Yoga for Perimenopause

From time to time, I share postures included in published yoga research. I’ve used such lists to inform my own sequencing, both in group classes and when working privately with clients. Today’s share is a list of asanas that were included in a yoga protocol for a study of perimenopausal women. I’m not providing analysis or evaluation of the research, just the poses. In this study, 216 women were assigned to either a yoga group or an exercise group. The intervention was practiced for 45 minutes every day for 12 weeks.

Perimenopausal women have been shown to have increased blood sugar levels and may be at higher risk for diabetes and metabolic syndrome. It should go without saying that perimenopause is a stressful physiological state in women. Thus, the study measured blood sugar and stress hormone levels before the intervention period and again, after 12 weeks of intervention.

The study found yoga to be as beneficial or better than exercise at improving fasting blood sugar and stress hormone levels, with participants reporting calming effects of yoga practice and a general feeling of wellness.

And here, as promised, are the postures practiced in the yoga group. I’ve provided a visual of each asana using Yoga Stick Figures from Justine Aldersey-Williams. I’ve been using her clever illustrations in my teaching materials for several years now. You can download over 200 images from her Etsy store for just $5. Inconsistencies in naming & spelling of yogasana across yoga styles & teachers is to be expected, but these illustrations capture the basic shape of each pose. You’re welcome!

Asanas & approximate time held

Swastikasana (auspicious pose) 2 min


Vajrasana (thunderbolt pose) 2 min


Suptavajrasana (reclined Thunderbolt Pose) 2 min


Tadasana (Mountain pose) 2 min


Trikonasana (Triangle pose) 2 min


Parsvakonasana (extended side angle pose) 2 min


Paschimottasana (seated forward bend) 2 min


Purvatanasana (seated back arch) 2 min


Janushirshana (head to the knee pose) 2 min


Pavanamuktaasana (wind relieving pose) 2 min


Bhujangasana (cobra pose) 2 min


Shalabhasana (locust pose) 2 min


Dhanurasana (bow pose) 2 min

Vakrasana (twisted pose) 2 min


Padottanasana (wide-legged forward bend) 2 min

Shavasana (corpse pose) 5 min


Pranayama(breathing exercises)

Anuloma-viloma (alternative nostril) 5 min

Suryabhedana (right nostril) 5 min

Sheetali (through tongue) 2 min

Bhramari (honey bee sound during exhalation) 2 min

Namaste, Michele

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