Yoga for Menopause
A daily yoga routine will help provide the three most important elements of a workout for menopausal and post-menopausal women--endurance, strength, and stability--combined with the following poses which are designed to help the body adjust to the abnormal hormonal levels associated with menopause. The Child’s Pose at the end of the routine is especially helpful for those suffering from hot flashes.
Tadasana into Forward Fold
- Begin standing with feet under hips, heart above pelvis, head above heart and hands at your side. Breathe deeply two full breaths.
- On an inhale, spread your arms to either side of you and reach above your head, extending your fingers to the ceiling.
- Face your palms forward and reach back with your fingers gently, giving a gentle back bend.
- On the exhale, lean forward until your torso is parallel with the floor.
- Inhale and on the exhale, relax your body towards the floor in forward fold. Bend your knees gently.
- On the next inhale, reach your arms to either side of you and bring yourself to standing as you reach towards the sky going into the gentle back bend and then down again to forward fold on the exhale. Repeat 2 or 3 times.
Forward Fold on Palms
- From the forward fold position, place both palms under your toes. If your palms do not reach you can place the fingers or hold the toes. Hold for 3 breaths.
Single Leg Forward Bend
- Stand with feet hip-distance and hands on hips. Step one leg forward, keeping both feet flat on the floor and facing forward.
- Inhale, raising your arms above your head and into a gentle back bend.
- On the exhale, fold your upper body over your front leg, letting your arms go to your front leg or the floor.
- Hold for 2 breaths, then come up on the inhale.
- Place both hands on your hips and turn the toes 90 degrees.
- Turn both feet to face the other side, this time with the opposite leg in front, and perform your forward fold on this leg.
A variation of this exercise can be done with the arms clasped behind your back when moving into the forward fold. This should only be attempted when you are sure you have the stability to perform this move safely.
Extended Child’s Pose
- Sit back on your heels with your toes touching and your knees spread wide apart. The tops of your feet are on the floor.
- Reach your arms above your head as you inhale, then reach forward and down on the exhale, spreading your fingers wide as they touch the ground.
- The arms are shooting straight out from your shoulders as you keep your gaze forward, then on an exhale, release your forehead to the floor and begin to breathe deeply.
Stay in this pose as long as you like, as it is an excellent pose to finish your practice.