7 Yoga Benefits For Women
You are probably one of the multifaced and multitalented women who live their life to the fullest. However, you tend always to handle your professional and personal life with utmost care and finesse.
Still, being a woman and having hectic sedentary life and sometimes having poor eating habits may lead to many health conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, breast cancer, osteoporosis, and depression, just to name a few. Moreover, women are prone to weight gain, and hormonal imbalance may cause complications during pregnancy.
How can you help yourself? Besides having some adequate sleep, healthy eating and drinking habits, get some ample physical exercise, and along with this, one great spiritual practice that comes directly from heaven – Yoga!
What Is Yoga?
Yoga is a mental and physical practice that involves the spirit, mind, and body. It originates in India and can cleanse, heal and strengthen your body, create a mind-body-spirit balance, and enhance awareness.
No one knows when it started, but it is presumed that it started to be practiced a thousand years ago in India and was meant to be a spiritual union with the divine. Different yoga exercises were made to prepare the body for long meditations and to reach a high spiritual with the absolute truth or true self (Atman).
Today it is practiced for its physical, psychological, and spiritual benefits, and it is firmly rooted in American culture and is one of the hottest trends.
It is never late to start practicing yoga, and in fact, you need little or no equipment and it can be done everywhere, even in your living room, whenever you have a place to put your yoga mat.
7 Yoga Benefits For Women
Although the scientific studies about yoga benefits are preliminary, yoga practitioners, especially women, have known them for millennia. If you are a woman, it can help you with keeping your energy levels and self – esteem it can help you with several medical health conditions:
1. Yoga Can Improve Your Flexibility And Balance
One of the first and most obvious benefits of yoga is improved flexibility. Even in your first class, you will notice how your body loosens and it will gradually become so flexible that it can do some seemingly impossible poses. Your pain will disappear and it will temporally relieve you from back pain. For back pain, you can try the Cat-Cow Pose.
This pose brings flexibility to the spine and stretches the back torso.
- Start this pose on your hands and knees.
- You should place your knees under your hips and your palms directly under your shoulders.
- Inhale while dropping your stomach on the mat and exhale while you draw your stomach upwards toward your spine.
- It looks like you are stretching your spine, very similar to a cat.
In addition to improved flexibility, yoga can improve your balance too. Balance is very important for everyday life and for your yoga classes. Some studies have shown that yoga can improve balance in healthy individuals. (1)
2. Yoga Can Improve Your Cardiovascular Health
Several studies have shown that yoga can improve your heart health. It is a great stress outlet. Stress activities release hormones like cortisol that narrow your arteries and increase your blood pressure. In addition, pranayama, or yogic breathing, is one of the most important aspects of yoga and can be beneficial in many ways, it is proven to be beneficial for heart rate, reducing stroke, blood pressure, and contractility of the heart. (2)
3. Yoga Can Ease The Premenstrual Syndrome And Menstrual Cramps
Some yoga postures can lower the pressure on the uterus can relieve the stomach cramps, while the yoga stretching techniques can ease the tension of the lower back. When it is practiced regularly, it may alleviate the symptoms of severe PMS and help in the balance of body chemistry in many women.
4. Yoga Is A Great Stress Reliever And Reduces Anxiety
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders in the United States and affect 40 million adult Americans. (3)
Many studies have shown that yoga asana may be effective in treating anxiety disorders, but additional research is needed as yoga is most effective in short–term depressive symptoms. (4)
According to the National Institute of Health, yoga can support alertness, healthy living, weight loss, and support stress management.
For releasing stress, you can try:
Corpse Pose (Savasana)
- Gently stretch out your limbs and lie down with your palms faced up and away from your body.
- Breath deeply and clear your mind.
- You can hold the pose for five to fifteen minutes.
