Sometimes if you are having trouble with chronic stress as well as hormone imbalances, it can be very tough to fit in a workout that will actually help us to feel better. Rather than having to actively deal with the symptoms and feel relatively unhealthy, it is possible to actually enjoy an active workout that can normalize hormones through balance.
“Yoga is a great practice that has actually been shown to keep our hormones in check.”
Yoga has been shown to balance cortisol levels as well as assist with weight loss. Across many studies it was possible for participants of Jefferson College to experience lower cortisol levels as a result of a one-hour yoga class. Yoga also drastically improves relaxation and can be a very accessible type of workout for individuals that do not want to pay for excessive equipment or go to the gym.
In a study completed by Catherine Woodyard for the international Journal of yoga, the therapeutic effects of yoga were examined in regular practice. It was found that not only can yoga improve cardiovascular health and respiratory functions but it can reduce the symptoms of anxiety, stress, depression and chronic pain. With estimated that people that do yoga regularly sleep better as well as enjoy a better quality of life.
If you are interested in starting out with yoga that can help you feel more at ease, here are some of the top positions that you could consider trying to balance out your hormones:
The eagle pose is a more active relaxation technique that involves more balance and concentration. It can release tension in the legs, back and shoulders but does also require focus. Start in a basic mountain pose which involves your feet together or 4 to 6 inches apart with your knees bent slightly. Lift your left foot across your site on the right side and try to hook it behind your calf. Once you feel comfortable with the balance start to move your arms up from your side and cross the left elbow over your right elbow in a hug like position bringing your palms together at the end.
This is another common pose that allows for optimal breathing in yoga. This is known as a very calming pose and involves the use of folding to blankets down in a stack to place behind you as well as a rolled blanket on blocks to elevate your feet above the mat. Place your back down on the blanket stack and slowly swing your legs over on top of the rolled blanket to support your legs over the yoga mat. Both the blanket stack should support your back and your head. You can raise the legs upward and bring the soles of your feet together opening your knees at your sides and resting them along the blanket and blocks. Place both elbows on the ground on the sides of your body with your palms facing upward towards the ceiling. For additional comfort you could also include a folded blanket under your head for support. Focus on breathing in this position to relieve tension on your back and legs.
The child’s pose is the resting posture that is commonly done in many yoga classes between moves. Completing the child’s pose can be a great way that you can put your mind at ease as well as improve anxiety and stress. This position is good for the lymphatic system as well as the nervous system and it’s one of the main poses that is completed to help quiet the mind throughout any type of yoga class. To use this move start on your hands and knees then spread your knees apart keeping the sides of your feet touching. Sit all the way up and try to straighten your spine by looking upward. As you breathe in and exhale begins bowing your body forward to your thighs moving your arms slowly to your sides and keeping your palms down.
The legs up position is somewhat simple to savasana which is the closing position for this form of sequence. In this legs up position you can trigger sensors in your upper chest as well as your neck for blood pressure. You will start to see your heart rate slowing, adrenal activity slowing with it as well as an overall relaxing and calm feeling. The first step is creating a method for which your legs and calves can be well supported. If you don’t have yoga blankets or blocks you can use the bottom of the chair and ottoman. Use two blankets or a foot of mat and blocks to hold your feet in place this time do not place as much support under your back and head to really raise the legs during the breathing exercise. Rest your arms at your side and focus on breathing.
Savasana stands as one of the most popular relaxation positions available in any type of yoga practice. This is a pose that you can hold for 15 min. or longer for the ultimate in relaxation for the nervous system as well as your mind. Some even meditate in this position because it’s so comfortable for breathing and relaxing your hormones. Get started in this position by placing two blocks near your mat and rolling a blanket for the top. Lie down on your yoga mat and pull your legs over top of the rolled blanket to place it eventually and behind your knees. Rest your heels right down onto the ground and place a folded blanket directly on your stomach for support. Place pillows or a cloth into your hand and potentially even a supporting pillow for behind your head. Through this raised leg pattern focus on your breathing and moving the blanket up and down with your stomach.
Keep this simple 5 move transition in yoga as an ideal solution for improving your relaxation over time. It may take some time to unlock all of the full advantages of these positions but they can be extremely effective at improving your relaxation with regular practice.