Using yoga to manage menopause symptoms like pain relief and stress can be rewarding.

Think about how your body experiences menopause systems – stomach and digestive issues may be upsetting, your mind is foggy, your emotions are off and you may encounter sleep disorders.

As your body goes through menopausal symptoms, it may also experience changes associated with age, such as muscle loss and degenerating joints. All of these areas can be targeted for relief through certain yoga poses.

Restorative yoga poses relaxes the nervous system.

If you experience pain or discomfort with any of these poses, eliminate it or seek out instructions from a certified yoga instructor.

A. Shoulder Stand (SalambaSarvangasana)

Lie on your back, slowly lift both your legs up.

Press your palms into the floor to lift your hips off the ground.

Bring your hands to your lower back to support your body. Keep your neck straight to avoid neck injuries.

Slowly move your hands further up your back depending on what is comfortable for you.

Hold this pose for 10 deep breaths. Then roll out of it by slowly releasing your legs downwards or bringing them over your head and then rolling your spine to the floor one vertebrae at a time.

B. Marichi’s Pose (Marichyasana A)

Sit on your mat with your legs outstretched in front with your feet flexed.

Bend your left knee and bring your left armpit towards the inside of your left knee.

Hold a belt, towel or a yoga belt in your left hand and take that arm around the left leg and reach for your back.

Take your right arm behind to reach for the belt, towel or strap.

Your ultimate goal is to reach for your hands behind, deepening the stretch.

Hold this position and take deep breaths in and out, then repeat these steps on the other leg.

C. Head-To-Knee Forward Bend (Janu Sirsasana)

Sit with your legs outstretched in front of you.

Bend the right knee and bring the sole to the inside of the left thigh.

Make figure 4 shape with your body.

Inhale to lengthen the spine, exhale to lean over your straight leg and pull the chest to the lower leg allowing the strap to help support the stretch.

Your next progression is to have your arms stretched out and grab your left foot for a further and deeper stretch.

Hold and breath into the stretch for 1-3 minutes and repeat on the other side.

D. Reclined Bound Angle Pose (SuptaBaddhakonasana)

Lay on your back, stretch out your legs in front of you. Bend your knees and bring your soles together making a diamond shape between your legs.

Drop your knees to the side.

Drop all the tension in your body starting from your toes, to your knees, to your arms (palms facing up) to your shoulders, neck, head and spine.

As you close your eyes, release every source of stress and tightness and fully release the body.

Rest for few minutes and breath deeply.

When done, bring your knees together.

E. Downward Facing Dog (AdhoMukhaSvanasana)

Come on your hands and knees, curl your toes, straighten your legs and lift your hips.

If your heels don’t rest flat on the ground, no worries. With practice you will become more flexible and your heels will eventually connect to the floor.

Hold this pose for 10-20 seconds slowly inhaling and exhaling.

When done, bend your knees and lower into child pose.

F. Reclining Hero Pose (SuptaVirasana)

Come into sitting with legs straight in front of you.

Bend the right leg and bring the foot to the outside of your hip with the toes facing behind.

Then slowly lower down behind by first leaning onto the elbows and forearms.

Slowly lower the rest of your body either onto the mat or onto your supportive blocks or blankets.

If you experience any pain and discomfort in your lower back or knee, this means you should either use cushions for support or avoid the pose completely.

Keep your knees as close together as possible.

Stay reclined and relaxed in this position for 30 seconds.

When done, bring yourself up by first moving on your forearms and elbows, then slowly return to the sitting position while restoring your feet out in front of you.

Change leg and repeat on that side.

NB: This pose can be done with one leg bent at a time or both legs bent together provided it is comfortable for your back and knees.

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