5 Yoga poses to kickstart your day
The ancient practise of Yoga has so many benefits for women going through the menopause. This Good Morning Flow will help you feel energised and get you ready for the day ahead. By following this sequence of 5 yoga poses or asanas two or three times a week – your mind and your body will very quickly reap the benefits.
Pose 1 – Cross legged position (Sukhasana)
This first pose will help you focus your mind and take away any tension you have woken up with. Sit in a cross legged position making sure you are fully seated on the bony part of the sit bone – turn the palms up and form a mudra with your fourth finger and thumb together – close your eyes for a moment and gently lift from the crown of the head, tucking your chin in and slowly breathing in and out through the nose, moving the breath from the belly, through the ribcage and high up into the chest. Repeat this several times inhaling positive energy and thoughts and exhaling any fatigue and worries. Tuck your chin in towards the chest, shrinking the shoulders down and stretch out the back of the neck and then gently circle the head from side to side and if there is a little bite of tension just pause in one position trying to target the breath into this area and then release. Repeat several times.
Pose 2 – Cat Cow (Chakravakasana)
This pose will waken up and stretch your spine. Move onto all fours – fingers spread wide, arms directly under your shoulders, legs slightly apart and back straight, knees directly below your hips. Slowly arch your back like a cat – exhaling tucking up and under – hold this position for a breath. Inhale straighten your back and lift your eyes up to the sky dipping your belly towards the floor. Repeat this sequence with the flow of your breath several times. To extend this pose make a figure of eight with your hips circling from wrist to ankle and vice versa – loosening up the hips and getting rid of any tension.
Pose 3 – Downward Dog (Adho mukha Svanasana)
This pose will wake up the hamstrings, stretches out the back and arms. From your position on all fours press back, lifting your knees away from the floor while keeping your arms straight, and lift your tailbone up into the air. Drop your head and look through your knees. Place your heels towards the floor, lengthening the hamstrings and then peddle out each leg giving it that extra stretch. Hold the position for five long breaths.
Pose 4 – Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)
This pose will stretch out the back and the lower body leaving you feeling re-energised. From a standing position, step back with your left leg into a wide stretch and your knee directly above the ankle, turn your left foot in slightly. Raise your arms directly above your head – holding them strongly into the air and either look straight ahead or up to the sky. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute, then repeat, reversing leg positions.
Pose 5 – Warrior Two (Virabhadrasana II)
This pose will make you feel strong and empowered and give you confidence for the day ahead. From a standing position with your feet together – step back with your left foot and turn your back foot to a 90-degree angle, bend into the front leg with your knee directly over your front foot, shoulders down, arms stretched out in a straight line from front to back, lift your head and gaze along the front arm to the tip of your fingers. Hold this position for a couple of minutes then step forward with your back foot to meet your front foot and then step back your right foot and repeat on the other side.