top of page
  • Jessica Humphries

Yoga for Hormonal Balance: Supporting women through life’s seasons

As women, our bodies go through so many seasons in life. From puberty to menopause, our

hormones are constantly fluctuating, which impacts on, well - pretty much everything. Yoga

can be such a powerful tool to support hormonal balance and overall wellbeing, helping us

to navigate these transitions with greater ease and grace.


Yoga for puberty

We sometimes forget what a roller-coaster puberty is – perhaps only reminded when our

own teenage girls arrive at this milestone. It’s a big time (to put it mildly) full of great

physical and emotional shifts that often come with challenges like anxiety, acne, irregular

periods, and mood swings (oh boy, the mood swings!). Yoga is a beautiful practice for

managing these changes, as it helps to support the hormones through balancing the

endocrine system, which can reduce the severity of symptoms. Yoga can also help to build

confidence and develop healthy coping mechanisms. There’s nothing quite like the elation

of exploring your body’s limits in a safe and supportive environment.

Poses for puberty

- Downward-Facing Dog – Helps to stimulate the pituitary gland, which plays a critical

role in hormonal regulation during puberty.

- Bridge Pose – Helps to stimulate the thyroid gland, which is important for hormonal

balance.

- L Shaped Handstand against the wall – Builds strength and confidence, which are

important during the transition to adulthood.


Yoga for fertility

Fertility and the journey to conception is still a little taboo in our culture. As a result, women

trying to conceive may experience feelings of isolation and anxiety. So, while this particular

period of life may not involve huge hormonal shifts (aside from the overwhelming biological

urge to procreate!), it can still be an emotional rollercoaster. Yoga can help you navigate the

journey, as well as relieve stress and improve the health of the reproductive organs.

Poses for fertility

- Bound Angle Pose – Can help to stimulate the reproductive organs and improve

blood flow to the pelvic are.

- Cobra Pose – Helps to stimulate the ovaries and regulate menstrual cycles. It also

helps to strengthen the pelvic muscles, which can be helpful during pregnancy and

childbirth.

- Legs up the Wall Pose – Can improve blood flow to the pelvic region, which can be

beneficial for fertility. It also helps to relieve stress and fatigue, which can be helpful

when you’re trying to conceive.


Yoga for prenatal

Pregnancy is an exciting, transformative time in a woman’s life. However, it also often

comes with challenges – like hormonal fluctuations and physical discomfort. Prenatal yoga

can be a beautifully supportive practice during this time of life as it helps to reduce stress

and anxiety, improve sleep quality, and prepare your body for childbirth (not to mention

everything that comes after that).

Prenatal poses

- Mountain Pose – Can help to improve posture and strengthen the back muscles,

which is very useful when carrying a baby bump.

- Cat-Cow Pose – Great for stretching and releasing tension in the back, which can be

a common area of discomfort during pregnancy.

- Sleeping Swan/Modified Pigeon – Stretches the hips and relieves tension in the

lower back. This pose can also help to prepare the body for childbirth by stretching

the muscles that will be used during delivery.


Yoga for postnatal

After giving birth, women experience huge hormonal changes – and postnatal yoga can help

support the body’s recovery and promote hormonal balance. Hormones such as oxytocin,

prolactin, and estrogen play a crucial role in breastfeeding and bonding with your baby, so

balancing out your hormones will make a huge difference in how you experience this season

of life. In addition to strengthening the pelvic floor and core muscles, yoga can help manage

stress and depression, and help new mothers connect with their bodies and babies,

promoting emotional wellbeing and bonding.

Postnatal poses

- Seated Forward Bend – Great for stretching the back, hips, and hamstrings. It can

also help to relieve tension in the neck and shoulders, which can be helpful for new

mamas who are constantly carrying their babies around.

- Sphinx Pose – Helps to strengthen the back muscles, which may become weakened

during pregnancy and childbirth.

- Happy Baby Pose – Can help stretch the hips and lower back. It also relieves tension

in the legs and is a great pose for relaxation and stress relief.


Yoga for Perimenopause

Perimenopause, the transitional phase that leads up to menopause, is often overlooked –

but it can be a challenging time for many women. As hormones begin to shift, you may

experience irregular periods, hot flashes, mood swings, and more. Yoga can be particularly

helpful for hormonal balance during this time, helping to alleviate symptoms.

Poses for Perimenopause

- Goddess Pose – Great for balancing hormones. It works to strengthen the pelvic

flood muscles, improving circulation to the pelvic region and stimulating the ovaries

– which can regulate hormones and soften perimenopausal symptoms.

- Camel Pose – Can balance the hormones and improve energy levels. In this pose, the

thyroid gland is stimulated, helping to regulate metabolism. It can also open up the

chest and lungs, improving breathing and reducing anxiety.

- Supported Headstand – The King of asana! A beautiful pose for improving circulation

and stimulating the endocrine system. It also helps increase blood flow to the head,

which can stimulate the pituitary gland and regulate hormones. It’s also a great pose

for improving mood.


Yoga for Menopause

Menopause is a significant phase of life that brings with it a new set of challenges. As

estrogen levels decline, women can experience a range of symptoms – from hot flashes to

night sweats and everything in between. Yoga can significantly help reduce symptoms and

the associated stress. This tends to also be a time in life where you may find yourself with a

little more time on your hands. Attending classes at a yoga studio and immersing yourself in

a yoga community is a beautiful gift to yourself at this time of life, as it allows you to

connect with like-minded friends who may be experiencing similar challenges.

Practices for menopause

- Sphinx Pose – Great for improving mood and reducing feelings of depression during

menopause. This pose also helps to stimulate the sacral chakra – which is associated

with emotions and creativity. It can also improve circulation of the reproductive

organs, which can regulate hormones.

- Bound Angle Pose – Helps to reduce stress, promote relaxation, and reduce cortisol

levels. It also helps to stimulate and improve circulation in the pelvic region.

- Warrior II Pose – Works to strengthen the legs and hips, improving circulation,

stimulating the ovaries, and reducing symptoms of menopause.


Of course, many of these poses are helpful for a number of different life seasons (you will

likely find that poses for puberty are also helpful for menopause, and poses for prenatal are

helpful during any physically or emotionally challenging period of life!). And remember – the

poses are only one element of yoga – meditation, mindfulness, and breathing exercises can

also be hugely beneficial in relieving stress and balancing hormones. No matter which

season of life you’re in, yoga can help support you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. By

enjoying a regular yoga practice, you can navigate the many seasons and transitions of life

with greater ease. You never know – you might even enjoy them!


Comments


bottom of page