Yoga for Women

There are many yoga asanas specifically for helping women with the changes and challenges through the various phases in their life, from childhood to puberty, motherhood to menopause. Yoga is as an effective adjunct therapy for a variety of conditions, including cancer, heart disease, arthritis, asthma, diabetes, depression, fibromyalgia and migraine.

Across the world, women suffer from cardiovascular diseases, breast cancer, polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD), osteoporosis and depression. Incidences of stroke, obesity, hypertension and diabetes are also common. While PCOD, complicated pregnancies and weight gain can be blamed on hormonal imbalances in the endocrine system, cardiovascular diseases and osteoporosis are caused by a sedentary lifestyle and poor eating habits.

Let’s look at the yoga poses that can improve some of the specific conditions affecting women. 

THYROID. The thyroid gland regulates the metabolic activity of the human body. An underactive and overactive thyroid gland causes many ailments and is responsible for over 50 symptoms.
Suggested yoga poses:
Bridge pose. Activates the thyroid gland and helps the metabolism.
Halasana/ Plough pose. This pose compresses the neck and stimulates the thyroid glands.
Matsyasana/ Fish pose. Matsyasana provides adequate stretching to the neck triggering the thyroid gland.

L – Bridge Pose C – Plough Pose R – Fish Pose

POLYCYSTIC OVARIAN SYNDROME DISEASE. PCOS is a common occurrence in women of reproductive age. Women suffering from obesity are more prone to PCOS. It crops up when a woman’s ovaries or adrenal glands produce more male hormones than normal.
Suggested yoga poses:
Dhanurasana/ Bow pose. This pose help in increasing circulation and blood flow to the pelvic region, improving metabolism and aiding digestion.
Bhujangasana/ Cobra pose. It helps in activating ovarian functions.

L – Bow Pose R – Cobra Pose

ARTHRITIS. Arthritis is a common rheumatic condition among adults aged 65 or more. Now days people of all age groups can be affected by arthritis, which includes pain, stiffness and swelling in and around one or more joints. 
Suggested yoga poses:
Child Pose/ Shishuasana. This asana can help you straighten your vertebra.
Adho Mukha Svanasana/ Downward facing dog pose. It improves the flexibility of the body and stretches the spine.

L – Child Pose R – Downward-facing Dog

LOWER BACK PAIN. The most intricate part of the human body is the lower back. Long hours of desk work can cause severe problems.
Suggested yoga poses:
Ardha Matsyendrasana/ Half Spinal Twist. Gives relief from constant back pain.
Vrikshasana/ Tree Pose. This exercise is beneficial for the spine, strengthens your core, works on your balance, improves posture and balances the body.

L – Half Spinal twist R – Tree Pose

DIABETES. Diabetes affects a person’s metabolic system as the glucose level rises because of inadequate insulin production or due to the insufficient response of the body to insulin.
Suggested yoga poses:
Ardha Matsyendrasana/ Half Spinal Twist. People suffering from diabetes can do this asana to control body sugar levels.
Chakrasana/ Wheel pose. Strengthens the pancreas and stimulates insulin which helps to balance blood sugar levels.

L – Spinal Twist R – Wheel Pose

MENOPAUSE. Yogic breathing techniques can help reduce hot flashes and other symptoms. There are lots of yoga postures that stimulate the glandular and reproductive systems, helping balance body chemistry.
Suggested yoga poses:
Pranayama and Meditation. Yogic breathing techniques can help reduce hot flashes and other symptoms.

OSTEOPOROSIS. Since yoga is a low-to-no-impact exercise, some of the gentler postures may be appropriate even if you already have osteoporosis. Yoga may help lessen the pain associated with the condition. Certain poses that position part of the body’s weight on the hands may also aid in retaining bone density in the upper extremities and spine. Care must be taken, however, to avoid excessive pressure or range of motion, such as a spinal extension.
Suggested yoga poses:
Sphinx pose and bridge pose. This pose helps to strengthen your back.
Tree pose, downward dog, chair pose, warrior II. These poses can help to strengthen your legs, arms and back.

L – Sphinx Pose R – Bridge Pose

PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME AND MENSTRUAL CRAMPS. Yoga, when practised regularly, can reduce symptoms of severe PMS, including anxiety and depression in some. Some postures can reduce pressure on the uterus, relieving cramps, and yoga’s gentle stretching can ease stiffness and tension in the lower back. 
Suggested yoga poses:
Child Pose, Cobra Pose.

L – Child Pose R – Cobra Pose

Not only does yoga help in boosting your strength and toning muscles, it’s also great for your mental health. Even if you are in perfect health, you can benefit from yoga to improve strength, flexibility, coordination and range of motion.

Yoga promotes relaxation, improves circulation and reduces stress and anxiety, which in turn enhances cardiovascular health and benefits the respiratory and nervous systems. Aldo, it aids sleep and digestion. For women who don’t get time to work on self-improvement, simply practicing yoga for half an hour daily can be the key to work-life balance. 

Anuja Chowdhry
Anuja Chowdhry

Yoga instructor – Anahatha Yoga 
Anuja has completed 200 hours of Hatha Yoga teacher training course and 300 hours of advanced Hatha Yoga teacher training with the International Yoga Academy with Master Yogananth Andiappan as her main teacher. Anuja is also an active member of Andiappan yoga community a non-profit, volunteer-run organization whose mission is to share Yoga with those who may not be able to afford Yoga classes or those with special needs. She has also been teaching Yoga privately to a passionate and active group of students who have credited her teaching style.

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