The Benefits of Yoga for Women Through the Lifespan
We will show you the benefits of yoga for women through the lifespan! Yoga is uniquely beneficial for women because it targets the levels of the body, mind, and soul all at the same time. Yoga practice can also be adjusted to meet your varying needs throughout life by changing the style, speed, focus, and adjustment. The highly adaptable nature of yoga makes this a well-suited practice for women through every stage of their life, whether they are beginners or not. Below we will go over how you can use yoga in different ways throughout your life to meet your mental and spiritual needs while improving your physical health. We will show you the benefits of yoga for women through the lifespan!
What is Yoga?
When people hear the word yoga, they often envision thin young women in leggings bending their bodies into unimaginable positions. But in reality, yoga is suitable for every body type and age, and it is absolutely unnecessary to do advanced positions to gain the benefits of this practice. Additionally, there are numerous styles of yoga that can suit your needs, ranging from gentle Restorative Yoga to fast-paced Vinyasa Yoga. See below for a brief description of the ten most popular styles of yoga:
- Ashtanga Yoga – a series of specific yoga poses that are very physical and active.
- Vinyasa Yoga – a flowing style of yoga that synchronizes movement with the breath.
- Power Yoga – an active style of yoga that incorporates other forms of exercise and movement.
- Bikram Yoga – a series of specific yoga poses practiced in a heated room.
- Iyengar Yoga – a slower style of yoga that heavily incorporates props.
- Kundalini Yoga – a spiritual yoga practice aimed at awakening the kundalini or life force energy.
- Hatha Yoga – the combination of yoga poses, breathing exercises, and meditation.
- Prenatal Yoga – a form of yoga that directly targets the pains associated with pregnancy.
- Restorative Yoga – a gentle style of yoga aimed at relaxing the body and mind.
- Yin Yoga – a slow style of yoga aimed at strengthening the joints and stimulating fascia.
Yoga is so much more than physical exercise.
Nearly every style of yoga also incorporates mindful meditation, breathing exercises, and spiritual awareness. Traditionally, yoga is actually a philosophical system that was only practiced by saints and sages in the Himalayan mountains for the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment. But in modern times, yoga has been adapted for more general health benefits and to meet the needs of all people. Regardless of the style or type of yoga practice you engage in, yoga offers similar benefits to the body, mind, and soul.
The Benefits of Yoga for Women
Whether you are a beginner in yoga practice or an advanced practitioner, yoga provides innumerable benefits to the entire body, mind, and soul. In general, yoga offers the following benefits to all people, regardless of age or gender:
- Improves flexibility
- Enhances muscular strength
- Reverses poor posture
- Prevents joint breakdown
- Strengthens the spine
- Increases bone health
- Improves blood circulation
- Enhances immunity
- Increases the heart rate
- Reduces blood pressure
- Regulates adrenal glands
- Lowers blood sugar
- Improves balance
- Releases tension
- Reduces insomnia
- Enhances the respiratory system
- Relieves digestive issues
- Reduces pain
- Treats addiction
- Relives allergies
- Supports connective tissues
Mental & Spiritual Benefits:
- Promotes overall happiness
- Reduces depression
- Relieves anxiety
- Encourages a healthy lifestyle
- Improves concentration and focus
- Relaxes the nervous system
- Provides peace of mind
- Increases self-esteem
- Promotes resiliency and inner strength
- Encourages intuition and connection with inner guidance
- Builds awareness
- Improves relationships
- Promotes connection with others
- Encourages self-care
- Facilitates change
Plus, so many more! Researchers are continually uncovering more benefits of yoga practice for people of all ages and genders. Besides the above general benefits of yoga, this practice also provides unique advantages for each stage of a woman’s lifespan.
The Benefits of Yoga for Women Throughout the Lifespan
At different points of a woman’s life, she tends to have unique needs that yoga is well suited to address. You can also further suit your individual needs throughout life by tailoring your yoga practice accordingly. For example, you may opt to practice Restorative Yoga for greater pain relief, whereas, for improved bone health, Vinyasa Yoga may be better suited. The vital thing to keep in mind is to stay in tune with your own body and your unique needs and adjust your yoga practice to meet them. See below for a brief overview of how yoga can help women in different stages of their life.
