvic pain online, with yoga, nutrition and other lifestyle changes. Using yoga both as a tool in different kinds of healing programs, pain management, yoga has become the foundation in her work. “Yoga can help you in so many ways: Physically, mentally, spiritually and as a personal development tool.”