Yoga is recommended for just about every ailment under the sun, and muscle tension relief is no exception. The reason yoga is so popular with the natural healing community is likely due to its fusion of mind, body, and soul for health and well-being.
The most common cause of muscle tension in menopausal women is the imbalance of estrogen and progesterone. This chemical fluctuation can lead to many other symptoms, like stress, which can initiate and exacerbate muscle tension. Yoga's ideal of a balanced lifestyle is excellent for promoting estrogen stability and therefore relieving symptoms of menopause. It can also help promote better posture, helping to prevent muscle tension.
Listed below are four yoga poses to relieve muscle tension and promote balanced living.
- Sit on the floor with your knees bent toward the sky and your feet under your bottom.
- Keep your knees shoulder-distance apart.
- Push your torso forward.
- Drop your chin and place your forehead on the floor.
- Place your hands on the floor above or behind your head.
- Begin this pose lying on your back. Bend your knees and bring your feet up so that they are flat on the floor, as close to your tailbone as possible.
- Exhale and press your feet into the floor while raising your hips off the ground, shifting the weight onto your shoulders. Keep your chin away from your sternum and your shoulder blades spread apart.
- Hold this pose for thirty seconds to one minute, remembering to take deep, cleansing breaths. Release with an exhale and gently roll the spine down to the floor.
Thunderbolt or Zen Pose
- Slowly kneel onto the floor.
- Rest your bottom on the soles of your fee, and separate your heels so they are on either side of your hips.
- Loosen your arms and place your palms on your knees.
- Sit tall and be conscious of your breath.
Wide Seated Forward Bend
- Sit with your legs spread to a 90 degree angle with your pelvis centered.
- Flex your feet and align your knees.
- Place your fingertips on the floor behind your hips.
- Inhale, draw up the sides of your body, and draw in your lower abdomen.
- Exhale, place your hands in front of you, and slowly walk them out.
- Keep your spine long, and use your breath as a guide.
- Bend forward, and stop when you reach your limit.
- Breathe deeply for as long as you can hold this pose.
Yoga is a serious and ancient practice, and no one has ever mastered it overnight. If you have the time and money, a yoga class is a great place to gain experience and benefit from the expertise of a teacher. Remember that muscle tension can lead to other pains, like headaches, and can be a result of stress and unresolved issues. Sometimes alternative treatments for muscle tension like massage may be necessary.
- Helpguide.(n.d)."Understanding Stress". Retrieved from Helpguide.org.
- International Stress Management Association.(n.d)."Tension". Retrieved from www.isma-usa.org.
- MacArthur, John and Catherine.(n.d) "Muscle Tension". Stockholm University.Retrieved from www.macses.ucsf.edu