Yoga is always beneficial for all; men, women, child, young, old age, poor, rich, Hindu, Muslim, etc. Yoga is good for everyone as Yoga is healing people for generations. It fits you physically and mentally also. Yoga originated in Indus Valley Civilization (3300-1900 BCE) and pre-Vedic Eastern states of India, the Vedic period (1500–500 BCE) and thereafter till Patanjali’s period. The first use of the root of the word “Yoga” is mentioned in hymn 5.81.1 of the Rigveda (ऋग्वेद) and Lord Shiva is seen as the first Yogi or Adiyogi, and the first Guru or Adi Guru. The International Day of Yoga has been celebrated annually on 21 June since 2015, following its inception in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2014.
Yoga not only improves our physical health, but it improves our mental status also. Although Yoga is beneficial for all because a woman undergoes many challenges in her life, everyday Yoga practice can improve their lifestyle. A woman undergoes many changes from menarche to menopause; no matter which stage you are in you must practice yoga. Yoga is for everybody type and can be modified to suit women of any age. It is not just a physical exercise; it is a disciplined way to meet with yourself.
Ravindranath Tagore said, “Women are the ornaments of our society.” A woman not only gives birth to a child, but they are also creating a new generation for our good future. If a woman’s health and mind are good; the new generation will be good.
Yoga offers benefits for body, mind, and spirit. You become more positive, happy and energetic. Yoga helps you to live the moment and find a balance in life. Research has shown that Yoga can help you with everything from weight loss, to lowering period pain, boosting heart health and ensuring smooth digestion. Some exercises are of immense benefit to women in particular. A daily 10-15 minute yoga routine can help you feel more energetic, and help you regain body-mind balance.
Here is Top 5 Yoga for Women.
- Marjaryasana and Bitilasana (cat/cow pose):
The name Marjaryasana comes from the Sanskrit word marjari, meaning “cat,” and Bitilasana takes its name from word Batila, which means “cow” and asana meaning “pose.” Marjaryasana and Bitilasana are usually practiced together, collectively called “Cat & Cow Pose”. Cat Pose and Cow pose complement each other.
How to do it:
Start on hands and knees (all fours) – in a tabletop position. Your knees should be under your hips and your wrists also should be under your shoulders. Make sure the core is engaged and your spine is in a neutral position. Inhale and push down your belly towards the floor. Lift your tailbone and neck up towards the ceiling. This is a cow pose. Hold this position for a second and then move to the cat pose by lifting your spine towards the ceiling, creating an arch in the back. Tuck in your tailbone and keep your chin on your chest. Hold this position for a second. Do these poses ten times.
This asana helps to relieve stress from menstrual cramps, lower back pain, and sciatica. Cat/Cow Pose increases the flexibility of the neck, shoulders, and spine. The movement also stretches the muscles of the hips, back, abdomen, chest, and lungs. Cat Stretch held at its peak releases tension of the upper back and neck.
- Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II Pose):
This asana is named after the mythological character created by Lord Shiva called Veerabhadra. Veera in Sanskrit means hero, Bhadra means friend. It is called as Warrior II also. In this asana, you need to feel like a warrior, feel your inner warrior rise as you stand rooted in your strength, power, and wisdom. A few deep breaths in Warrior II will help you to connect deeply to that part of you that is always stronger than you think, braver than you feel and wiser than you know.
How to do it:
Stand straight with your feet around one meter apart and your hands at your side. Turn your right feet to your right and raise your hands to your shoulder level. Now, bend your right knee to a lunge position. Keep your left leg straight. Hold this position for about three minutes and then return to the original position. Do the same on the other side.
This pose will stretch your shoulders, chest, abdomen, inner thighs and hips. It opens your chest and lungs, builds stamina and concentration and energizes tired limbs.
- Utkata Konasana (Goddess Pose):
Utkata Konasana is also known as the goddess Squat poses or fiery angle pose. In Sanskrit, Utkata means powerful or fierce and Kona means angle. Utkata Konasana is beneficial for the hips, the abdomen, chest, groins and leg muscles.
How to do it:
Stand erect with the hands hanging freely on the sides. Take the feet apart for about 3 to 4 feet depending on your comfort. Turn your feet outwards with the toes pointing away from the body and the heels resting closer to the body. Now bend your knees to the extent that you can go. Ideally, the thigh should become parallel to the ground. Bring together both your palms in the Namaskara gesture and place it firmly touching the chest. Alternatively, other variations include placing the hands parallel to the ground with the palms facing upwards. Pull your shoulder slightly backward, pushing the chest forward. Hold your head high and gaze forward.
Breathe normally and deeply in this position. During exhalation contract the abdomen and press the lower back down and feel the pressure on the hips and the tail bone, pulling the thighs backward. Maintain this position for as long as you are comfortable.
Utkata Konasana is easy to perform and is excellent practice for women to widen and strengthen the uterus before and during pregnancy. This pose will help to stretches your hips, groin, and chest, tones and strengthens the core muscles and strengthens the quadriceps and inner thigh muscles. This pose heats the body and increases circulation.
- Balasana (Child’s pose):
In Sanskrit, ‘Bala’ (बाल) means child so it’s called child pose also. This asana resembles the fetal position. It is a resting pose that focuses on the thighs and also helps alleviate back pains. If this asana is performed with a full gravitational pull, one can notice a great sense of mental, physical, and emotional solace. It helps in improving the mind-body connection and strength of your body. It also calms your mind.
How to do it:
Kneel on the floor with your hands at your side and your knees around hip-width apart. Now, sit back on your heels. Bend forward to place your chest on your thighs. Hold this position for about three minutes and then come to the original position.
This asana will give you flexibility like a child. It will enhance your blood circulation, make flexibility in ankles, hips, and shoulders, and regulates the adrenal glands. It releases your muscle tension, your stress and anxiety also.
- Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
In Sanskrit, Vrksa means Tree so it’s called Tree Pose also. Tree pose (Vrksasana) improves balance, endurance, and alertness. Tree pose tones up the leg muscles and ligaments. Tree pose helps in bone development and proper alignment of the vertebral column as all the muscles are stretched in the same direction.
How to do it:
Begin by standing upright, your arms by your side and shoulders relaxed; bend your right knee to the side and bring your right foot high up to your left thigh and then place the sole of your right foot flat and firm on your inner left thigh. Maintain your left leg straight with the foot firmly planted on the mat. Breathe easy and find your balance, while inhaling deeply, gracefully raise both your arms over your head and join your palms in the ‘namaskara’ mudra. Keep a firm distant gaze, aim for a straight spine while taking extended deep breaths. Increase your relaxation with every exhalation to help you hold the pose for as long as possible. Inhale and exhale deeply as you bring your hands down to the side of your body and gently release the right leg. Repeat the above steps with the other leg.
This asana will help you to improve body balance, gives your body the optimum posture, give strength to your legs, thighs, spine, shoulders, and arms. Grants stability of mind and body and can strengthen ligaments in your ankles and feet.
There are many more asanas but initially, you can start with these asanas at your convenience. Do not try to hurt you and don’t panic. Initially might be it looks very difficult but once you start, gradually you will feel the strength in your body.
Every woman has a tendency of multi-tasking and they are always on the go. They do everything for everyone and face every phase of life; from childhood to puberty and from motherhood to menopause. Yoga helps you to deal with all these phases, changes and challenges. Yoga not only balanced your body, but it will also balance and will keep cool your mind. It is advisable to all to do Yoga in the morning time on empty stomach to get better and fast results.