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Asanas for Women’s Health

Asanas for Women’s Health
Before we start to list specific asanas for women’s health it is necessary to discuss if there is any distinction between women’s and men’s practice and what it consists of. Does the concept of female’s poses exist? May be we shouldn’t consider this issue and just do yoga by the video or in group on a general basis? It’s an ancient practice and there must be everything taken into account. But not everything is so uniquely.

Indeed, yoga is a very ancient practice of self-improvement, but initially it was practiced mainly by men and many aspects take into consideration the masculine nature: abilities, physiology, aims and so on. A woman needs to realize all this and build practice in accordance with her nature and tasks if she wants to be effective in achieving harmonious results on the physical, psycho-emotional and spiritual levels.

All these levels are closely related but it’s easier for us to start optimizing our condition working with the physical body. So what will be the key point in building women’s practice? What are we going to do on the physical level? First of all, let us recall that the female organism has such a difference from the male one as the menstrual cycle. Every woman needs to know and understand what is happening to her in different periods of this cycle, which practices will be appropriate and which on the contrary can do harm.

Throughout the cycle there are constant changes in the hormonal and as a consequence psychoemotional background, condition of the nervous, excretory, hematopoientic and reproductive system. Women’s health basically depends on these factors so they can’t be ignored in any way. For example, it is good to know that during the menstruation and the day of ovulation (mid cycle) it is better to reduce loads and apply more relaxing techniques and also try not to burden at work or while doing household chores. But in the first period of the cycle (days before ovulation) on the contrary you can increase the loads, actively work out the body and engage in energy practices. Knowing and studying how we are structured we can significantly improve our effectiveness is all areas of our life.

Everything is interconnected in our body: diseases or stagnant phenomena in one organ cause the failure of work in other organs and systems too. Therefore, while forming a session attention should be paid to the developing of all vital organs and parts of the body, you have to focus on problem areas. Accordingly, we will choose poses for women’s health on the basis of the urgent need, more preciously depending on which task we have to solve first of all.

Yoga therapy rather than intensive training in general group will be a nice choice if there are any serious diseases. Also if you are going to become a mum you should attend a specialized course for pregnant women. If we talk about personal practice at home, then as it was mentioned above firstly we set the task that we are going to work on and proceeding from this we act in accordance with our cycle. You can and should familiarize yourself with more details about all the nuances of this topic but I’ll mark the main points. First of all, what we mustn’t do during the period:

• Inverted poses;
• Closed twists;
• Don’t stand for long time in balance asanas;
• Agni Sara Kriya, Nauli, Mulabandha and Uddiyana Bandha;
• Deep forward and backbends;
• Pranayamas and Kriyas where there are active stomach manipulations: Bhastrika, Kapalabhati etc.

During this period, it will be good to perform simple complexes of asanas aimed at relaxation, gentle muscle stretching and mind pacification. For example, you can suggest the following sequence:

1. Tuning for the practice, OM mantra;
2. Soft worm-up for all parts of the body or articular exercises;
3. Few balance poses such as Vrikshasana;
4. Mardzhariasana variations;
5. Baddhakonasana (without forward bend). You can put something soft under your knees and try to relax in this position;
6. Malasana;
7. Prasarita Padottanasana. In this position you can stay bent with hands folded in the elbow lock, don’t pit your head on the floor;
8. The light version of Bhunjangasana – the Sphinks pose;
9. Supta Virasana if you can easily perform this pose;
10. Upavishta Konasana. We don’t lie down on the floor here too, it is better to make light movements on the circle from one leg to the other folding hands in a Namaste;
11. Opened Twists;
12. Supta Baddha Konasana. You can also put a rug under your waist if there are painful sensations in this area.
13. Shavasana. As an option you can put a bolster or a pillow under legs a bit higher than knees or bend them under 90 degrees and lay on a chair. It will also promote better relaxation of muscles in problem areas.

At the end of the menses you can return to the usual complex. What are the best asanas for women’s health? Health can be called as a certain balance and harmony of all our components. That is the health of the body plus our mental and nervous systems. Yoga practice includes all these spheres. There are also recommendations for proper nutrition, daily routine and moral qualities. Working at all these directions one can really get good health and harmonious coexistence of body and soul. After all, why do we need good health? Obviously in order to fulfil our mission. And if even we don’t know yet what exactly it is, it’s necessary to live fruitfully and seek the ways of self-realization.

So, women’s asanas in yoga

What is the specificity of yoga for women? How does it differ from the male style? It is clear that on the physical level the movements are more smooth and soft, the time of being in power poses is more reasonable; restrictions and regulations in certain periods must be observed: pregnancy, menstruation, gynecological diseases and menopause. On the mental level one have to realize his psyche features, balance and harmonize his states. It means that men will have their own tasks of working with the mind and women will have their ones. To the point where all differences cease. But this is a rather high stage of development.

