Yoga and Women’s Health
The practice of yoga has many great benefits for your mental and physical health. It reduces pain, increases flexibility, reduces stress, increases strength, improves posture, improves circulation, and lowers blood pressure.
Yoga first proved its benefits to me during the pregnancy of my daughter. I had an amazing pregnancy, and enjoyed being pregnant. Some women do not feel the same. But I attribute my easy pregnancy with Yoga.
I was working as a teacher full time and was making a 45-minute commute one way, so I was exhausted constantly. Meaning, I wasn’t very consistent with my yoga practice. However, when I was feeling the aches and pains of a growing human in my body, I would do my prenatal yoga video, and I would feel relief. I did this through every trimester of my pregnancy. Yoga not only made me feel pain relief but also peace and calm in my body.
Soon after delivery, I began implementing yoga into my fitness routine. While I was working, I found it difficult to find a well-rounded and affordable online program that included at least one day of yoga. This was one of the things that drew me to the fitness industry. A goal of mine is to build a program that involves all the things I was looking for and is easily adaptable.
As a health professional, I am faced with two types of mindsets. The go hard or go home mindset, while the other is slow and steady wins the race. I have clients come to me who want low impact activities, like yoga. And others who want to go hard with high impact activities, like HIIT. In my own health and fitness journey after pregnancy, I have found balance is important.
I have injured myself during long runs in my half-marathon training at the beginning of my journey. And learned a valuable lesson in rest. The rest and recover days will make you a better athlete, or a stronger and more efficient performer in your workouts.
There are many benefits to including yoga in your workout routine. Here are a few to help you decide if including yoga in your routine will be beneficial.
The practice of deep breathing in yoga, helps the body to relax. When the body relaxes, pain begins to be relieved. Yoga has the opposite effect on the brain than pain does. It challenges the body in different stretches. However, you should never push pass what your body can do.
It is a practice that moves the body and pumps the blood. This means there is more circulation. More circulation is good for every part of the body. The brain releases endorphins, which interact with the receptors in the brain to reduce your reception of pain. Now, this science is true for other exercises as well, however, my focus is on yoga today, and its many benefits. This is a great activity for people just beginning a workout routine.
Flexibility is important to have especially as women age. It can be the difference in injuring your back or not when you bend down to pick something up. Flexibility gives you the ability to move and do normal daily tasks like walking and getting out of the bed. How well a muscle stretches effects the health of your bones and joints.
Today you live in a busy and always going society where we don’t take enough time to be still and listen to the quiet. Meditation is one aspect of yoga that requires you to be still and listen to the silence by paying attention to your breathing and how you’re feeling.
If you do not meditate, consider adding yoga to your routine. It has many other health benefits including reducing stress. You can significantly reduce stress by just being still and breathing through situations. However, to better cope with stressful situations, begin the day in medication or yoga. It can greatly reduce how your body negatively responds to stress. If you’re mom, read this on small ways to deal with stress.
Many poses in yoga, requires using muscles you have not used before. During this practice you are using your body weight to hold different positions. However, do not let that scare you away from this amazing practice. I encourage you to begin wherever you are, and train your body slowly into the different advanced positions.
Yoga is a great low impact exercise regimen to start if you are just beginning your workout. The movements and poses provide a workout that warms your body, thus improving your body’s ability to hold or stretch into different poses.
This practice not only improves your flexibility, but it also improves circulation. The more you can get your heart to pump blood through the body, the more healthy your heart will be. Yoga requires the body to perform different poses that uses different muscles. So the body stays warm or keeps the blood circulating during the exercise.
Lowers Blood Pressure.
Like other exercise practices, yoga has evidenced in studies that blood pressure was lowered. However, be aware just working out in any area of exercise will not have the health benefits if a change in eating does not happen. Yoga is not only a physical form of exercise but also spiritual and mental.
This connection has proven to lower blood pressure that is brought on by stress (mentioned above). Other exercise routines do not have this intentional mental and spiritual healing. So if you have high blood pressure, find a studio near you.
The Practice of Yoga.
If you are a newbie to the art of yoga, I encourage you to find a studio with a professional. Do not begin a routine at home with video until you understand how to move and listen to your body. Finding a professional can prevent injury. Or better yet, find an online yoga instructor that will work with you via live video.
Have you tried yoga before?
What other health benefits do you think yoga holds?