5. Prenatal Yoga For Pregnant Women
Prenatal yoga is an ideal exercise for pregnant women. These exercises are gentle, and the main focus is on relaxation and breathing. Yoga can help you better cope with the stress associated with pregnancy and will prepare your body for labor. If your doctor has given you the green light to start practicing and being physically active during pregnancy, yoga is the ideal activity for you. But, you should always consult your health provider before starting yoga classes during pregnancy. There are plenty of yoga benefits for pregnant women and their babies and will aid you to:
- Improve your mood
- Improve your labor experience
- Manage the gain of weight
- Cut your risk of preterm labor and other complications
- Lower your blood pressure
- It promotes a better sleep
6. Yoga Is Recommended For Women After Breast Cancer Surgery
Yoga is recommended for women after breast cancer surgery. In one study, an experimental group of 12 women practiced yoga for 12 weeks after breast cancer surgery. It was found that it improved their quality of life and improved their physical functioning. (5)
So, women who are breast cancer patients and survivors should consider it as an alternative treatment. Still, you should always consult a health provider before doing any physical activity after undergoing surgery.
For people with breast cancer, the advisable pose is:
Balasana (Child’s pose)
During this pose, you relax the muscles on your chest, while the muscles on your thighs, hips, and back are stretched.
- Start on your hands and knees.
- Lower the hips toward the heels and exhale
- Reach the outstretched arms forward
- Keep your arms stretched out and breathe slowly, while your hands are on the floor and the palms are facing up or down.
- Bring the forehead to the floor.
- Hold this pose for four–twelve breaths.
7. Yoga May Improve Your Bone Health
While practicing yoga, your muscles are fully engaged and many yoga postures are isometric contractions, which hold your body in one position. These types of exercises, when performed with the joints in flexion, are found to increase bone density. (6)
According to the American College of Rheumatology, physical activity is very important for the effective treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
In one study 75 sedentary adults with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or knee osteoarthritis randomly practiced yoga for 8 weeks and it was found that it improved their physical and psychological health. (7)
How Yoga May Benefit Your Skin?
Yoga can transform your skin and make those dark undereye circles disappear and slow down your age. In addition, yoga is a great stress and anxiety reliever, which will make your skin more radiant. You sleep better, which repairs your body’s skin cells and a good night’s sleep does wonders on your face. (8)
In one study from 2017, it was found that sleep restriction may affect attractiveness, health, and trustworthiness, which is related to your skin’s radiance.
Some yoga exercises increase the circulation in your body and your face which leads to a short-term glow.
Other yoga exercises may improve your mood, slow down your breathing, and decrease your stress level, which positively affects your whole appearance.
Yoga may reduce inflammation, and one study confirmed that it could decrease inflammation, especially the stress – provoked inflammation. (9)
While practicing yoga, the level of the stress hormone cortisol is reduced, which can lead to acne outbreaks on your skin.
Another important thing is that all the toxins are released during the workout through the sweat, which helps your skin be more radiant.
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)
One of the best exercises for increasing oxygen supply to the skin cells and for bringing blood flow to the face is Uttanasana. It is anti-aging and gives an instant healthy glow to the skin.
How To Make A Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold) – Pose?
- Put your hands on your hips and stand in Tadasana Mountain Pose
- Stand in Mountain Pose with your hands resting on your hips
- Inhale with raised arms and slowly exhale while bending forward and engaging your thighs
- You should bend your knees to relieve the tension from the lower back
- Your head should hang heavy
- You can cross your arms in front of you while holding your elbows or bring your hands to the floor to rest.
- When you inhale, try to lift your torso, but be careful not to round your back.
- Try to inhale and exhale 5 times
- Yoga is a mental and physical practice that involves the spirit, mind, and body. If you are a woman, it can help you with keeping your energy levels and self – esteem it can help you with several medical health conditions.
- One of the first and most obvious benefits of yoga is improved flexibility.
- Yoga is recommended for women after breast cancer surgery.
- Prenatal yoga is an ideal exercise for pregnant women. These exercises are gentle and the main focus is on relaxation and breathing.
- Yoga can transform your skin, make those dark undereye circles disappear, and slow down your age.