At the mental level women are more emotional and this also has its pros and cons. As a result, we can conclude that by setting any goal, it can be health, self-improvement or enlightenment, it’s necessary to study yourself, your features, habits, virtues and shortcomings in order to know what to work on. That is why, it would be ideally to make up an individual program of sessions using the most effective asanas, kriyas and pranayamas in each specific case. But if for some reason it is not possible now and it is needed to be engaged in then there is an average option for this case which can be used as personal practice. I will place bellow the practice itself but before that accept a few more general recommendations that will help to make it more effective:

1. Suitable clothing made of cotton or any other natural fabric that will not constrain your movements;
2. Gradual mastery of asanas from basic to advanced without long fixations in power postures;
3. Good warming up before the main block of asanas using articular exercises or other praxis which is aimed to work out all groups of muscles. Surya Namascar is a very suitable practice for this purpose;
4. The best way is to practice on the empty stomach. A light breakfast for 30 minutes before the practice is permissible. It should take you 2 or 3 hours after a normal meal. After training withstand at least half an hour before eating anything.
5. Regularity and moderation are your best friends! It is better to practice 30 minutes a day than 2 hours once a week. Beginners are encouraged to exert 70 % of the effort from the possible so as not to overdo it inadvertently. Feeling of mild discomfort is considered the norm and is welcomed as the body should “work” but try not to let acute pain and exhaustion;
6. It is remarkable if one can adhere to a predominantly vegetarian diet, although many people have shown the transition to vegetarian accurse as if by itself in the course of mastering yoga practice. And of course, this affects in the most beneficial way on the female figure, the general state of health and on the flow of energy. In addition, the mood improves and the level of awareness increases which is one of the main components of a harmonious life in general.

So, you are ready, the rug is spread out, there is an influx of fresh air in the room or perhaps you are in a picturesque place on the nature and now we start to master our best asanas for women’s health!

Sit in any convenient position with the legs crossed and tune for the lesson. Put the tongue in the Nabhi Mudra (press the tip of the tongue to the upper palate), - it will help you to keep your attention in the present moment. Next, do a few cycles of full yoga breathing or just breathe deeply with your eyes covered. You can put on calm music, favorite mantras or sounds of the nature. Start smoothly kneading the muscles of the neck and shoulders. Then use your option of warming up the body before the main block of poses.

Asanas for women:

