Yoga, rooted in ancient Indian traditions, has seen a remarkable surge in popularity across the world in recent years. This popularity can be attributed to the fact that yoga delves deep into the synergy between the body and mind. It focuses on both the physical and the mental well-being of anyone who practices it. While it undoubtedly benefits all who practice it, it is especially beneficial for women. This is because women have unique physiological and emotional needs, often influenced by their biological makeup, different life stages, and the ever-evolving roles they play in their communities and families. The benefits of yoga for women extend beyond physical wellness and promote their mental clarity and emotional well-being. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits that women can experience through the practice of yoga.
Proven Health Benefits of Yoga for Women
Here are some of the proven health benefits of yoga for women.
1. Improved Physical Fitness
One of the proven health benefits of yoga for women is improved physical fitness. Unlike what people assume, yoga is far from simple techniques. It incorporates a combination of postures, poses, and stretches that help to improve flexibility, strength, and balance. Women who practice yoga regularly strengthen their core and improve their overall fitness in this process.
2. Improved Flexibility
Better flexibility means better post-menopausal health in women. Yoga involves a wide range of stretches and poses that gradually increase flexibility by targeting different muscle groups. Most women struggle with orthopaedic conditions after menopause and start experiencing difficulties in movement. Practising yoga poses for flexibility can be a great way to postpone such weaknesses and stay healthy and fit for longer.
3. Improved Mental Health
Women go through various mental health problems all through their lives. These can stem from workplace stress, relationship issues, anxiety, feeling down, or even panic feelings – partly because of the expectations society places on them. Yoga for stress relief is a proven technique to deal with everyday personal and professional stress levels. With relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation, Yoga helps ground the mind and create a buffer against external triggers. It is important that you learn from a professional to fully enjoy the benefits of yoga for mental health.
4. Lowered PMS Symptoms
Pre-menstrual symptoms (PMS) are a group of conditions that typically occur between ovulation and menstruation. It may include breast tenderness, mood swings, irritability, fatigue, and stomach cramps. The physical movement and breathing exercises stimulate the release of endorphins, which are natural mood lifters. Thus, practising yoga regularly may help bring down the severity of PMS symptoms in women.
5. Easier Pregnancy and Post-partum Symptoms
One remarkable distinction between men and women is women’s unique ability to conceive and bring new life into the world. But this incredible journey can put a woman’s body through some significant challenges, both during and after pregnancy.
For moms-to-be who are in good health, exploring pregnancy-specific yoga techniques after consulting with their doctors can be a fantastic idea. Yoga for pregnant women can work wonders in easing tension in the pelvic muscles, potentially making the birthing process more comfortable and manageable. It’s a great way to support a healthy and harmonious transition into motherhood.
6. Ability to Handle Menopause with Ease
Menopause is a natural part of a woman’s life, happening when her body gradually produces fewer reproductive hormones. It usually starts in her 40s and brings with it various physical and emotional challenges. While there is no proven technique to curb menopausal effects, yoga can definitely help make the process more bearable.
Many women pick up yoga for back pain issues. Back pain is a common problem in adult women, especially after childbirth, and yoga can help strengthen the back muscles and correct your sitting and standing posture. Yoga’s gentle movements and stretches are easy on the joints and can help alleviate stiffness and pain. This is particularly valuable for women who may experience joint discomfort, especially as they age.
8. Weight Loss
A common question that crosses many women’s minds is whether they could practice yoga for weight loss. While the basic idea of yoga is to strengthen and rejuvenate, it is true that yoga also helps burn calories. When you are on a calorie-deficit diet and practice yoga regularly, the combination can lead to weight loss.
The Popular Poses of Yoga for Beginners
If you are a beginner, then it is recommended that you train under a professional initially so you learn the techniques correctly. Here are some of the popular poses of yoga for beginners that you could try.
As the name suggests, this is a pose of ease and comfort. In Sukhasana, you sit cross-legged on the floor and keep your spine straight. The hands rest on the knees, with the palms facing up. Deep inhalations in this pose help reduce stress.
If you are going through panic attacks or phases of anxiety, then balasana is a perfect way to rejuvenate. Here, you start by kneeling down on a soft mat or carpet. Now, lower the butt to your heels. Bend forward with your arms raised and lie down on the mat with your head touching the ground and the body stretched. The arms are stretched to the front, elongating the body. This pose greatly helps calm down the body and helps you focus on what’s important. It grounds the body and mind and is great for restoring energy levels. This is also an excellent pose of yoga for back pain.
