These 5 Yoga Poses Can Reduce Menopause Symptoms
You have more control over many of these symptoms than you think—and that’s where yoga comes in. Yoga has countless natural benefits for the mind and the body, and when it comes to treating menopause, both are equally important.
Whether you’re totally new to yoga or you’ve been practicing for years, these five poses may prove beneficial in alleviating at least some of your menopause symptoms. So, grab your mats, light dumbbells (optional!), and give them a try!
1. Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
It might literally be called “Easy Pose,” but don’t underestimate the positive effects of this pose! Sukhasana has both physical and mental benefits—it improves body posture by strengthening back muscles, while also relaxing the mind and body. Being a meditative pose, it is useful for women going through menopause because hormonal changes, as well as potential sleep problems, can create a lot of stress and anxiety.
2. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
Uttanasana is another pose with both mental and physical benefits. It allows you to shut out stimuli and distractions from your surroundings, which can help to soothe menopause symptoms, such as stress and irritability. Physically, it will help ease stiffness in the upper back, lower back, and the back of your legs and hips. It also increases blood flow to the brain, giving your cells a rejuvenating oxygen boost.
3. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
Menopause can cause a weakening of the pelvic floor muscles, but fear not—Utkatasana can be beneficial in strengthening them right back up. It can also help to strengthen the ankles, thighs, calves, and spine. Emotionally, this pose stimulates the abdominal organs and diaphragm, and also increases heart rate, which stimulates the circulatory and metabolic systems.
4. Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II)
Standing poses, such as Warrior II, can help to combat the fatigue that often comes with menopause by increasing circulation and building strength and stamina. Additionally, this pose can be particularly beneficial for those with back problems, as it offers a stretch for the back muscles, hips, legs, and ankles. And if you’re interested in practicing your balance, Warrior II is great for that as well!
5. Lunge Pose (Banarasana)
This pose stretches both the hip flexors and the psoas muscles, which are the muscles that connect the lower back to the upper thighs. The psoas muscles can constrict or tighten up if you’re stressed, and also if you spend a lot of your day seated. Shallow breathing is also common as a result of menopause and its shifting symptoms and stretching the psoas muscles frees up your breath and releases any pent-up tension in the body.
Of course, we only chose five, but virtually all yoga poses are helpful tools for dealing with the physical and mental symptoms of menopause or perimenopause—everything from hot flashes to anxiety to joint issues. Which poses have you found helpful in alleviating your symptoms?