a yoga practice for menopause symptom relief

YOGA FOR MENOPAUSE SYMPTOMS, PART 1.

This is a gentle, 20-30 minute, “meno-pro” yoga practice great for relieving symptoms, aiding in stress reduction, sleep induction and overall good health and mood elevation. [Join a TUNE class or workshop to further your practice or learn more specifically about how to manage your menopause symptoms. Details here.]

In managing symptoms, one study showed yoga cut hot flashes by 31%. Others have found regular yoga improved libido, mood and craving control. Gentle, cooling poses (which are shown below) and mindfulness meditation (look for future blog posts here as well as other resources) can sedate the sympathetic (fight or flight) side of the nervous system allowing the parasympathetic nervous system to take over – slowing heart rate and bringing systems back into balance.

Also, as in some of the poses groupings below:
– heart/chest opening poses (mountain pose with cactus arms/backbend, bridge) can lift the spirit and open emotional blockages such as depression and mood swings; overall impacting rejuvenation and fighting off fatigue
– gentle inversions (puppy pose, downward dog, forward fold) can help with insomnia and relieve anxiety
– restorative poses (child’s pose, spinal twist, legs up the wall, savasana) help the body deeply rest and recover
– pelvic floor activation (mula bandha) helps regain control of urinary urgency and frequencies
– pranayama (breathwork) helps with concentration and centering, lifting fogginess – research shows a decrease in hot flashes by 44% with regular yogic breath practice. Check back for a blog post on a few more breathing exercises.

NOTE: yoga has also been proven to help with osteoporosis and shown to fight heart disease (two serious medical conditions associated with menopause)

PRACTICE SPECIFICS
– hold each pose for 5-10 breaths or longer
– listen to your body and modify as needed
– do all or part of this sequence as often as possible
– contact me with questions

  1. SITTING/ BREATH AWARENESS: 10 breaths relaxed,
    10 breaths Ujjayi, 5 rounds of breath with mula bandha
    sit on pillow or bolster or chair, hips higher than knees, back straight, shoulders back and down, face relaxed
  2. MOUNTAIN POSE WITH ARMS OVERHEAD
    stand feet parallel to each other, legs strong, shoulders back and down, reach arms overhead with palms facing, shoulders and face relax
  3. FORWARD FOLD, ARMS CROSSED
    feet same position as #2, legs remain strong, elongate spine as you fold over legs, torso descends toward legs, arms cross, head hangs, breathe
  4. CHILD’S POSE – VARIATION AT THE WALL
    arm distance from wall, kneeling with toes together, hips at heels and knees wider than hips, reach hands to wall, elbows straight, elongate spine
  5. CHILD’S POSE – TRADITIONAL TO FLOOR
    same leg position as above, push away from wall, descend upper body to floor (or arms or prop), head and neck and shoulders relax, deep breaths
  6. DOWNWARD FACING DOG
    classic inversion, from hands + knees curl toes and lift hips, head in line with arms, elbows straight, spine long, legs strong
  7. BRIDGE POSE
    start on back, knees bent, root down through feet to lift hips (squeeze glutes to protect low back), draw chest to chin, hands reach toward feet
  8. RECLINED HAMSTRING STRETCH
    (need strap, band or towel) start on back, place strap on right foot and lift to ceiling, keeping both legs straight, relax shoulders, switch
  9. SPINAL TWIST
    on back, reach arms to side, bring right knee into chest and rotate over to left passing left leg on or toward floor, keep shoulders relaxed, switch
  10. LEGS UP THE WALL
    scoooootch butt right up against a wall, lift legs up wall then separate a few feet, arms overhead relaxed or at side, eyes closed, steady breath

[Again, a home practice is GREAT, but come to class too! Find something that suits your needs here.]

[Also, for general information on menopause, check back for additional blog posts and listen to this podcast.]