| ||Integrative Medicine: Yoga for Menopause||
Exhale slowly and deeply, allowing all tension to drain from your body.
Stretch 9: Dollar Pose
This pose reduces anxiety and nervous tension and will help eliminate tension headaches and insomnia. It improves flexibility of the spine, reducing stiffness and back pain.
Lie on your back with your legs bent and your feet together. Place your hands on the sides of both ankles to keep your legs together.
As you inhale, raise your legs up over your head. Make sure that the posture is comfortable by adjusting the angle of your legs. To do this, bend your knees to apply pressure between the shoulder blades.
Hold this posture for one minute, breathing slowly and deeply.
Return to the original position, lying flat on your back with your eyes closed. Relax in this position for several minutes.
Stretch 10: Tree
If your goal is to strengthen bone mass by increasing weight bearing on the legs, hips and spine, this exercise will help you accomplish increasing bone mass. It also improves balance and posture.
Standing erect, focus your eyes on a stationary point. Place one foot against the opposite thigh, so that one leg is bearing your weight.
Slowly raise your arms over your head. Hold for a count of 5.
Repeat 3 times.
Note: You may place one hand on the wall for support if needed.
Stretch 11: Chest Expander
This exercise increases circulation to the upper half of the body, energizing and stimulating the body. It also loosens and stretches tense muscles in the upper body, especially the shoulder and back, and expands the lungs.
Stand easily. Arms should be at your sides; feet are hip distance apart.
Extend your arms forward until your palms touch.
Bring your arms slowly and gracefully back until you can clasp them behind your back.
Exhale, then straighten your clasped hands and arms as far as you can without discomfort. Remember to stand upright; body should not bend forward. Breathe deeply into chest.
Inhale deeply and bend backward from the waist. Keep your hands clasped and your arms held high.
Drop your head backward a few inches and look upward as you relax your shoulders and the back of your neck.
Hold this position for a few seconds.
As you hold your breath, bend forward at the waist, bringing your clasped hands and arms up over your back.
Relax your neck muscles and keep your knees straight.
Hold for a few seconds.
Exhale as you return to the upright position. Unclasp your hands and allow your arms to rest easily at your sides.
Repeat entire sequence 3 times.
Choosing the Right Yoga Technique
From among the many specific yoga poses in this chapter, you can choose the best exercises to provide relief for your personal menopausal symptoms by using the accompanying chart. Try all the poses that pertain to your specific symptoms to see which ones bring you the most relief and practice those poses on a regular basis along with your exercise program. The combination of yoga stretches plus a good aerobic and strength-building program should help relieve and delay menopause-related symptoms and improve your general state of health.
(Excerpted from The Estrogen Decision Self Help Book ISBN: 0890877769)
|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...more
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