-by Judy Bierma | 04/12/2019 |
As women, we experience hormonal fluctuations throughout our lives. Menopause is part of the natural aging process and involves physical, emotional, and hormonal changes. The same hormones that affect us during menstruation are the same hormones we experience in menopause, but they can affect us in a number of different ways. Mood changes can leave us feeling out of control, irritable, and fatigued. Luckily, you are empowered to help yourself! Meditation and breathwork techniques will help you find balance in a way that is right for you.
The use of yoga, meditation, and breathwork is an integrated, holistic way to balance mind and body. Many women have found that after the age of 50 is a perfect time to practice yoga and meditation. They truly are for everyone. The more regular the practice, the more effective and joyful it will be.
Meditation (dhyana) is one of the best ways to relax your body and mind. For symptoms of insomnia, meditation can help; it has been found to be associated with our natural melatonin and improved sleep quality, particularly if done in the evening. Meditation will also help to pacify symptoms of stress and anxiety, soothing the parasympathetic nervous system and restoring your calm demeanor. It will help you to see this time of transformation as a time of great renewal in your life.
Breathwork Meditation For Peace & Ease
Seated: Sit in a comfortable way with your back straight, but not overstrained.
Lower or close your eyes; let your eyes soften as your breath softens.
Cultivate a sense of calm.
Be aware of whatever sensations you discover.
Feel your hands…tender and receptive.
Feel for different sensations. Turn your palms down.
Soft in your heart. Soft in your hands.
Let your head and facial muscles relax. Access deep rest.
Bring breath into your being. Notice how you are breathing. How you are feeling right now. Where do you feel your breath most distinctly? Where does your breath go?
Be very quiet with each breath.
Breathe in, a deeper connection.
Value each breath you take.
This is life force energy.
Release the harsh voice of self-judgement, opening your heart space.
Honor yourself with an open awareness of all that you are.
If you like add an affirmation: All is well with my soul.
Breathe slowly and deeply and say silently All is well with my soul.
Gentle Exhale: Relaxed and at peace.
Each breath a new wave of awareness.
Every Exhale peace and ease.
Go deep within. See what it does for your soul.
Hands to HEART: Acknowledge this cycle of your life.
Ask yourself: Is there something important to you that you would like to manifest as this new cycle emerges?
Create a positive intention. Repeat it three times.
Continue your meditation until it feels complete to you. Experience your body where you are.
Full presence into this moment as you open your eyes—a Lasting connection of peace and ease.
Walking Meditation for Wellness & Spiritual Awareness
Practice indoors or out.
Keep your spine tall with your weight evenly distributed. Feel relaxed and comfortable in your body and stance, with your knees soft.
Walk in small, gentle light steps in a line, spiral, or circle. Before each step be tender; spend and give a little more attention to your breath.
Let go of any thoughts, distractions, and emotions with each breath and step you take.
Notice all of life is an expression of energy in motion that, when flowing freely, can sustain and nurture the many changes that are happening physically, mentally, and emotionally in this time of menopause.
Feel grateful to have this time to relax mind, body, and spirit. Be open to the natural flow of all of life, the interconnectedness of all of life.
Enjoy a new sense of freedom to float through all stages of life freely.
4 Breathing Exercises For Menopause Relief
Breathwork is an important antidote to routine hormonal changes that occur during menopause. Practice breathwork with intention: breathe alive and with complete awareness.
1. Diaphragmatic Breathing
Deep, slow, diaphragmatic breathing can reduce the frequency of hot flashes.
- Seated: Sit tall, with an enlivened spine or in a reclined position.
- Wrap your hands around your rib cage so the thumbs face back.
- Direct and expand your breath into your ribs, expanding your ribs into your hands.
- Try to be present and mindful as you feel the movements of your diaphragm as it broadens.
- Focus on this area, feeling and sensing each part of the breath.
- Deep inhales; smooth and easy exhales. Slow down the movement of your breath.
- Notice the rest of your body. Is it tight or constricted in any way?
- 10 cycles of breath. Rest and observe: A healthy heart and stronger diaphragm.
2. Cooling Breath
In the first symptoms of menopause you might notice that feelings of being overwhelmed and heated are not just in the body but also in the mind. For relief try this cooling breath. Create a cooling sensation by inhaling through your curled tongue and then exhaling through the nose.
- Sit with your back straight. Elongate your spine from base to crown of head. Relax your body. Relax your face.
- Curl the sides of your tongue and form a straw between your lips.
- Inhale through the opening of your tongue. 6 counts
- Release your tongue. Close your mouth. Hold 6 counts
- Exhale completely through your nose. 6 counts
- Repeat 5 or 6 times. Return to a normal breathing pattern: Feel restful and peaceful.
3. Left Nostril Breathing
The left nostril is feminine and associated with moon energy. The left nostril corresponds to the right side of your brain, an expression of creative divine energies. Left nostril breathing activates the ida nerve ending in the left nostril, which relates to coolness and calmness and lowers your blood pressure.
- Sit comfortably and symmetrically. Close your eyes.
- Begin with a deep breath in and out with a sense of calm, a background of calm.
- Close your right nostril with your right thumb, with your other fingers stretched upwards. Open the left nostril.
- Pu the left hand in Gyan Mudra: thumb joins with index finger.
- Inhaling through the left nostril…
- Exhaling through the left nostril…
- Let your body fall into the breath pattern to cool the body.
- Repeat 5 or 6 times.
4. Exhilarating Breath of Joy
Restore an expanded sense of self, standing in mountain pose. Three-part breath is added with synchronized arm movements. Enhance a sense of harmony and wellbeing with this uplifting breathwork.
- Stand in mountain pose with knees slightly bent, in a fully upright position.
- Inhale: Breathe in one-third of your breath capacity as your arms reach forward in front of your bod with your palms facing up.
- Continue to Inhale...Breathe in two-thirds of your breath capacity.
- Stretch your arms out to the side at shoulder height.
- Sustain this action.
- Inhale to full capacity: raise extended arms up and look up at your hands.
- Open your mouth to Exhale with power from your center—an audible “HA.”
- Bend your knees. Then bring your hands down and release your arms behind you.
- Repeat the sequence several times.
- You may wish to add the affirmation I am open and joyful!
- Conclude by standing in mountain pose.
- Take several breaths.
- Close your eyes and observe the effects. The more open and brighter we become the brighter our spirit. Allow that happiness and love to shine on yourself and on the lives of others. Feel grateful for the necessary process of menopause transformed into positive vital life force.
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