-by Judy Bierma | 04/05/2019 |
Many women view menopause as a time of loss, physical discomfort and negative emotions. However, many common discomforts of menopause can be alleviated using yoga, breathwork, and meditation. From what I have observed, yoga will help prepare you physically, emotionally, and spiritually for a graceful life-changing experience.
As women we can meet this season of change in our lives with tenderness, confidence, and calm. This series will help you cultivate the techniques to breathe, move, and relax during this time. It is a holistic approach which includes breathwork and meditation,
physical yoga practice, and self-massage.
The transition into menopause can be a positive time of productivity, wisdom, and growth—a time for introspection and rejuvenation. As you gain awareness of this natural aging process the more empowered you will feel from within.
In Ayurveda, menopause is the steady progression from the pitta (Fire) to the vata (Air) phase in a woman’s life. In general, to balance pitta you can take steps to ensure a regular time for eating, sleeping, and working, but not overdo it. Your body is the best guide: Listening can guide your practice.
Remember, it’s important to accept support in our yoga practices by using props as necessary to help alleviate any physical discomfort. Leave enough time to include restorative poses in learning how to rest, and don’t rush. Respect your being today. What is REAL in you today? Feel free to modify and adapt. Avoid tension and strain. Find ease and enjoyment.
Discover the power of intent as you link body and spirit through this expressive asana sequence for menopause.
Props needed for this practice: rolled blanket or bolster; blocks as needed
Begin in a Tranquil Space.
As menopause unfolds we often take on too much, and nurturing yourself with restorative poses is a great way to help you transition from tension to calm. This practice begins and ends in restorative poses.
Reclined Butterfly Pose with Maha Sacral Mudra
Props: rolled blanket or bolster; one block
This resting pose is well known for its positive benefits on the female reproductive organs.
For this pose prop a rolled blanket under knees and join the soles of your feet together, resting them on a block.
Place Hands in Maha Sacral Mudra
- This mudra balances and relaxes, and it helps in processing emotions. It activates the body's self-healing potential.
- Form your mudra by lightly pressing the tips of your little fingers together.
- Join the pads of your thumb with your ring finger.
- Extend the index finger and middle finger upward.
- Rest this Mudra on your pelvis, just below your navel.
- When you feel ready, close your eyes.
- Breathe deeply as you connect to the bowl of your pelvis.
- Reverently come into this sacred space in your body and breathe deeply into it. Love not judgement. Love spoken clearly in our divine soul. I love you. Create space for love and radiant health.
- Become aware of the space: front, back, and sides.
- Inhale: Adore and cherish your body inside and out.
- Exhale: Release stress and anxiety.
- Where do you feel soothed and relaxed? A new cycle emerges with tranquility and divinity. The wonderful presence of breath directed within to each part of your body. For who you are is LOVE.
Rest in this pose for 3-5 minutes.
Moon Salutation Variation (Chandra Namaskar)
Celebrate your body; celebrate your power & grace.
When we practice a moon salutation we soak up her cool and calming energy. A soothing 17 posture Vinyasa flow symbolizes our feminine soul. Feel free to make up your own variations and modifications.
Practice on wide side of your mat.
Use slow movements, accompanied by the flow of your breath. Be grateful for this time to open up to the natural flow of your creativity as you adapt to these hormonal changes.
1. Standing Mountain Pose (Tadasana) - Body of Light
- With big toes touching, inhale the arms up.
- Exhale: Prayer to Third Eye.
- Breathe deeply as you attend to your inner vision. See yourself through the eyes of love. Experience the wisdom of your body.
2. Mountain Pose (Tadasana) with movements
- Side bends with prayer overhead
- Hands to hips with circular movements through your pelvis.
3. Goddess Pose (Utkata Konasana) - A vehicle for your presence in the world
- Taking a wide stance, lower into a squat with your arms shoulder height in cactus position.
- Dynamically move your hands to prayer at the heart.
- Breathe: Inhale open; exhale to the heart.
- Generate a feeling of devotion with love and gratitude to the space of your heart.
Straighten your legs.
4. Five Pointed Star Pose (Utthita Tadasana) - Courage
Each woman has an ideal, an aspiration to something higher. Tap into your strength and courage.
- Reaching up and out through your fingertips, press the crown of the head upwards; focus on energy from above, drawing that energy into heart, pelvis, and hands.
- Press weight of the feet into the earth, drawing on the energy from the earth below.
- Expand out in all five directions, radiating out in the world.
5. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana) - Triad of Mind Body Spirit
- Stand with your feet about 3 feet apart with both legs straight.