• Tadasana - Mountain Pose. It makes your posture beautiful and is a counter-pose for all inverted asanas. Stay in the position for 20-30 seconds. Breathing is calm and equable. It works with Muladhara Chakra.
• Vrikshasana – Tree Pose. It is a balance asana. It improves coordination of movements, corrects posture, strengthens the muscles of the legs soothes the mind. It affects positively on Ajna Chakra.
• Virabhadrasana 2 – Varior Pose. With regular practice it significantly reduces fat deposits in the thigh area, strengthens legs and opens the thorax. Breathing is calm. It stimulates Anahata Chakra.
• Utthita Trikonasana – Extended Triangle Pose. It stimulates peristalsis, cleans the blood, activated the leaver, kidneys, spleen and as a result significantly improves the skin condition. It also strengths the muscles of the abdomen, back, stretches the spine making it more flexible, contributes to the formation and preservations of a thing waist. Works with Svadhistana Chakra.
• Utthita Parshvakonasana – Extended Side Angle Pose. It reduces fat deposits in the region of the thighs and waist, improves the function of the digestive and excretory systems, stretches the spine and stimulate blood circulation; relieves pain in case of arthritis; works with Manipura Chakra.
• Marjariasana – Cat Pose. It perfectly works for the whole-length of the spine helping to get a flexible tightened figure. It trains the muscles of the abdominal press perfectly massaging internal organs and removing fat tissue at the waist. It is effective for neck and back pain as well as during the painful menstruations. Works with Manipura Chakra.
• Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward-Facing Dog Pose. It returns vivacity preventing energy leakage; provides rush of blood to the head; improves complexion; promotes digestion and trains the muscles of the entire body. Stimulates Ajna Chakra.
• Vajrasana – Diamond Pose. It suits well for mastering meditation and pranayama, used as a recreation center between advanced asanas. It activates blood circulation in the pelvic area, beneficially influences at internal organs, stimulates digestion; it can even be performed immediately after eating. Works with Muladhara Chakra.
• Prasarita Paddotanasana – Wide Legged Forward Bend. It stretches the hamstrings, the back and inner surfaces of the legs, eliminates fatigue, improves the digestive system, helps in a case of depression. Stimulates Ajna Chakra.
• Dandasana – Stuff Pose. It forms beautiful posture strengthening the back muscles, stretches the muscles of the legs, reduces fat deposits in the abdomen forming a waist; influences beneficiary for the kidneys. Works with Manipura Chakra. • Janu Sirsasana – Head –To-Knee Forward Bend. This pose tones well the liver, spleen and kidneys; improves the work of the nervous, genitourinary, reproductive and endocrine systems; massages the abdominal cavity. Works with Manipura Chakra.
• Paschimottanasana – Seated Forward Bend. This is the pose of longevity and eternal youth! It has an animating effect on the entire reproductive system stimulating blood circulation in pelvic region; stretches the spine along the entire length and the back surface of the legs; stimulates the work of the liver and is very useful at kidney disease. It gives rest to the heart and soothes the mind making it serene and clear; pacifies anger; improves memory and positively affects at the endocrine system. Works with Manipura Chakra.
• Paripurna Navasana – Boat Pose. Strengthens the muscles of the abs, thighs and back, helping to get rid of fat deposits on the waist, abdomen, buttocks and thighs. It is useful in cases of flatulence; stimulates the kidneys. Works with Manipura Chakra.
• Dhanurasana – Bow Pose. It develops flexibility and mobility of the spine; massages the abdominal cavity and the heart muscle; reveals the chest filling the solar plexus with energy. It activates breathing; stimulates the work of endocrine glands; strengthens the muscles of the back, leg and abdomen contributing to the burning of excess fat. Works with Manipura Chakra.
• Baddha Konasana – Bound Angle Pose. It stimulates blood circulation in the pelvic organs; strengthens the uterus and bladder; tones the kidneys. It is effective in diseases of the genitourinary system; facilitates childbirth; prevents varicose veins, radiculitis and hernis. Works with Muladhara Chakra.
• Upavishta Konasana – Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend. It improves blood circulation in the pelvic area; regulates the menstrual cycle positively affecting at the work of ovaries; promotes increased elasticity of the hip joints, hamstrings and hip muscles. Works with Svadhistana Chakra. • Gomukhasana – Cow Face Pose. It’s a good compensation for the previous asana as well as for the Lotus pose. Relieves tension from the shoulders trapezius muscles of the back, biceps making hands beautiful. Develops the chest and also stretches the inner ankle ligaments; reveals the hip joints. Stimulates Muladhara Chakra.
• Ardha Matsyendrasana - Half Lord of the Fishes Pose or Twist. Remarcably works out deep muscles of the spine increasing its flexibility and mobility, enhances its blood supply. It has a stimulating effect on the liver, kidneys, pancreas, spleen gently massaging these organs. Works with Manipura Chakra.
• Ustrasana – Camel Pose. Strengthens and tones the muscles of the abdomen, neck, hips, legs, arms, neck; opens the thorax improving posture; stimulates the function of the thyroid gland (contraindicated in its increase); Makes the spine more flexible. Works with Anahata Chakra.
• Balasana – Child’s or Relaxation Pose. Relieves tension in the leg, back and neck muscles; improves digestive function.
• Urdhva Mukha Svanasana – Upward Facing Dog Pose. Enhances blood circulation in pelvic area; strengthens the muscles of the legs and hands. It is good for the lumbosacral radiculitis and for the displacement of the vertebral disc. Stimulates Anahata Chakra.
• Kandharasana – The Shoulder Pose. It is very useful women’s asana. It eliminates pain in the back and slouch; massage the muscles and nerves of the reproductive system helping in the treatment of disorders of the genital area; serves as a preventive measure for miscarriages. It quickly restores the abdominal muscles stretched after birth; strengthens the abs, improves digestion, reduces fat deposits in the waist. Serves as a preparation for the Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana).
• Jathara Parivartanasana – Revolved Abdomen Pose. Strengthens the muscles of the press making the abdomen flat; eliminates problems with the stool; useful in cases of gastritis; stimulates the work of gastrointestinal tract, spleen and liver. It makes the spine elastic and flexible.
• Sarvangasana – Shoulder Stand Pose. This is the asana for all parts of the body. It’s one of the best in list of “Asanas for Women”. It has a positive effect on almost all organs and systems of our body; has a rejuvenating and restorative influence. It trains all the muscles of the body; straightens the spine; treats varicose veins and diseases of the genitourinary system. It gives rest to the heart and strengthens the nervous system. It helps with asthma and respiratory failure by stimulating the respiratory organs. It improves the metabolism by activating the blood circulation in the thyroid gland. It is the prevention of osteoporosis and the omission of internal organs. It turns the flow of energy from legs to the higher centers stimulating their work. Works with Ajna Chakra. • Viparita Karani – Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose. It is also very useful women’s asana. It stimulates the glands of internal secretion, puts internal organs of the abdomen and uterus in the place which is extremely important for women’s health. Rejuvenates the skin and smooths wrinkles, makes the figure slim. The remaining effects are the same as in Sarvangasana.
• Savasana – Corpse Pose. The asana of complete relaxation. It restores strength, pacifies mind, relieves stress and slows down the aging process. It helps with insomnia and depression, contributes to the overall improvement of all the body.

In the end of the practice if it is desired you can share the energy that come to us during the lesson with your relatives and friends and also to wish them and all living beings the Good and harmonious development.