29 Dec Yoga For Women
Written by Duncan Peak | 5 mins to read
For so many women, each day is a juggling act, balancing work, family, friends and relationship commitments and struggling to find enough hours in the day to fit everything in!
This can leave you feeling stretched in many directions, and if you’re not careful, stressed and exhausted. Well, if you can’t escape the pressures of life by hopping on the next plane to some tropical island, there is something you can do to help relieve stress right here and now. Something really simple in fact – yoga. If you haven’t already tried a yoga class before, chances are you know someone who has. As an ancient practice, yoga for women has a lot to offer our busy modern lifestyles
Yoga practice can improve flexibility, increase muscle tone, improve your breathing and help to bring the body into balance. Beyond fitness, yoga offers many other gifts. Research has shown that during a practice like yoga or meditation, your body releases chemicals into the bloodstream that bring you a sense of well-being and contentment. It can improve your health, reduce stress, improve sleep, and often acts like a powerful therapy to help heal relationships, improve your work performance, conquer fears and boost your overall outlook on life.
Yoga and meditation build awareness, of yourself (your thoughts and emotions) and in each moment and situation. And the more aware you are, the easier it is to break free of the grip of destructive emotions such as anger. Studies suggest that chronic anger and hostility are as strongly linked to heart attacks and other health conditions. Yoga appears to reduce anger by increasing feelings of compassion and interconnection and by calming the nervous system and the mind. It also increases your ability to step back from the drama of your own life, to remain steady in the face of bad news or unsettling events. Instead of reacting to the events of life, you can use mindful awareness to choose a more thoughtful response to the moment, reducing suffering for yourself and others.
You can also use your yoga practice to cultivate feelings of compassion and strengthen the connection between yourself and others. It’s been proven that one of the key ingredients for a long, healthy and happy life is being connected to the emotional support of friends, family, and community. A regular yoga practice helps develop friendliness, forgiveness, and greater equanimity. It becomes easier to not sweat the small stuff and not carry past harm into the present moment. You may even find that many of your relationships improve –including the one you have with yourself!
The work done on your yoga mat ripples through every aspect of your life. Change your posture as see the change reverberate through the way you breathe. As your breathing changes, your nervous system is affected. Everything is in yoga is connected and can have such a profound, positive effect in all areas of life – from your physical health and mental wellbeing, your interactions with family and friends to your career.
A consistent yoga practice can support women of any age, physically, emotionally and spiritually through their lives. It’s important to find a practice and yoga style that resonates with you and is something you’d be able to stick with, even if it’s just for a few minutes each day. Taking time to be aware of what’s happening in your life, in your body, and with your emotions on a daily basis is the key to getting the most out of what yoga offers.
Learning to watch the breath and stay in the moment can improve concentration and help you interact with others more mindfully. If you suffer from PMT, mindfulness techniques can help empower you with the tools to ride the emotional wave of your monthly cycle more smoothly and restorative postures can help alleviate physical discomfort.
Yoga can help to still the fluctuations of the mind. In other words, it slows down the repetitive and often negative mental patterns of frustration, regret, anger, fear, and desire that can cause stress. And since stress is implicated in so many health problems, from migraines and insomnia to high blood pressure and hypertension, if you practice how to quiet your mind and disassociate with incessant mental chatter, you’ll actually improve your health and chances at a longer, healthier life.
Too many of us suffer from chronic low self-esteem. If you handle this negatively and harm your body or sabotage yourself, you may pay the price with poor health physically, mentally, and spiritually. If you take a positive approach like practicing yoga and meditation, you’ll begin to sense and experience a feeling of wholeness and being totally ok with yourself. A regular practice of self-inquiry generates feelings of gratitude, empathy, and forgiveness, as well as a sense that you’re part of something bigger.
Here are 5 simple tips that you can start practicing today:
1. Follow the breath – slow down your inhale and exhale to 4 seconds each and observe your breath moving in and out through your nostrils, do this practice for at least 5 minutes to calm and centre yourself.
2. Stay in the present moment – keep your awareness anchored to this moment, observing and responding to what is right in front of you. Be wary of dragging in past events or expectations for the future into the situation.
3. Dedicate a space and time for yourself – create a space at home where you can go and sit or practice, even if it’s just for a few minutes each day.
4. Commit to a practice – find something that works for you and commit to it, whatever style of yoga or meditation that speaks to you.
5. Enjoy the journey – life is a long and winding road and knows that no effort on the path is ever wasted!