Benefits of Yoga for Women in Adolescence – Hormonal balance, self-esteem, and cognitive development
The most crucial benefit that yoga provides for women during this period of life is how it helps ease them through the pitfalls of puberty and adjust to this new hormonal balance. This is also a period of life that tends to be filled with self-esteem issues. So, as women transition into their new beautiful bodies, yoga greatly helps improve confidence, self-love, emotional awareness, and stress management.
Cognitively, yoga can help adolescent women manage the stress of school and new jobs, improve their academic performance, and enhance their general concentration. Yoga practice also enhances general development in adolescent women, both physically and cognitively.
Benefits of Yoga for Women in Adulthood – Menstruation, sexual activity, childbirth, and menopause
During adulthood, women are faced with increasing demands in their work life and in their personal life as they manage intimate relationships and their ongoing menstrual cycle. In this time of life, yoga practice can promote general stress and inner peace while also improving cognitive performance so that they can achieve new levels at work.
At this stage of life, most women are engaged in intimate sexual relationships. Research shows that regular yoga practice can actually improve sexual functioning in women, leading to greater sexual desire, lubrication, and orgasm. Yoga practice can also reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and make your period less painful in general.
Prenatal yoga has also been shown to promote easier labor by reducing stress and pelvic pain. Yoga practice strengthens the uterine muscles and the spine, providing women with the physical preparation they need for enduring childbirth. Research also shows that yoga can be beneficial for women with pregnancy-induced hypertension or preeclampsia while also easing the transition both mentally and physically for women during the postpartum phase.
Yoga is also beneficial for women during menopause. Research shows that regular yoga practice can help women cope with hot flashes and psychological symptoms associated with menopause. Yoga also promotes general hormonal balance, thyroid regulation, and mental peace during this tumultuous period of life.
Benefits of Yoga for Women in Old Age – Chronic illness, balance, insomnia, and mental health
In the later stages of life, yoga practice promotes healthy and easeful aging, improving mental, physical, and spiritual health. Physically, yoga assists female seniors with strengthened bones, improved balance, greater strength, and relief for general aches and pains. Yoga can also significantly help address osteoporosis, arthritis, spinal stenosis, disc issues, nerve issues, ligament tears, tendonitis, myofascial tightening, hormonal changes, asthma, COPD, chronic illness, and insomnia. Mentally, yoga also reduces stress and decreases the risk for depression common in old age.
How to Start Practicing Yoga for Beginners
Whether you are a beginner to yoga or an experienced practitioner, the benefits of yoga can come into your life after only a few sessions! If you are interested in starting a yoga practice, a great place to start is by checking out your local yoga studio or following some yoga classes on YouTube or your favorite phone app. There are numerous resources available to get your yoga practice started. Some yoga teachers also specialize in teaching yoga for women’s health issues, such as Brett Larkin or Kassandra Reinhardt. Regardless, all styles of yoga can help you address your unique needs as a woman.
Yoga is a unique practice for women because it not only improves their mental, physical, and spiritual health, but it can also support their individual needs throughout the lifespan. It is also essential to keep in mind that various yoga styles may be more or less beneficial at different stages of your life. For example, in adolescence, a faster style of yoga may be better suited to the energetic needs of this life stage. Whereas later in life, more gentle styles of yoga may better complement your needs. It is crucial to stay in tune with your own body and find what works best for you.
For beginners to yoga, make sure you start slowly and ease yourself into this profoundly healing practice. As you gain more experience, you can begin to lengthen the time of your practice. But the best thing you can do to start is to simply try out a few different classes and find what you like best. Each woman has her own unique style and preference, and the beauty of yoga is that it can be adapted to whatever feels right for you. So, try out a yoga class today and start gaining the many benefits of this healing practice in your life!