These exercises from Mary Beth Janssen, author of Rejuvenation: Spa Secrets for Menopause, will help you relax—and may even help keep hot flashes at bay.
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Lie down on a mat with your knees bent and your feet flat, placed hip-width apart and close to your butt. Your arms should be by your sides. Relax and focus on your breathing. As you let your body sink into the mat, feel your back lengthen and release. Firm your butt and draw your tailbone toward your heels to protect your lower back. Pressing your feet into the mat, slowly lift your spine upward as you inhale, raising your pelvis as high as is comfortable. Keep breathing smoothly. You may stay in this pose for a few breaths or longer, if desired. When you feel ready, exhale and slowly roll back down.
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Kneel on all fours. Knees should be underneath hipbones, and hands, with fingers spread, should be one-hand’s distance forward of shoulders. On an exhale, lift your butt toward the ceiling, pressing into the floor through your hands. (It’s OK if your heels don’t reach the floor.) Let your head hang between your arms. Breathe smoothly and naturally for several breaths. Release your body back down to all fours. Sit back on your heels, while lowering your torso and head to the floor. Rest in this position for several breaths.
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Sit in a relaxed position. Keeping your shoulders down, inhale through nostrils into lowest part of lungs, and watch your belly moving outward. Exhale completely before the next inhale. Repeat 10 times
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Lie face down with feet hip-width apart and the tops of your feet pressing into the mat. Place hands, with fingers spread, on either side of your chest, keeping elbows close to your body. Draw tailbone toward heels to protect lower back. Inhale and lift torso and hips off the floor, straightening arms. Keep shoulders drawn down and back. Look forward, keeping neck long and relaxed. Press down through your hands as you keep your body lifting away from the floor. Breathe. On an exhalation, lower your body to the floor. Place your arms by your sides and turn your head to the right for a couple of breaths; repeat with your head turned left.
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