A woman's body undergoes many changes during a lifetime. From the first menstrual cycle to menopause, her body goes through several changes, both internally and externally. While the body is designed to bear all these changes, it's essential to make sure these transitions and cycles are smooth and healthy. This is where these 9 best yoga poses for women can help.
But yoga is much more than a prescription for smooth transitions, it is a lifelong healing companion! Yoga teaches us the deep connection between our cycles and the cycles of the universe.
Yoga and Women's Health
Yoga is an ancient healthcare system designed for all types of bodies. You can practice it regardless of your age, body shape, or disorder. It not only works on improving physical health, but it also works on the well-being of your mind and spirit.
Yoga helps women to shed societies conditioning of what an ideal woman should look like. It allows you to become strong and secure in your femininity and grace.
Whatever stage of life you are in, the practice of yoga can help you honor each phase of life. An ongoing yoga practice has a lot to offer you no matter what stage of life you're in.
While men and women are similar biologically, there are specific benefits of yoga for women.
General Benefits of Yoga For Women
Strengthens Bone Health
One of the most overlooked advantages of yoga is that it can help to greatly improve bone density. When you make slow calculated movements, carrying your weight on your bone helps to improve its density.
People who spend a lot of time sitting are more susceptible to bone issues later in life. But, people who regularly place weight on the bone structure have much stronger bones. These exercises also help to keep the stress hormone cortisol in check.
It’s been suggested that cortisol can contribute to the loss of important nutrients like calcium in your bones. Exercise periods can be as short as 20 – 30 minutes, and they will still yield favorable results.
Perfects Your Posture
We sit in front of our computers all day, bend our neck to look at our phones and end up with a hunchback. Yoga exercises can give your spine a chance to realign itself. In your daily life, your body sustains a lot of damage. This can come from something as simple as just walking or carrying random objects.
Even just the weight of your head can cause you to feel burdened. When you feel worn out, your posture that can land you in pain with one wrong turn at the waist.
The right stretches can strengthen your muscles and give you relief from pain without having to take drugs intended to limit pain.
A good posture creates:
- A positive image
- Enhances fertility
- Maintains youth
- Helps with pregnancy and postnatal issues.
So here are the 7 best yoga poses for women to incorporate into your daily lifestyle for complete health and wellness.
Best Yoga Poses For Women
1. Balasana – Child's Pose
- Stretches the hips and quads
- Relieves lower back aches and tightness
- Calms the mind, helps to deal with postnatal issues
- Reduces stress, fatigue, and anxiety
Sit straight on the floor on your knees and place your hands on the thighs.
Now slightly spread your knees and then pull your upper body down and sit on your hips.
Make sure your hips rest on the heels. Then slide your hands forward and at the same time bend your torso.
Your forehead should touch the floor. Rest the abdomen in between the thighs. Let the arms be raised above the head, well stretched out.
You can also let your arms rest beside the body. Breathe slowly and be in the pose for a minute.
2. Virabhadrasana I – Warrior Pose
- Stretches inner thighs, hips, abdomen, chest and shoulders, tones the arms
- Relieves sciatica
- Make us compassionate
- Evokes mind stillness
- Stables the emotions and feelings
- Helps form body and mind connection.
Start with being in the Tadasana pose and then spread your legs 4 feet wide-apart.
Now turn the right foot outwards so that the toes face the front side of the mat.
Then turn your left foot inwards and make a 45-degree angle. Make sure your torso is not twisted and keep it in the center.
Now move your right knee forward making a 90-degree angle and then stretch back your left leg.
Now raise your arms and bring it parallel to the floor. Hold the pose for 30 seconds. Release and repeat on the other side.
For modification, you can raise your right arm up and let the left arm touch the left calf.
3. Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog
- Stretches calves, glutes, spine, and hamstrings
- Strengthens abdomen, triceps, and deltoids
- Eases menstrual pain
- Relieves mild depression
- Relieves symptoms of menopause
- Increases blood circulation.
Start with being on your hands and knees on the floor, keeping the knees aligned with the hips, and your hands should be slightly ahead from the shoulders.
Inhale and lift up your knees and heels off the floor, and then, as you exhale lift your hips and tailbone.
Slightly push back your legs, straighten the knees, stretch the spine, and this way you form an inverted-V from your body.
Keep your head in between your arms. Keep breathing and hold the pose for a minute.
4. Navasana – Boat Pose
- Strengthens abdominal muscles
- Stimulates digestion & reduces belly fat
- Relieves stress
- Great for thyroid and reproductive system
Boat pose challenges the abdomen, and hip flexors. It builds strength in your body's core. It stimulates digestion and also encourages healthy regulation of the thyroid gland.
Many find this pose difficult at first. But practicing Navasana regularly will increase your stamina and your ability to stay focused and emotionally calm.
Do not practice boat pose if you are pregnant or menstruating. If you have a back or neck injury, practice this pose with your back and head supported against a wall.
Lie down on the floor on your back and keep your legs together and hands beside the body.
Now take a deep breath. And as you exhale, lift up your legs and torso off the floor.
Then stretch your arms towards the legs keeping it parallel to the floor. Make sure you sit on the hips and balance the whole body.
Breathe normally and hold the pose for 30 seconds.
5. Malasana – Squat Pose
- Improves digestion
- Stretches groins, hips, lower back, and ankles
- Eases menstrual cramps.
- Practiced during pregnancy can make for an easier childbirth
Stand in Tadasana pose with the feet slightly wider than hip-width apart
Now join your hands in a prayer position and keep it in front of the chest
Now take a deep breath and bend down your knees or squat down
Keep your hands together, gaze straight, elbows inside the knees, and feet pointed outward
Keep your back straight and hold the pose for a minute
6. Kumbhakasana – Plank Pose
- Strengthens upper body
- Reduces belly fat
- Builds stamina
- Activates chakra
- Tones muscles.
Lie on your stomach on the floor with the hands beside the body
Now slide the hands near the shoulders and with its help, lift your upper body off the floor
Now come on your toes and with its help, lift the legs and thighs
Make sure your hands are aligned with the shoulders. Keep your body straight like a plank. Hold the pose for 30 seconds
7. Utkatasana – Chair Pose
- Stretches spine
- Strengthens ankles, abdomen, back, and quadriceps.
Stand straight on the floor, keeping your feet hip-width apart, and press them against the floor.
Now raise your hands upward above the head with the palm facing each other. At the same time, bend your knees and form a pose as if you’re sitting in a chair.
Put all your weight on the heels and keep taking deep breaths. Hold the pose for as long as you can.
Practicing At Home
You've just learned about the seven best yoga poses for women. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.
If possible, make a commitment to practiced at least a little bit every day. The key is consistency. So, if you struggle to find the time to get to a group yoga class for whatever reason, you can always practice yoga at home and reap the same benefits. Or consider online yoga and Yoga Download to learn from some of the best teachers in the world.
Yoga can teach you to love yourself from the inside out, so let it be your guide to self-care and self-love.