Yoga has been shown to help regulate hormone levels and aid in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. As you focus on the fluidity of the motion in moving from one pose to the next and learn to control your breathing, you are better able to control stress levels. The meditative aspect also helps shift your focus in times of depression. For relief from moodiness, mild depression or the symptoms of menopause, try these three simple poses.
TRY IT: Lying on your back, bend your legs and place your feet on the ground as close to your sitting bones as possible about hip width apart. With your arms at your sides along your body, exhale as you plant your feet into the ground and push from your feet and arms, lifting your pelvis into the air. Push your tailbone towards the sky through your pubis. Make sure your thighs are parallel with the floor and your knees are directly over your heels. Clasp your hinds under your tailbone and lower your chin slightly to your chest as you slowly move onto your shoulder blades, pulling your arms together underneath of your body. Hold for 1 minute or 15-20 breaths. To come out of the pose, exhale and slowly roll your spine down to the floor.
TRY IT: Sit up straight with legs stretched out in front of you. Make your arms strong by pressing the palms of your hands into the floor a little behind your hips with fingers pointed toward your feet. Inhale as you lean slightly back balancing on your pelvic bones. Exhale as you bend your knees and pull them towards your chest. Lengthen your back from your tailbone and gently straighten your legs, lifting them until your toes are slightly above eye level. Inhale as you slide your arms along your legs, spreading your shoulder blades and reaching through your fingertips. Keep your chin lifted and your belly strong. Start with 10-20 seconds and slowly increase your time until you can hold the pose for 1 minute or 15-20 breaths. To come out of the pose, exhale as you slowly release your legs back to the floor. Inhale as you come back to a sitting position.
TRY IT: Kneel on the floor with your knees hip width apart. Point your toes straight out behind you and press your shins and the tops of your feet into the ground. Lift until your thighs are perpendicular to the floor.Keep your hips soft as you lift your spine from your tailbone up out of the top of your head. Slowly walk your hands back to rest firmly on your heels. Keep the thighs strong to support the hips as you inhale and push your chest out towards the sky by pressing your shoulder blades into your back. Breathe and hold for 1 minute or 15-20 breaths. To come out of the pose, inhale and pull your torso forward, leading with your heart back into a sitting position.