6 Yin Yoga Poses to Fight Hormonal Imbalances and Stress

Many students have asked me throughout the years, how they can use yoga to fight their hormonal imbalances. And while I believe it can help to support your overall health, it is not a cure.

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Many students have asked me throughout the years, how they can use yoga to fight their hormonal imbalances. And while I believe it can help to support your overall health, it is not a cure.

These imbalances are aggravated by stress, so a regular restorative style practice is certainly helpful in keeping stress levels in check and finding balance in the body.

In order to compress and decompress the internal organs, one should do forward folds and twists. Inversions will also help to send the blood flow to parts of the endocrine system.

For Yin poses, each one is held for 2-5 minutes. Allowing yourself to find comfort and settle in to the pose. Not going past your edge. And then holding still, breathing in to the slight sensations.

For the nurturing sequence outlined below, please have 2 blocks handy.

1. Child's Pose - This may just be the most nourishing pose of all. Keep this one simple, by bringing the big toes together and taking the knees to just about hip width apart. Begin to fold forward, resting the belly on to the thighs, and reaching the arms back at your sides. Lower your forehead down to the floor, or let it rest on a block if that's more comfortable. Start to slow down your breath, working to get your inhales to the same length as your exhales. Hold the pose for at least 2 minutes, setting yourself a timer if need be.

2. Rabbit - This pose targets the thyroid particularly well. But it is also a more intense pose than all the others in this sequence, and thus only hold it for 5 to 10 slow breaths. From child's pose, clasp hold of your heels. Begin to roll lightly towards the crown of your head. This will send the blood flow in to the crown of the head, as well as the throat. After the desired length, gently ease back to child's pose and then slowly lift up.


3. Caterpillar Fold - Whenever you are stressed, forward folds should be a go to. Make your way to your seat, extending your legs in front of you. As you start to hinge forward, prop yourself up with props, stacking the blocks as needed to meet the forehead where you are comfortably able to fold to. Adjusting and lowering the props as gravity opens you deeper in to the pose. Let your spine naturally round, and turn the palms up to the sky so you aren't tempted to push and pull deeper in to the pose. Soften the body further with every exhale. Hold here for a few minutes (remember you can always use a timer). To ease out of the pose, engage the arms and slower than you want to, start to roll up out of the fold.

4. Square Pose with a Twist - Sitting up, bring your left shin parallel to the front edge of your mat. Then stack your right shin on top of the left, so the right knee is over the left foot, and the right foot is over the left knee. If your flexibility today doesn't allow for this, opt to place the right shin on the ground in front of the left. Alternately, if there is a gap between the knees, use a block to close off this space. Flex both feet. Find length through the torso, then twist toward the left knee. Begin to fold forward. Option to do as I have in the picture, by bringing your right elbow to the sole of the right foot. Make a fist with the right hand, then clasp hold of it with the left hand. Drawing elbows away from one another, opening further to the left side. After the decided amount of time, slowly unravel, returning back to seated with a neutral spine. Bring the feet flat to the mat and drop the knees from side to side in a windshield wiper motion before repeating the pose on the other side.


5. Laying Spinal Twist - Ease your way down on to your back. Bending your knees and bringing the soles of the feet to the floor. Open your arms up in to a T. Lift your hips, sliding them over to the right, then lowering them back down. Drop both knees towards the left side, either stacking one on top of the other, or wrapping the legs to intensify. Keep your right shoulder pinning down to the ground, so that the collarbone is facing up. Hold for the desired length. Lift the knees back up slowly, shift the hips to the left and drop the knees to the right, to take the spinal twist on the other side. Make sure both lengths get the same amount of time.

6. Waterfall - With your feet on the floor, push into the soles to lift the hips up and slide a block underneath the hips to support them. Then begin to extend the legs up to the sky. Alternatively you may choose to slide over to a wall, scooching the bum in close to the wall, reclining back, and lifting the legs up the wall. Either way, aiming to feel weightlessness in the legs. This is one of the most restorative poses you can do. Excellent in periods of high stress, or if you spend extended periods of time on your feet. It's an inversion, but a very nourishing one for your entire endocrine system. Surrender yourself to the pose for a few moments.

Don't forget to leave yourself time for savasana. Allowing the body these moments to integrate all of the work you have done.

Prefer to be guided through lengths and transitions by my voice? Practice along with the video below.



Namaste,
Kassandra

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