- Stretch your arms out from your shoulders in a T-shape.
- Exhale and slowly bend over your front leg.
- Find contentment here; feel connected and grateful to be whole.
6. Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana) - Wisdom
- Stand with your spine elongated and palms in reverse namaste.
- Inhale; lift out of your waist.
- Exhale; slowly bend over your front leg.
- Be in touch with inner guidance.
7. Kneeling Lunge (Anjaneyasana) - Joyful!
- From pyramid pose, slowly lower your back knee down.
- Float your arms up. Feel buoyant and joyful.
- What does your soul want? Shed self-judgement.
8. Side Lunge (Skandasana) - Becoming
- Turn back toes out.
- Shift hips down.
- Think: Ever-changing, evolving.
9. Garland Pose (Malasana) - Stillness
- Find the center of your pelvis.
- With hands to the floor, rock forwards and backwards.
- Place hands in prayer: Pause and HOLD in stillness…a reminder to SLOW down.
10. Reverse the sequence on the other side.
- Garland > Skandasana > Anjaneyasana >
- Pyramid > Triangle > Five Star >
- Goddess Squat > Standing Side Bends > Tadasana
- Repeat this sequence 1X if you are tired or 3X to each side.
11. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
- Inhale: Straighten your legs, or bend your knees.
- Lift your sitting bones as high as possible.
- Exhale: Press hands into the earth.
- Align and open the central channel.
- Think: A conduit through which the intention of balancing energy flows.
12. Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana) - Pure Acceptance and Patience
- Start on the right side with right foot under groin.
- Extending right arm forward, fold forward.
- Rest head on left forearm.
- Change sides
- Think: Drop your mask. Close your eyes, letting them relax. Watch the moments unfold. Accept and Surrender. Bask in your own authentic being.
13. Child's Pose (Balasana) - Awaken the spirit of self-care
Generate feelings of compassion in a kinder, gentler way. You will not be rushed. Your body is worthy of this love and attention.
14. Hero Pose (Virasana) > Reclined Hero Pose
Breathe out anxiety and worry. No fear. Spirit completely free.
15. Seated Little Mermaid Pose Moon Gazing Drishti - Beauty and receptivity
Balance pitta in the moon’s cooling, loving light.
- Sit with knees bent in a double V off to the side, resting top ankle into your bottom foot.
- Extend your arm overhead.
- In your mind’s eye moon gaze. The ancients believed gazing at the moon was nourishing, nurturing, and strengthening to the whole being.Beam your attention upwards. You are receiving. Receive. Enjoy it. Let the light of the moon shine upon your face. Take this time to recognize the beautiful woman that you are. Unapologetically, honoring your unique beauty. Your own face and hands as an expression of your story, your life. Blossom into magnificence.
- Change sides.
Notice if you feel cooled down.
16. Rabbit Pose (Sasangasana) - Clear focus and rebirth
This pose improves concentration and circulation and provides relief for low back pain and therapy for the neck.
- From child's pose, hold hands to heels or backs of legs.
- Lift hips up.
- Roll onto the crown of your head.
- This relieves the stress, bringing fresh blood supply to the crown of the head. Drop into silence so your purpose is as clear as a star in the night sky. Feel a sense of rebirth.
17. Seated Hero Pose
Reflect on your divine beautiful soul.
18. Restorative Poses
Deep rest and relaxation are not given enough priority during menopause. Use these poses to rest and deepen your practice. Conclude your practice with any of the following:
A. Paschimottanasana or Janu Sirsasana
Props: blanket roll or bolster under head
- For less stimulus, all forward bends cool down the mind.
- Pause and savor. Allow a smile to come and love the body you have been given.
B. Legs up the wall or on a chair
- This delicious pose is always a perfect ending.
- Relaxing. Receiving rejuvenation.
C. Rest in Savasana
Deeply let go. Once you have found ease and comfort be still. Embrace the silence, stillness, the gentle rise and fall of your breath…effortlessly at ease. Awareness is vast and open; your spirit completely free.
19. Seated – Quiet
Honor yourself. This offering. This ability to be more sensitive to your needs during menopause. Can you allow this same feeling in your heart. Heart softer, more receptive. Can you let this wisdom and quality of this heart touch everything you do? In the midst of all the emotions embrace this time in your life. Love yourself and be happy.
Repeat the mantra So Ham (I Am)
Articles published by Basmati.com are no substitute for medical advice. Please consult your health care provider before beginning any new regimen. For more information, please visit our disclaimer page here.