3. Bitilasana (Cow Pose) and Marjaryasana (Cat Pose)
Bitilasana, or cow pose, is also a yoga for beginner pose and involves standing on fours like a cow, with a curve or dip in the spine. Bililasana is usually done with another pose called the marjaryasana (cat pose).
This is the exact opposite of the cow’s pose. You still are on fours, but the back is now an inverted ‘U,’ like a cat that’s getting ready to pounce. Doing the cat and cow pose together helps strengthen the spine and gives it flexibility.
If there is one pose of yoga for ladies onlythat’s extremely beneficial, it is the badhakonasana. This doesn’t mean it cannot be tried by men. This pose, however, has immense health benefits for women, especially during their pregnancy.
Also called the butterfly pose, you sit on the ground cross-legged and let the soles of your feet touch each other. Keep the spine straight. Interlace your fingers and use them to hold the soles together. Flap the legs like the wings of a butterfly while keeping the spine straight.
The butterfly pose helps open up the pelvic muscles and improve reproductive health. It also is proven to bring down depression.
Vrksasana is also called the tree pose and requires you to stand with your spine straight. Gently lift one of your legs, bend, and place the sole on the opposite leg’s inner thigh. You are now standing on just one foot. Beginners may start by holding on to a support for balance.
Over time, lift both your arms above your head in a prayer position and try to balance on each leg. Vrksasana is great for improving balance – both physical and mental and helps in better energy flow through the body.
Yoga for Seniors – Things to Keep in Mind
Yoga is one of the physical practices that can be done safely despite the person’s age. However, do know that with time, people’s stamina, flexibility, and ability to balance change. So, not all poses may be beneficial to seniors. In fact, some of the poses of yoga for seniors may turn detrimental if not done right.
If you are over 60 and want to try yoga as a beginner, it is highly recommended that you get a nod of approval from your doctor and find the right trainer for your needs. There are several trainers who specialise in yoga for seniors, and they ensure the process is safer.
Yoga for Athletes
Women athletes have rigorous workout regimes in place already. They go through intense physical training to keep their stamina levels intact and improve their performance. Studies show that yoga for athletes can be a great addition to whatever regime they are used to. Yoga poses can be used as stretching postures before and after workouts. Mindful yoga can also keep the athletes grounded and focused.
Yoga as a Tool for Self-empowerment
Empowerment is the process of getting authority or the power to control something. Self-empowerment is the ability to control one’s own life and become stronger and more confident in that process.
Yoga for women helps them connect with their inner selves by being more mindful. Being more mindful is a way of owning their own truths and exactly understanding what’s happening with them physically and mentally.
As mentioned before, yoga for mental health is proven to work wonders. Getting hold of one’s mental health is the first sure step to self-empowerment. Physical challenges are also barriers to achieving one’s dreams, and yoga targets the common issues women face, like PMS, back pain, weak bones, and flexibility issues, and helps them get stronger.
Yoga for women is an absolutely powerful tool that everyone must make use of, regardless of age. Practising mindful yoga every day can be a game changer and help you grow physically, mentally, and emotionally. Yoga for pregnant women helps ease the pregnancy process. Yoga for senior women keeps them healthy and strong. Yoga for those in their menopausal age helps them handle the period with ease. This way, yoga can be a wonderful tool to tap into at all stages of life for every woman.
1. Why is yoga important for females?
Yoga for women is extremely important to maintain their physical and mental health. It also helps them stay grounded and better connected with their bodies.
2. How can I change my body with yoga?
You can get fitter and stronger physically with regular yoga. Mentally, you can grow to be more calm, more mature, and more grounded in yourself.
3. Why is yoga so powerful?
Yoga is extremely powerful because it affects both the physical and mental states equally. Practising yoga can help a person grow stronger in body and mind and stay attentive, focused, and calm through life’s changes.
4. What happens after two months of yoga?
When you practice two months of yoga, you can definitely see a change in how flexible and lightweight your body has become. If you are practising mindful yoga, then there will also be positive changes to your mental state, with fewer instances of mood swings, irritability, and anxiety episodes. Yoga makes a person very confident and focused, too.