Yoga for Menopause
Menopause can be one of the most challenging parts of a woman’s life, lasting for any number of years. You might be reading about Hormone Replace Therapy and wondering if you have any alternatives for treating the hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, fatigue, irritability, anxiety and insomnia. Yes, indeed you do! Yoga can help with the vast majority of menopause symptoms if practiced regularly. Downward Facing Dog is a great pose to help alleviate symptoms of menopause. It brings blood to the brain, induces a state of calm, stretches the upper back and legs, strengthens the arms and helps prevent osteoporosis. Meditation and Pranayama (breathing techniques) are also great ways to relieve anxiety and irritability.
Downward facing dog
Downward facing dog is the Adho Mukha Svanasana. Begin on all fours. Curl your toes under and draw your hips up toward the ceiling into an inverted ‘V’ position. Spread out your fingers like Starfish and press them into the mat. Root your palms into the Earth. Bring your shoulders away from your ears; keep your head in between your upper arms. Press your heels toward the mat. Breathe.
Mindfully keeping the back straight, avoiding the tendency to bow the low back. We want to reach the tailbone back and up and we push away with our hands. Keeping the core engaged to protect the low back.
Downward Facing Dog can also be done with a chair as a prop if you have trouble getting up and down from the floor or are taking care of your wrists. You would stand facing the seat of a chair (a kitchen table chair would work fine). Press your hips back so they are over your ankles into a Downward Facing Dog. Press your palms into the seat of the chair and away from your hips, creating length in the spine.
Bee’s Breath or Brahmari Yoga
Bee’s breath is the Brahmari yoga routine. Come to comfortable seated position. Use your first fingers to gently plug your ears. Inhale through your nose and as you exhale, hum softly. Creating a noise that resembles a bee ‘buzzing’. Draw your focus inward, on the sound of your breath. Repeat about 5 times. The breath should be quite calming and cleansing.