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Integrative Medicine: Yoga for Menopause
Susan Lark M. MD
Repeat this exercise 10 times. Always lift your navel up on the in breath. Always elongate your spine and press the lower back down on the outbreath.
Stretch 5: Pelvic Arch
This is an excellent exercise for stretching the abdominal and pelvic muscles. Menopause related vaginal and bladder symptoms are reduced by promoting better circulation and relaxation in the pelvic region. It is also helpful in reducing pelvic congestion.
Lie on your back with your knees bent. Spread your feet apart, flat on the floor.
Place your hands around your ankles, holding them firmly.
As you inhale, arch your pelvis up and hold for a few seconds. As you exhale, relax and lower your pelvis several times.
Repeat this exercise several times.
Stretch 6: The Bow
This exercise helps relieve menopause-related fatigue and lack of vitality, elevating your mood and improving stamina. The exercise also stretches the entire spine and helps relieve lower back pain and cramps. It stretches the abdominal muscles and strengthens the back, hips and thighs. It also stimulates the digestive organs and endocrine glands.
Lie face down on the floor, arms at your sides.
Slowly bend your legs at the knees and bring your feet up toward your buttocks.
Reach back with your arms and carefully take hold of first one foot and then the other. Flex your feet to make grasping them easier.
Inhale and raise your trunk from the floor as far as possible and lift your head. Bring your knees as close together as possible.
Squeeze the buttocks while raising them off the floor. Imagine your body looking like a gently curved bow. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds.
Slowly release the posture. Allow your chin to touch the floor and finally release your feet and return them slowly to the floor. Return to your original position. Repeat 5 times.
Stretch 7: Child's Pose
Excellent for calming anxiety and stress due to emotional causes, this exercise will also relieve menopause related anxiety and irritability. The exercise gently stretches the lower back and is one of the most effective exercises for relieving menstrual cramps and low back pain.
Sit on your heels. Bring your forehead to the floor, stretching the spine as far over your head as possible.
Close your eyes.
Hold for as long as comfortable.
Stretch 8: The Sponge
This exercise relieves anxiety and stress due to emotional causes or menopause related anxiety and tension. It relieves menstrual cramps and low back pain as well as reducing eye tension and swelling in the face.
Lie on your back with a rolled towel placed under your knees. Your arms should be at your sides, palms up.
Close your eyes and relax your whole body. Inhale slowly, breathing from the diaphragm. As you inhale, visualize the energy in the air around you being dawn in through your entire body. Imagine your body is porous and open like a sponge, drawing in this energy and revitalizing every cell of your body.
(Excerpted from The Estrogen Decision Self Help Book ISBN: 0890877769)
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About The Author
Dr. Susan M. Lark is one of the foremost authorities on women's health issues and is the author of nine books. She has served on the faculty of Stanford University Medical School
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