When it comes to a well-rounded physical experience, people go for different workout plans. A lot of them go for Yoga and claim it has actually transformed their lives. With a mindful workout plan like Yoga, the benefits of yoga for women extend well beyond just physical progress. Yoga is so much more than being able to touch your toes.
If you know nothing about Yoga, it is natural to wonder why everyone is breathing loudly or what with being “mindful” and being able to “connect with your body.” Yoga is a physical as well as mental practice that involves the body and mind. The practice of Yoga allows you to find your inner peace, and experience mindfulness and offers massive benefits to your physical body as well.
With practice, you can achieve a richer range of flexibility and core strength while helping you achieve more stability and balance. However, regardless of your expertise level, Yoga can make you remarkably healthy head to toe. All you need is a little bit of consistency. Unlike hardcore workout regimens, Yoga can work wonders for people of all ages. In fact, if planned well Yoga can be the safest go-to workout plan for people suffering from illnesses, recovering from surgery, or even living with a chronic condition. For all you know, Yoga can also be an essential part of your treatment plan and potentially heal your body.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is referred to as a physical, mental, and spiritual practice that connects the body, mind, and soul. Originated in India, Yoga is said to enrich awareness while creating a mind-body-soul balance. It is meant to purify, heal as well as strengthen the body to liberate the truest self. Today, it is usually incorporated to improve fitness and calm the mind and body through various breathing techniques often paired with meditation.
Yoga is one of the most gentle forms of workout that allows an individual to relieve any muscle tension, enhance flexibility, boost strength and gain balance, and build endurance via controlled movements and mindful breathwork. With relevant poses (asanas,) breath work, and meditation, Yoga can even work to improve concentration and relieve stress. Among other several therapeutic benefits, Yoga also works to treat severe back pain and muscle tension.
Traditionally, Yoga existed as a spiritual practice, the goal being union with the divine. The word “Yoga” implies joining or binding together. Therefore, the practice of Yoga actually aims at joining the body, mind, and soul. Today, Yoga is practiced around the world as a tool to deliver physical, psychological, and spiritual benefits. Let’s learn about the benefits of Yoga in detail.
Understanding different types of Yoga
If you actually want to incorporate the benefits of Yoga into your life, it is important to understand the different types of Yoga out there. With various needs of our bodies and preferences, the workout requirements vary, with birthed the specialized and distinctive Yoga styles. Here are a few different Yoga approaches that vary in intensity and format:
Ashtanga Yoga is demanding and athletic. It is based on a preset sequence of postures with increasing levels of difficulty.
Hatha Yoga constitutes the practice of physical Yoga postures like ashtanga, vinyasa, and Iyengar. It is a set of Yoga asanas that are specially curated to align and calm your body, mind, and soul.
Hot Yoga is any kind of Yoga practiced in an intentionally heated room. Studios for hot Yoga are generally set to temperatures ranging from 80 degrees to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The idea behind this type of Yoga is the heat helps in flushing out toxins via sweat.
Iyengar Yoga is a practice of precision. In this type of Yoga, poses or asanas are held for longer duration periods to systematically develop strength, stability, flexibility, and awareness.
This type of Yoga incorporates chanting, meditation, pranayama, philosophy, and music as well. It is a physical as well as intellectually stimulating type of Yoga and also emphasizes veganism, environmental sustainability, and other values.
Another type of Yoga is Kundalini Yoga which is an interesting blend of spiritual and physical practices. It involves movement, breathing techniques, meditation, and the chanting of mantras as well.
Another fitness-based Yoga type is Power Yoga. With all the qualities and benefits of ashtanga, it is basically more vigorous and fitness-based.
Particularly devised for pregnancy, prenatal Yoga works to boost the emotional as well as physical health of moms-to-be. It is meant to develop resilience during pregnancy, childbirth, and after pregnancy as well.
Typically a restorative Yoga class has only five to six poses, backed by props. This type of Yoga is incorporated to relax and unwind. Major poses include light twists, seated forward folds, and gentle backbends.
Tantra Yoga is used to build strength, clarity, as well as bliss in everyday life. It is curated to promote more confidence and contentment in life.
Ashtanga and Power Yoga could also be considered Vinyasa Yoga. It is basically curated by stringing a few Yoga postures together in a way that one can effortlessly steer from one to another using breath.
Yin Yoga is a comparatively slower-paced Yoga technique. This form of Yoga incorporates various principles of traditional Chinese medicine. Plus, asanas or poses are supposed to be held for more extended periods.
When Yoga is systematically used to address a physical injury or a specific problem which may include, physical pain, mental stress, or emotional trauma, it can be regarded as Yoga therapy.
Which one is right for you?
