5 yoga poses to help calm the RAGE hormones during menopause.

middle age woman doing yoga meditation

Menopause can be brutal. I’m speaking from experience. Recently, one of my girlfriends asked me if I know any yoga she can practice that will help ease her estrogen-deficient-rages that she goes in while in the throes of menopause.

I’m not a big fan of prescribing certain poses for certain conditions…BUT, the poses listed below are gentle, easy for the yoga newbie, and will hopefully get you to START somewhere. They do have specific benefits for menopause, too…don’t get me wrong. I’ve just learned that with yoga, I feel a sense of calm and focus after a practice. I feel more mindful and less reactive and I sleep better no matter WHAT poses are part of my daily practice.

There are different symptoms of menopause, from the ubiquitous hot-flashes to mood swings to brain-fogs and insomnia. It all makes sense…our hormones fluctuate like crazy during menopause…and hormones influence all of those things in our body. GAH!!

Click the links to see how to do the poses if you aren’t familiar…and make SURE to consult your doctor before you practice yoga…I don’t want anyone getting hurt on my watch!

  1. Legs up the wall pose (Viparita Karani). This is one of my all-time favorites. You can practice this with or with out the support of a bolster. It’s great for insomnia, anxiety, pms, tired & achy feet, and is said to help reverse the aging process! I’m beginning to sound like an infomercial…
  2. Reclined Bound-Angle pose (Supta Baddha Konasana). This pose is great for times when you are just feeling generally down…or are stressed out. It is good for your abdominal organs…including ovaries and for your circulation.
  3. Bridge pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana). This is said to calm your mind, reduce anxiety and reduce mild depression. Oh the list goes on and on…
  4. Head-to-knee pose (Janu Sirsasana). This pose calms the nervous system (remember those rage hormones we first talked about?!).  It’s quieting, calming, and great for insomnia. I especially like the restorative version of it…especially for those who can’t quite reach their foot…did I mention that it’s calming?
  5. Belly Breathing (Adham Pranayama). Ok…it’s not necessarily a yoga “pose”…but I think that practicing breathing techniques is one of the most effective things you can do to calm your mind, and the Belly Breath is a great place to start! Those RAGE HORMONES?? THIS is the one to do whenever they come on!

calming my mind.

featured_triangleI’m not much for the yoga selfie. My husband sneakily snapped this photo while we were on a hike…in the beautiful Dades Gorge in Morocco. What you don’t see, is what’s going on behind me. Both of my kids are climbing up a huge rock with the help of our guide. It’s horrifying to me. Truly. I couldn’t look…I tried to take some deep breaths…but nothing seemed to help.

See…this is them, with Yousef, our guide.

rock_dades

Then, I figured that I could do a mini-practice. A few standing poses, and my mind could let go of what my kids were doing, and focus on how my own body could get in to a trikonasana pose. I had a few factors to contend with: large gravel, uneven surface, chilly temperature, jeans (stretchy, but still jeans!), a big unwieldy sweater, a week of not practicing, no sticky mat, and a brain-full of nonsense (ie, “what if they fall”, “how is an ambulance going to get up here”, “what’s the number to the medi vac”, “IS there a medi vac?”).

I found that all I really needed to do was take a posture, focus on my breath, feel the fresh air wash over me, and be completely in the moment…I was in an amazingly beautiful spot, with my wonderful family, and could fit 5 minutes in for yoga. Inhale. Exhale.

The “what-ifs” left, my kids made it off the rock just fine, and I could be at ease the rest of our hike. Inhaling. Exhaling.

“If you have fear of some pain or suffering, you should examine whether there is anything you can do about it. If you can, there is no need to worry about it; if you cannot do anything, then there is also no need to worry.” – His Holiness The Dalai Lama