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Yoga for menopause and weight loss (with videos) Part 2

Five asanas to relieve menopause symptoms and help weight loss

In addition to the Salutation to the Sun described in the previous post, here are 5 more yoga asanas, which will help anyone struggling with the menopause or wishing to use yoga to help burn fat and lose inches.

1. Paschimottanasana – Forward bend

This is one of the main asanas recommended to combat obesity in traditional texts on yoga. Its effects on the abdomen include stimulating the detoxification processes in the liver. It is effective in relieving symptoms of menopause. It stimulates the ovaries and uterus, helps stop insomnia and relieves headache, fatigue and anxiety.

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you.
  2. Lift your arms above your head
  3. While breathing out, slowly bend forward. Keep your legs straight
  4. Bend as far forward as you can. If you can, hold your big toes, otherwise hold your ankles or anywhere as far down the legs as you can reach.
  5. Use your hand to pull yourself a little further towards the legs.
  6. Keep the position for up to 30 seconds while breathing normally and then return to the starting position.

2. Matsyasana – Fish

This asana stimulates the thyroid, so helping weight loss. In menopause, it is particularly recommended to relieve fatigue and depression.

  1. Lie down on your back, with legs stretched out and feet together.
  2. Place your hands under your thighs, palms down on the floor.
  3. While breathing in, press down with your elbows, arch your back and drop your head back so the top touches the floor. Let your elbows take your weight.
  4. Breathe out, and then keep the position for up to 30 seconds breathing normally.
  5. Return gently to the starting position, lifting and lowering head and then releasing arms.

In a more complex version, the feet are kept in the lotus position while performing this asana.

3. Halasana – Plough

This inverted asana is particularly recommended in menopause as it relieves stress and fatigue, as well as being effective against headache, insomnia and backache. It helps weight loss by stimulating the thyroid gland. It also tones the abdominal muscles.

  1. Lie on your back with legs together.
  2. Breathe in while raising the legs and hips, supporting them with your hands
  3. Continue bending your waist towards your head, so as to bring your legs towards your head and then over to touch the floor.
  4. Return to the starting position slowly while breathing out.

This video gives several variations on Halasana, making it more or less difficult as needed.

It is often recommended to follow Halasana with Bhujangasana (see below)

Alternatively, you can do a rapid alternation with Paschimottanasana  as shown here:

4. Bhujangasana – Cobra

This asana is excellent for toning the legs and buttocks, and also the abdomen and helping combat middle aged spread. It is also highly recommended as a stress reliever. It strengthens the back and shoulders and thus helps to prevent the development of “dowager’s hump”, which can affect postmenopausal women.

It is actually position 7 in the Sun Salutation sequence. To do it on its own:

  1. Lie face down on the floor. Stretch your legs out behind you.
  2. Bend your arms with the hands flat on the floor on either side of your shoulders.
  3. Press legs and hips into floor. Breathe in and while doing so lift your upper body with your arms, arch your back, pushing your chest out and raise your head.
  4. Stay in this position for up to 30 seconds, breathing normally.
  5. Return back down to the floor while breathing out.

5. Dhanurasana – Bow

Another posture that arches the back, therefore having the same advantages as the cobra position. In addition, it also tones the thigh muscles. Both this and the cobra position are also high recommended for respiratory problems such as asthma. It is however more difficult than the Bhujangasana, so might not be possible immediately if you are only beginning with yoga.

  1.  Lie face down on the floor.
  2. As you breathe in, bend your knees to lift your lower legs off the floor.
  3. Stretch back with your arms and grab hold of your ankles.
  4. Hold the posture for up to 30 seconds if you can,  breathing normally.
  5. As you breath out, you can rock forward, and as you breathe in, you can rock backwards.
  6. Relax back down onto the floor while breathing out.

For further reference:

Yoga and the Wisdom of Menopause by Suza Francina 
or
Peaceful Weight Loss Through Yoga by Bhanu Brandt Passalaccqua
(both with free delivery worldwide if you follow the links above!)

 

 

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