Yoga can be as gentle and as athletic as you want it to be. With various types of Yoga out there, it is natural to wonder which one to incorporate. However, the trick is to go with what your body requires. If you have specific issues to deal with you must go with Yoga therapy and the beauty of Yoga is you can work within your own limits and customize the approach to your precise needs and preferences. Now, that we know about the various types of Yoga let us understand their benefits.
What are the benefits of Yoga?
When it comes to the benefits of Yoga, you might think just like any workout plan, it might make you a little more flexible and a lot stronger. But, flexibility and strength are just the tips of the iceberg. Yoga can add years to your life and life to your years. In fact, with a little guidance and consistency, Yoga can fix all the unavoidable lifestyle disorders like
- Poor blood circulation
- High blood pressure
- Limited mobility
- Back pain
- Breathing issues
- Anxiety or stress
But, the benefits of Yoga are not limited to these. With small gentle movements Yoga can make a big impact on your life and help you:
- With better flexibility, Yoga lowers the risk of injuries.
- Yoga works to reduce stress by training the mind to use breathwork to relax.
- It works to increase your concentration and focus.
- Yoga helps to acquire better strength and stamina.
- Consistent Yoga instills balance and overall stability.
- It works to improve overall posture.
- Yoga works to strengthen the muscles.
- With Yoga, one can develop body awareness to understand weaknesses and strengths.
How does Yoga benefit women’s health?
Today is the age of women and with women being multifaceted, they need to handle a lot of multi-tasking. This requires a lot of grace and finesse. However, with a fast-paced lifestyle and overly stressful environments women are prone to several health issues both physical and mental. Right from cardiovascular diseases and breast cancer to polycystic ovarian disease (PCOD) and depression, women around the world are dealing with a number of health scares. The good news is a lot of it can be managed with merely 30 minutes of Yoga per week. To better understand the benefits of Yoga for women, read on.
The Physical Benefits
Among the several benefits of Yoga physical fitness, is one of the chief benefits. Here are a few physical benefits consistent Yoga offers for women:
- Better muscle strength: With regular incorporation of Yoga, comes better muscle strength and grace to utilize it.
- High endurance: Yoga improves the overall endurance and tolerance level of the body.
- Better flexibility: With time and practice, Yoga works to deliver visible flexibility which improves the overall body health.
- Enhanced respiration: With consistent breath work and breath-based exercises, Yoga works to improve respiration and helps in the management of breath-related ailments like asthma.
- Prevents joint pain: Anybody suffering from joint pains can incorporate Yoga to manage and treat it. While people who do not have any joint pains can incorporate it to prevent it. It also helps in relieving stiffness in muscles.
- Improves posture: With regular and consistent Yoga, it delivers a significant improvement in posture.
- Instills balance and flexibility: With various movements and asanas, Yoga also works to instill balance, strength, and better alignment.
- Helps in healthy weight management: Consistent Yoga can effortlessly help in managing weight. It helps in beating obesity and other obesity-related issues.
- Reduces headaches and migraines: Anybody with severe headaches can incorporate Yoga to instill a certain sense of calm. Yoga effectively works to curb headaches and migraines.
- Prevents backaches: Yoga helps in dealing with backaches, spondylitis, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, bowel diseases, and fibromyalgia.
- Helps in dealing with issues like PCOD (polycystic ovarian disease): With an overall improvement in lifestyle Yoga helps in the management and prevention of lifestyle-related diseases like PCOD (polycystic ovarian disease)
- Improves quality of life: Studies have shown Yoga improves the overall quality of life for those living with severe illnesses like breast cancer diabetes and heart-related diseases.
- Helps in the management of PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and menopause: Yoga also helps in dealing with physical symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome and menopause.
The Mental Benefits
Speaking of mental benefits, Yoga works to improve the overall mental health of both men and women. In fact, it is one of the most effective methods of lowering stress and beating anxiety. With the right combination of asanas and breathwork, Yoga is even said to prevent and manage, severe mental health issues like depression, anxiety, or insomnia.
- Lowers stress: The perfect blend of Yoga, breathwork, and meditation works to lower stress and introduces a relaxed mindset.
- Alleviates anxiety: In a fast-paced lifestyle like ours, Yoga works to calm our minds and works to alleviate any anxiety.
- Improves the quality of life: With better physical and mental health, Yoga improves the overall quality of life.
- Battles depression: Yoga is even said to help in the management and prevention of severe mental health issues like depression.
- Improves sleep quality: With consistent incorporation of Yoga, it works to effectively improve sleep quality and treat insomnia.
- Increases mental strength: Studies of shown Yoga has the power to increase mental strength, focus, attention span, and memory.
- Introduces a daily dose of positivity: With innumerable benefits, Yoga can work to introduce a daily dose of positivity and self-care in your life.
