Yoga is more than just a form of exercise, stretching, and relaxation. Certain yoga poses can actually help alleviate some of the symptoms of menopause. It can also help you to feel rejuvenated during the changes that menopause and post-menopause can have on your body.
Some Benefits of Yoga
Yoga can help the body in many different ways. One of the reasons it is so helpful during menopause is that yoga can help with hormonal imbalances within the body. Which is a large part of menopause as your body is transitioning to the decrease of many different sex hormones at once.
Here are a few other benefits that yoga can provide during menopause:
- Reduce Stress- Yoga is great to help reduce physical and mental stress when done regularly. Breathe is very important when doing yoga and these breathing techniques can help to lower anxiety and tension within the mind and body.
- Lower Blood Pressure- By reducing stress, yoga in turn helps to lower your blood pressure and promotes blood circulation. This can help to reduce a common menopause symptom- night sweats.
Yoga Poses to Help Ease Menopause Symptoms
Whether you have done yoga before, or are just starting out, we have put together a few poses that will help you to alleviate some symptoms you may find yourself experiencing, as well as to help your body feel good!
- Sit in a relaxed position.
- Keeping your shoulders down, inhale through your nostrils into lowest part of lungs, and watch your belly moving outward.
- Exhale completely before your next inhale.
- Repeat 10 times
- Lie down on a mat with your knees bent and your feet flat, placed hip-width apart and close to your butt. Your arms should be by your sides.
- Relax and focus on your breathing. As you let your body sink into the mat, feel your back lengthen and release. Firm your butt and draw your tailbone toward your heels to protect your lower back.
- Press your feet into the mat, slowly lift your spine upward as you inhale, raise your pelvis as high as is comfortable.
- Keep breathing. You can stay in this pose for a few breaths or longer, if desired.
- When you feel ready, exhale and slowly roll back down.
Bound Angle Pose
This pose is great for hot flashes.
- Sit with your legs straight out in front of you, raising your pelvis on a blanket if your hips or groins are tight.
- Exhale, bend your knees, pull your heels toward your pelvis, then drop your knees out to the sides and press the soles of your feet together.
- Bring your heels as close to your pelvis as you comfortably can. With the first and second finger and thumb, grasp the big toe of each foot. Always keep the outer edges of the feet firmly on the floor. If it isn’t possible to hold the toes, clasp each hand around the same-side ankle or shin.
- Firm the sacrum and shoulder blades against the back and lengthen the front torso through the top of the sternum.
- Never force your knees down. Instead release the heads of the thigh bones toward the floor. When this action leads, the knees follow.
- Stay in this pose anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes. Then inhale, lift your knees away from the floor, and extend the legs back to their original position.
Downward Facing Dog
This pose is great for memory.
- Kneel on all fours. Knees should be underneath hip bones, and hands, with fingers spread, should be one-hand’s distance forward of shoulders.
- On an exhale, lift your butt toward the ceiling, pressing into the floor through your hands.
- Let your head hang between your arms. Breathe smoothly and naturally for several breaths.
- Release your body back down to all fours.
- Sit back on your heels, while lowering your torso and head to the floor. Rest in this position for several breaths.
Upward- Facing Dog
This pose is great for depression and mood swings.
- Lie face down with feet hip-width apart and the tops of your feet pressing into the mat. Place hands, with fingers spread, on either side of your chest, keeping elbows close to your body.
- Draw tailbone toward heels to protect lower back.
- Inhale and lift torso and hips off the floor, straightening arms. Keep shoulders drawn down and back.
- Look forward, keeping neck long and relaxed.
- Press down through your hands as you keep your body lifting away from the floor. Breathe.
- On an exhalation, lower your body to the floor. Place your arms by your sides and turn your head to the right for a couple of breaths; repeat with your head turned left.
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
This pose is great for fatigue.
- Exhale and lower your back torso toward the floor, first leaning on your hands. Once you are leaning back on your forearms, use your hands to spread the back of your pelvis and release your lower back and upper buttocks through your tailbone.
- Bring your torso all the way to the floor, supporting your head and neck on a blanket roll or bolster if needed.
- With your hands grip your topmost thighs and rotate your inner thighs externally, pressing your outer thighs away from the sides of your torso.
- Next slide your hands along your outer thighs from the hips toward the knees and widen your outer knees away from your hips.
- Then slide your hands down along your inner thighs, from the knees to the groin. Imagine that your inner groins are sinking into your pelvis.
- Push your hip points together, so that while the back pelvis widens, the front pelvis narrows. Lay your arms on the floor, angled at about 45 degrees from the sides of your torso, palms up.
- To start, stay in this pose for one minute. Gradually extend your stay anywhere from five to 10 minutes.
- To come out, use your hands to press your thighs together, then roll over onto one side and push yourself away from the floor, head trailing the torso.
Big Toe Pose
This pose is great for anxiety, irritability, and insomnia.
- Stand upright with your inner feet parallel and about six inches apart. Contract your front thigh muscles to lift your kneecaps. Keeping your legs completely straight, exhale and bend forward from your hip joints, moving your torso and head as one unit.
- Slide the index and middle fingers of each hand between the big toes and the second toes. Then curl those fingers under and grip the big toes firmly, wrapping the thumbs around the other two fingers to secure the wrap. Press your toes down against your fingers. (If you can’t reach your toes without overly rounding your back, pass a strap under the ball of each foot and hold the straps.)
- With an inhalation, lift your torso as if you were going to stand up again, straightening your elbows. Lengthen your front torso, and on the next exhale, lift your sitting bones.
- Lift the top of your sternum as high as you can, but take care not to lift your head so far that you compress the back of your neck. Keep your forehead relaxed.
- For the next few inhalations, lift your torso strongly as you continue to actively contract your front thighs; on each successive exhalation, strongly lift your sitting bones as you consciously relax your hamstrings.
- Finally exhale, bend your elbows out to the sides, pull up on your toes, lengthen the front and sides of your torso, and gently lower into the forward bend.
- Hold the final position for one minute. Then release your toes, bring your hands to your hips, and re-lengthen your front torso.
- With an inhale, swing your torso and head as a single unit back to upright.