The purpose of yoga is to create strength, awareness and harmony in both the mind and body. Yoga is very good for both men and women but here we want to talk about the Yoga benefits For women.
There are many benefits of yoga and they are both physical, mental and spiritual. This is seen often with the focus on body, mind and spirit. In this article we will be looking at the benefits of yoga for women in three main categories:
Yoga for Getting in Shape, Relief of Stress and Anxiety and Yoga Breathing and Meditation
Yoga For Getting In Shape
So many factors come into play when you’re trying to get into shape:
- What does “in shape” mean to you?
- What’s your starting point: couch potato or somewhat fit?
- What type of yoga do you practice: gentle or rigorous?
- How often per week are you practicing: once, twice or multiple?
- Is yoga the only exercise you do?
Yoga is one of the best ways to get in shape. By fostering a sense of self-love and respect in the moment, yoga can help you learn to respect your body as it is and honor your efforts to become healthier.
Probably the number one reason we hear of why people don’t do yoga is “I’m not flexible enough for that.” But that’s part of why you go to yoga! Yoga is perfect for increasing flexibility.
The practice of yoga can make your body more flexible, giving your muscles and your joints a greater range of motion.
It is widely known that the words yoga and stretching go hand in hand. Everyone should stretch regularly as part of a general fitness regime. Yoga stretches not only the muscles, but also the joints.
Yoga poses are good for the three muscles groups where most people are lacking in flexibility: hamstrings, hips, and shoulders.
Stretching Exercise For Women
This exercise stretches the triceps, top of shoulders, and waist:
Keep knees slightly flexed
Stand or sit with arms overhead
Hold the elbow with the hand of the opposite arm
Pull the elbow behind the head gently as you slowly lean to the side until a mild stretch is felt
Hold for 10 to 15 seconds
Repeat on the other side
Yoga also helps to prevent muscle soreness and promotes faster recovery between whatever training sessions you give it. Yogic stretching is like a constant battery charger and it’s good for you!
Increasing flexibility is very important, and yoga has positions that act upon the whole body including those joints that are never really on the ‘radar screen’ let alone exercised.
A body which may have been quite rigid at the beginning of learning yoga will start to experience a remarkable flexibility in all parts, even those parts which have not been consciously worked upon. Correct Yogic stretching develops the entire body.
Stretches for the back of the neck:
Sit or stand with arms hanging loosely at sides
Gently tilt head forward to stretch the back of neck
Hold 5 seconds
Repeat 1-3 times
The stretching you do in yoga is a great way to improve your flexibility. Doing yoga regularly is a sure way to become more flexible.
Yoga For Relief of Stress And Anxiety
It’s human nature to worry.
No one knows for sure what causes anxiety. Risk factors include basic personality type, emotional trauma, and even your genes.
Stressful events can produce short-term anxiety in almost everyone, which disappears after the event, and some experts feel that women are particularly susceptible to stress.
Most people feel stress in their day whether it’s stress with family life, work, or just daily living.
Stress and anxiety result when we experience daily pressures or adverse situations that feel greater than our resources allow us to cope with or satisfy.
It’s often a strain on our emotional resources.
Avoid Sudden Stress
When our bodies are exposed to a sudden stress or threat, we respond with a characteristic response of either fight or flight. The excitement rush we experience is a result of the release of the hormones adrenaline and norepinephrine. They cause an increase in blood pressure and pulse rate, faster breathing, and increased blood flow to the muscles.
It’s not about whether the perceived stressor is valid or not – we feel a responsibility to respond to all these pressures and demands. When we are stressed, the question we need to ask is whether or not we truly need to respond.
Yoga Is A Mind-Body Practice
While there are more than 100 different types, or schools, of yoga, most sessions typically include breathing exercises, meditation, and assuming postures (asanas or poses) that stretch and flex various muscle groups.
The mind and body are linked throughout our lives. We must learn to respect both our emotional and physical needs, or we will lose our equilibrium and ability to adapt. Women face these stress concerns every day and it’s good to know the symptoms of stress.
Symptoms of stress include:
- Frequent mood swings
- Negative thinking
- Feeling overwhelmed or helpless
- Feeling tense
- Poor memory
- Poor concentration
As we say yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, controlled breathing, and meditation or relaxation. Yoga may help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lower your heart rate. And almost anyone can do it.
Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines that may help you achieve peacefulness of body and mind. This can help you relax and manage stress and anxiety.
Yoga has many styles, forms and intensities. Hatha yoga, in particular, may be a good choice for stress management. Hatha is one of the most common styles of yoga, and beginners may like its slower pace and easier movements. But most people can benefit from any style of yoga — it’s all about your personal preferences.
