Yes, hormone yoga is a thing. And no, it's not just for women in transition. Getting hormones back in balance with yoga, here's what you need to know:
We are living in 2021 and daring to speak out about female hormones is becoming a trending topic. But what exactly is hormone yoga and what does it do for you? Is it the trend of the moment or is there more behind it?
Where does hormone yoga come from?
Dinah Rodrigues, a name you may have heard passed by. Rodrigues is a Brazilian yoga teacher of (yes, really) 94 years. Dinah released her book 'Hormoonyoga' in 2005 and is living proof that hormone yoga really does have positive effects.
Dinah Rodrigues has achieved spectacular results in the 30 years she has been a yoga teacher. When Dinah went through menopause, she didn't suffer from anything; her doctor was surprised by her high hormone levels. Dinah was sure it was because of her daily yoga hour. She did further research and put together a series of exercises that specifically work on the ovaries, thyroid, pituitary and adrenal glands.
But what does this particular style of yoga entail and why do we need it?
Hormone yoga helps you balance (or keep in balance) your hormones. Something that many women actually know little about, but which we should definitely not underestimate. After all, your hormones have a lot of influence on various bodily functions such as your metabolism, mood, behaviour, sleep quality, degree of hunger and so on.
Who is hormone yoga for?
The basic idea behind hormone yoga is mainly to help menopausal women balance (or keep in balance) their hormones. But by now, this has long since ceased to be the only thing. Hormone yoga can be nice for any woman, from young to old, even if you have no symptoms.
In the world of yoga, trends come and go. Sometimes hot yoga or aerial yoga are popular and other times it's all about ashtanga or yin yoga. Today's hype is hormone yoga.
How exactly does hormone yoga work?
Hormone yoga sounds a bit like a magic trick, but it's really not as mysterious as it sounds. The exercises of hormone yoga affect your glands and in this way influence the production of your hormones. The female body has many different hormones but during hormone yoga, the focus is often on making the female hormone oestrogen.
In women, oestrogen production begins around 35e already decreasing. Around that age, you won't notice it yet, but at a slightly later age, you might. And that is when many women start using hormone yoga, do you too?
Hormone yoga incorporates several basic elements from different yoga styles and backgrounds. These include Hatha yoga, energetic yoga such as Raja and Oki yoga. But also Kundalini yoga and Tibetan vitality techniques.
It's not nothing, hormone yoga. In fact, this form of yoga is said to help with menopause symptoms. And not only that: it is also said to balance your hormones, reduce menstrual complaints and increase vitality.
1. Bhastrika (bellows breathing)
Instead of the bhastrica technique, you can also use abdominal breathing technique.
2. Mula bandha (tightening the pelvic floor muscles)
In the mula bandha technique, you contract your pelvic floor muscles; both the sphincter and the perineum (the muscle area between the anus and the genitals).
3. Ujjayi (liberating breathing)
This is a breathing technique where you fill the middle and upper part of your lungs with air. This sends energy to your thyroid and parathyroid glands.
4. Uddiyana bandha (abdominal retraction)
This technique involves retracting your abdomen. Besides having control over your energy flow, you basically 'massage' your abdominal organs with this technique.
5. Yoga Nidra
Probably the most famous from this whole list. A moment of relaxation, your body is motionless and you feel the energy flowing through parts of your body.
6. Circulation of energy
The most important part of hormone yoga. You allow energy to flow naturally through the spine and send it to the relevant hormone gland.
Sylvia Mullaart (once a student with Dinah Rodrigues, among others) has her own YouTube channel and shares the finest (and informative) yoga videos here. Here is a short impression and introduction to Fusion Hormone Yoga: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6Qh1O7WEjo
Don't accept your hormonal problems, get to work and get 'happy- Sylvia Mullaart
'hormones' for ever!
So hormone yoga is really not a trend that has come along and is replaced by something new after a few months. Hormoonyoga is the real deal and has been for quite a few years!
Curious about other articles on hormones and yoga?