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Yoga And Menopause - Some Surprising Benefits
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You probably think of yoga as a way to tone the body and relax the mind. However, for women going through menopause, yoga can actually reduce the symptoms of menopause. Yoga can relieve hot flashes, night sweats, regulate mood and counteract osteoporosis by building bone density. Also, it can help with the common problem of weight gain during menopause. In this article I'll discuss some of the best (and easy) beginner yoga poses you can do to ease the symptoms of menopause.

The Bridge Pose

Start by lying on your back with palms on the floor with a rolled up towel or "bolster" supporting your neck and shoulders. Now, bend your knees and inhale deeply. The next step is to straighten your back, shoulders and legs, lifting your hips off the mat to form a bridge. Exhale and lower your back to the floor, then inhale and lift up again. Repeat several times.

The Supported Legs Up Against the Wall Pose

This pose is just how it sounds. You'll start by lying on your back, knees bent to the side with a bolster (or rolled up towel) supporting your hips. Positioning yourself close to the wall, swing your legs up and straighten them. If your legs tire, you can bend your knees and cross the legs keeping your knees near the wall. Hold this position for 5 minutes then relax.

Downward Facing Dog Pose

For this pose, you'll start by kneeling on the floor with arms stretched forward. Now, exhale and lift your hips from the floor keeping the knees slightly bent. The next step will be to straighten your legs out gently but not forcibly locking the knees. Stay in this position for a minute or two, then rest.

What You'll Need

Basically, all you'll need is a blanket and rolled up towel to support your hips or neck and shoulder. Yoga mats and a "bolster" can be purchased to take the place of the blanket and towel if you like. Comfortable, breathable clothing is a must! If you prefer to take a class, many yoga studios now offer special classes for women over 50 yrs. old.

Will I Lose Weight?

Not if you want to lose weight quickly. But, combined with other exercises and/or a diet plan you will see faster results. The deep breathing involved with yoga increases the oxygen to your cells, including fat cells. This results in the burning of fat cells. Yoga also strengthens the muscles, speeding up your metabolism (again burning fat cells). Another major benefit of yoga is that it reduces your stress levels. Stress raises the "cortisol" levels in your body which leads to weight gain!

These are just a few of the beginner yoga poses that will help reduce the symptoms of menopause. All yoga positions have beneficial effects on all systems of the body. Best of all, yoga does not have to be strenuous in order to be effective. Even "gentle" yoga and breathing will show results. Find out about other work out tips and weight loss information for women in menopause.


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