Yoga For Managing Stress
There are a lot of aspects of yoga that can help in managing stress and anxiety.
Poses: Poses range from lying on the floor while completely relaxed to difficult postures that may have you stretching your physical limits. The concentration used in practicing the poses is helpful to focus the mind and body which is a good aid for stress reduction.
Breathing. Controlling your breathing is an important part of yoga. Yoga teaches that controlling your breathing can help you control your body and quiet your mind and people take it even further by going into meditation.
Meditation or relaxation. In yoga, you may incorporate meditation or relaxation. Meditation may help you learn to be more mindful and aware of the present moment without judgment plus is so useful in managing stress and relieving tension. It is like a sigh of relief.
Stress reduction. A number of studies have shown that yoga may help reduce stress and anxiety. It can also enhance your mood and overall sense of well-being.
Are Women More Susceptible To Stress?
Women are socialized to be the caretakers of others. Over 70% of married women with children under the age of 18 are employed outside the home.
Women find it harder to say no to others’ requests and often feel guilty if they can’t please everyone.
Stress happens to everyone and can be motivating and productive or negative and destructive. It’s good to make a plan for dealing with the stress in life.
What To Do For Stress?
You can’t be all things to all people all of the time. Don’t be reluctant to ask for help. Avoid combining too many projects. Delegate things if you think it is necessary. Learn to say “no.”
Available reviews of a wide range of yoga practices suggest they can reduce the impact of exaggerated stress responses and may be helpful for both anxiety and depression. In this respect, yoga functions like other self-soothing techniques, such as meditation, relaxation, exercise, or even socializing with friends.
By reducing perceived stress and anxiety, yoga appears to modulate stress response systems. This, in turn, decreases physiological arousal — for example, reducing the heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and easing respiration.
There is also evidence that yoga practices help increase heart rate variability, an indicator of the body’s ability to respond to stress more flexibly.
In a recent study yoga practitioners had the highest pain tolerance and lowest pain-related brain activity during tests. The study underscores the value of techniques, such as yoga, that can help a person regulate their stress and, therefore, pain responses.
Conclusion Of Stress
For many people dealing with depression, anxiety, or stress, yoga may be a very appealing way to better manage symptoms. Indeed, the scientific study of yoga demonstrates that mental and physical health are not just closely allied, but are essentially equivalent. The evidence is growing that yoga practice is a relatively low-risk, high-yield approach to improving overall health.
Stress and anxiety are everywhere. If they’re getting the best of you, you might want to hit the mat and give yoga a try. Yoga may help reduce stress, lower blood pressure and lower your heart rate and women everywhere are already believing in the benefits of yoga.
Yoga Breathing (or Pranayama), is the foundation of your yoga practice. It begins with deepening your breathing via breathing exercises and goes hand in hand with the Asanas.
The role of breath is very important in the practice of Asanas or Yoga positions or postures. First we need to understand why breathing is incorporated in yoga practice. The breath is Prana or vital force and what our bodies need for constant vitality. Our body requirements of oxygen or pranic energy are changing depending on our actions.
We use the yoga breathing exercises for increasing muscle strength and tone as well as for general well-being. Women benefit in many ways from yoga breathing like diminished pain from headaches, relief of sinus pressure, decrease in phlegm, and strengthening of the nervous and digestive systems.
It is said in the yoga science this pranayama cleanses 72,000 nadis or channels in the body. It helps purify the blood and the respiratory system. The deeper breathing enriches the blood with oxygen. As a matter of fact a large amount of oxygen goes to the brain, lungs, heart, and capillaries.
Breathing and Meditation
Yoga’s incorporation of meditation and breathing can help improve a person’s mental well-being. Regular yoga practice creates mental clarity and calmness; increases body awareness; relieves chronic stress patterns; relaxes the mind; centers attention; and sharpens concentration.
Body and self-awareness are particularly benefited because they can help with early detection of physical problems and allow for early preventive action.
Meditation is used to calm the breath and mind and thus providing a welcome relief to the practitioner. Getting into a clear space and seeing things fresh can be a life changer and we can see that many people practice and benefit from the meditations.
Often times the meditator starts with a pranayama breathing method to calm the breath and as a result the mind gets quiet also. This is useful for finding peace and getting into the state we call cessation.
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Because there are so many different kinds of yoga practices, it is possible for anyone to start.
Whether you’re a couch potato or a professional athlete, size and fitness levels do not matter because there are modifications for every yoga pose and beginner classes in every style.
The idea is to explore your limits, not strive for some pretzel-like perfection. It is a great way to get in tune with your body and your inner self and here we have seen just a small number of the yoga benefits for women.
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