Women go through various phases in life that affect their mental, physical and emotional health. From menstruation to menopause and beyond, women’s bodies undergo change. Yoga can become the one constant companion that equips her with the physical, mental, and emotional strength to tide over any and all challenges bravely, and easily. Yoga with its holistic healing properties has been helping people for generations across the globe. And women can use it to address a variety of issues and lead a healthy life. 

To better understand how yoga can affect women’s overall health, TC46 connected with Obstetrician & Gynaecologist Dr Sonal Kumta of Fortis Hospital Mumbai. Here, she shares vital yoga asanas and health tips for several stages and health problems for women.

1. Yoga Helps Women Through The Three Stages – Menstruation, Pregnancy & Menopause

Given the current competitive scenario, women are best at multi-tasking, efficiently handling their personal and professional lives with utmost poise. But this too requires a certain level of self-care and time for one’s own health and well-being. As women go through three important stages of their life – Menstruation, Pregnancy, Menopause, yoga practice helps them to not only remain strong physically, mentally and spiritually but also helps them to take their practice off the mat and into their lifestyle.

I. Suryanamaskar

It is a great practice to strengthen your joints and improve your balance. It regulates your menstrual cycle, lowers your blood pressure, lowers your anxiety, cures insomnia and improves the functioning of your body systems.

II. Balance & Posture Exercises

They help you to improve your overall strength and balance and help you to focus and concentrate on your breath while holding the practice as well as in practical situations in life.

III. Pranayama

These breathing techniques help you to lower your stress on a day-to-day basis, helping you to be more aware of the tasks you perform at work. Breathing practices help to cleanse your system, improve your lung capacity and stamina. Breath awareness helps you to stay more focused on your body and breath during any asana, keeping all distractions aside thus making you more aware of the changes taking place in your body.

IV. Yoga For Pregnancy

Asanas helps to improve the flexibility and strength of your back and legs thereby preparing your body for normal delivery. Relaxation techniques help you to lower your anxiety, relax your mind and help to connect and communicate with your baby.

V. Restorative Practices

They can help in hormonal balance and control certain unpleasant symptoms of menopause like hot flashes, irritability, fatigue and mood swings. 

2. Yoga Poses That Address Various Health Problems

Yoga Poses For Bone Health

  • Tadasana
  • Vrukshasana
  • Trikonasana
  • Bhujangasana

Yoga Poses To Treat PMS Cramps

  • Baddhakonasana
  • Shashankasana
  • Anandabalasana
  • Bhujangasana          

Yoga Poses To Remedy PCOS

Trying yoga for PCOS can yield great results and here are some asanas you can practise. Watch this video to learn 3 yoga asanas to practice if you have PCOS.

  • Matsyasana
  • Suptabaddhakonasana
  • Bhujangasana
  • Anulomaviloma
  • Suryanamaskar

Yoga Poses To Lower High Blood Pressure

  • Balasana
  • Sukhasana
  • Shawasana
  • Anulomaviloma
  • Sheetali
  • Ujjayi

Yoga Poses To Boost Fertility

Here’s a curated list of workouts for hormonal imbalance that will help you effectively reduce symptoms caused by an imbalance of hormones in your body. 

  • Paschimottanasana
  • Hastapadasana
  • Viparitakarani Mudra 
  • Bhramari Pranayama

Yoga Poses Recommended For Menopause

Here are a few yoga poses women over 40 can practise.

  • Suptabaddhakonasana
  • Ardhahalasana 
  • Adhomukhswanasana
  • Makarasana
  • Chadrabhedana Pranayama
  • Suryanamaskar

Yoga Poses For Women With Anaemia

Turkey berry is a particularly rich source of plant-based iron and often consumed to treat or prevent iron deficiency anaemia. Buy dried turkey berry (Sundakkai) at the Red Dot Shop here.

  • Shawasana
  • Ushtrasana
  • Sethubandhasana
  • Paschimottanasana

Yoga Poses To Deal With Postpartum Lower Back Pain

  • Marjarasana
  • Sethubandasana
  • Urdhwahastasana
  • Ardhauttanasana
  • Adhomukhshwanasana

Yoga Poses If You Have A Slip-Disc

Here are some of the asanas that will help to obtain relief from sciatica pain.

  • Parvatasana
  • Tadasana
  • Poorva Bhujangasana
  • Shalabhasana
  • Sethubandasana

Yoga Poses Suitable During Pregnancy

  • Marjarasana
  • Malasana
  • Utkata Konasana
  • Baddhakonasana
  • Anuloma Villoma
  • Segmental Breathing
  • Yoga Nidra

3. Tips For Women To Practise Yoga & Make The Best Of It

  • Choose the yoga style that best suits your lifestyle and personality
  • Practice regularly to see the benefits yoga has to offer
  • Help your mind to relax during Shawasana or Yoga Nidra
  • Listen to your body. Relaxation techniques and an active yoga sequence are both equally important
  • Don’t overexert. Learn to stay comfortable in the final practice without straining yourself
  • Stay positive about the practice to make the best of it
  • Just breathe

4. Common Misconceptions About Yoga

Myth 1: You Need To Be Flexible To Do Yoga

Fact: You need to have a positive mind with a strong desire for a healthy lifestyle to practice yoga.

Myth 2: Yoga Is A Religion

Fact: Yoga means “to connect with your mind, body, and soul.” It is about how to lead a healthy lifestyle on and off the mat.

Myth 3: Old People Can’t Do Yoga

Fact: Yoga is for all ages. If you have strong willpower, no limitations can stop you. There are modifications for every practice.

Myth 4: Yoga Practices Are Only About Asanas

Fact: You need to practice Pranayama, Bandas, Mudras, Kriyas for overall well-being. Moreover, yoga talks about a healthy diet, healthy lifestyle, mindfulness and how to adopt yoga as a way of life.

5. The Ideal Duration & Time To Practice Yoga For A Fruitful Session

You can do two to five sessions a week with regular practice to start with. An ideal session should last for an hour. It should include 5-7 minutes of warm-up, 30 minutes of asana practice, 10 minutes of relaxation or Shawasana and 10-12 minutes of breath awareness or Pranayama.

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