How does Yoga help with weight loss and management?
Yoga may not seem as energetic as a daily jog but it certainly works to kill just as many calories if planned well. Apart from the calorie count, consistent Yoga helps in trimming down body fat and aids in the management of a healthy weight. In fact, studies have proven just thirty minutes of Yoga per week can work can keep your weight balanced. With time, Yoga potentially introduces you to certain lifestyle improvements like mindfulness which in turn improves the overall quality of life and curbs unhealthy habits like stress eating or emotional eating.
Benefits of Yoga during pregnancy – Prenatal Yoga
With Yoga being gentle towards the body, it is incredibly safe during pregnancy as well. In fact, prenatal Yoga is an entire domain that works to deliver better strength and ultimate relaxation during pregnancy through mindful breathwork and gentle asanas. In fact, even the Mayo Clinic vouches for prenatal Yoga and calls it an incredibly safe and wholesome practice for expecting mothers. Moreover, studies show that consistent Yoga also makes the process of childbirth comparatively more comfortable. Researchers have revealed that prenatal Yoga also led to a drop in induced labor, and cesarean sections, and boosted the overall pain tolerance in expectant mothers.
How does Yoga help in dealing with severe ailments?
Yoga helps in dealing with a number of health conditions. Here is a detailed guide:
Arthritis and fibromyalgia: Yoga is known to relieve pain associated with arthritis or fibromyalgia. Studies have shown, that regular stretching works to relieve stiff joints, enhance flexibility, and improve the release and circulation of endorphins.
Asthma: All ailments that involve trouble during breathing can be managed well via breath-oriented exercises. Breathwork is an essential part of Yoga which works to reduce the symptoms of asthma while strengthening the respiratory system.
Back pain: Anyone suffering from back pain can opt for Yoga therapy and get relief. However, it will require a lot of patience and consistency but in the long run, it works to strengthen back muscles, improves posture, and boosts flexibility.
Carpal tunnel syndrome: Research reveals that Yoga can be a very effective treatment plan for carpal tunnel syndrome. Studies have shown that people suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome who incorporated Yoga encountered lesser pain, more flexibility, and a better grip than those who did not.
Endometriosis: Women suffering from endometriosis can incorporate Yoga and achieve relief from any kind of pain associated with it.
Epilepsy: Studies reveal that Yoga also helps in the management of epilepsy. Whether it is stress reduction or reduction of seizures Yoga plays a major role.
Chronic pain: People with chronic pain like migraines or spondylitis can seek help from Yoga therapy to deal with their chronic pain and muscle tension.
Diabetes: Yoga can be helpful in the management of severe ailments like diabetes as well. It improves circulation and promotes an overall improved lifestyle.
Heart or artery disease: Incorporation of Yoga prevents heart or artery-based disease. However, if you are dealing with such issues consistent Yoga can work to improve circulation and serve as an essential stress-reducing tool.
High blood pressure: Everyone out there with high blood pressure should think about making some lifestyle changes. The incorporation of Yoga can be the perfect first step in managing high blood pressure. Yoga also works to reduce stress and promotes a relaxed state of mind which helps in controlling high blood pressure.
Menopause and PCOD: Women can incorporate Yoga and get rid of unpleasant symptoms of menopause as well as PCOD. Yoga can help in reducing hot flashes and anxiety.
Insomnia: The National Institutes of Health claims that relaxation therapies like Yoga effectively work to alleviate insomnia.
Multiple sclerosis: Studies have shown anybody dealing with multiple sclerosis can benefit from consistent Yoga.
Osteoporosis: Typically, workouts are difficult for people suffering from osteoporosis, however, Yoga can be incorporated. With the help of Yoga therapy, one can incorporate a gentler, low-impact Yoga for a more targeted approach.
Premenstrual syndrome and menstrual cramps: Consistent Yoga can even help in the reduction of severe cramps and other symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome and menstruation. In fact, the American Yoga Association claims Yoga also helps to reduce any irritability, anxiety, and moodiness associated with menstruation.
How to get started?
There might be a million misconceptions about Yoga, the biggest one being, that you have a certain level of flexibility or strength to get started. This belief system is simply a way of delaying all the blessings that can come into your life with the incorporation of Yoga. The trick is to find the type of Yoga that’s appropriate for you and incorporate it slowly. Yoga requires patience and consistency. The kind of Yoga you incorporate strangely depends on your body type, your specific issues, your lifestyle, and your goals. When it comes to incorporation, it is not wise to push your limits, if you are comfortable with regular incorporation, you must go for it. However, a 30-minute Yoga session once or twice a week can also do wonders when it comes to benefit of yoga for women.
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