Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Crashing fatigue. How to beat it with yoga backbends

Crashing fatigue, or overall weariness is often reported by women who are going through perimenopause.

Doctors may suggest hormone replacement therapy and may prescribe antidepressants and certain other medications to lower this troublesome symptom in perimenopausal women. And yet simple lifestyle changes can help get rid of fatigue without the use of prescription drugs.

Perimenopausal women should follow a healthy and light diet: frequent small meals can help maintain energy levels. Drinking plenty of water and healthy liquids like natural fruit juices, soups, herbal tea, etc. instead of coffee help maintain energy levels.

We know that regular exercise plays an important role in balancing hormone levels, and yet when you are exhausted, and all you want is an afternoon nap, it may be difficult to muster the energy to get off the sofa and drag yourself to the gym or a yoga class.

Despite my regular yoga practice, i too experience fatigue and very low blood pressure on certain days of the month, usually on the third and fourth week of my cycle, when estrogen levels plummet.

I noticed that gentle back bends offer immediate relief when my body refuses to hold more demanding poses. I perform an easy sequence of Cobra and Child pose, holding both for 3-5 slow breaths, and when my energy levels are restored, i alternate Upward-facing Dog and Downward-facing dog.

Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
This pose stimulates the endocrine system, strengthens the spine, stretches chest and lungs, shoulders, and abdomen, stimulates abdominal organs, helps relieve stress and fatigue, opens the heart and lungs, soothes sciatica. Bhujangasana increases body heat and awakens kundalini.

Instructions: Lying on your stomach place your hands under your shoulders, fingers evenly spread and pointing forward. Slide your chest forward and up keeping your hands exactly where they were.
Roll your shoulders back and lift the chest higher, while keeping the low ribs on the floor. 
Keep your neck neutral, don’t crank it back. Breath naturally and hold the pose for 3 breaths first, then relax in child's pose and repeat. Increase the number of breaths only insofar as it is comfortable to do so. Stop if your face becomes flushed and your heart beat fast or irregular.


  1. When i studied this blog post, I forget everything and continuously reading 2 times to understand and apply on myself. Its great and effective. I was just searching about HRT but after reading this post i feel energy to fight every kind of disease.

  2. Thanks for your comment. I am glad that you tried out this pose and found it effective. It gently stimulates both body and mind, without sapping your energy when you most need it. A regular practice of alternate Cobra and Child pose when i get up in the morning helps me feel less sluggish - though i will never become a morning person :-)