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How Yoga Can Improve Women’s Health

YOGA MEDITATION FOR HEALTH

Yoga has been a cultural buzzword for almost a century. Its practices and techniques have made claims to affect everything from blood circulation to insomnia. Whether by a friend’s anecdote or through a new story shared on a Facebook feed, women have heard of this practice. There are benefits to women’s health through the practice of yoga exercises.

What is Yoga?

YOGA MEDITATION FOR HEALTHIt is important, however, to define exactly what “yoga” is, as definitions and practices can vary wildly.
The most common exercise practiced in the West is called Hatha Yoga, (though many other disciplines exist), which originated in India 2,000 years ago. Yoga made its first large-scale appearance in the Western world in the late 18th century and since then has become a wide umbrella of techniques from different religious backgrounds.
It wavered in and out of the culture for a few decades but became a permanent fixture in the 1980s, when Dean Ornish popularized the technique for purely physical benefits. While some conservative groups still frown on the practice, it has become a cultural norm since this time.

Today more than 20 million Americans practice yoga and many more millions around the world.

Holistic Health Benefits of Yoga

Geeta S. Lyengar believes that due to her study of yoga, she was able to overcome a childhood disease without medication, even after spending four days unconscious in a nursing home with severe nephritis.

She also studied the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu holy book, fervently and practiced meditation as well. Iyengar wrote largely of the holistic benefits of yoga.

She stated that it is a culture of:
• External and internal cleanliness
• Dietary control
• Proper exercise of the limbs and organs
• Physical and mental poise
• Rest

However, she also cited its ability to help women specifically, especially in childbirth, menstruation, and menopause. It can be an art, science, and philosophy- or depending on the practitioner, none of the above.

More secular sources like the American College of Sports Medicine have called it an inwards and outward transition. How much of it is used in lifestyle versus physical exercise varies widely with each person who practices these poses, but common sense says that changing things like diets and cleanliness will improve lifestyle.

Health Benefits Of Yoga

Yoga has been cited by scholarly sources to show improvement of common ailments for women, including the American College of Sports Medicine.

Many Benefits Of Yoga

• Yoga improves flexibility, strength, balance, and endurance.

• It teaches the practitioner to reduce stress and better cope with stress.

• Yoga teaches mindfulness by shifting awareness to the sensations, thoughts, and emotions that naturally accompany a particular pose.

• A study from Duke University Medical Center shoed that yoga benefits those who suffer from mental disorders, including depression, schizophrenia, and anxiety

• Yoga promotes good sleep and ease anxiety.

• Practicing yoga in a class setting promotes the production of oxytocin in the brain a feel good hormone that naturally promotes wellness. Something that is especially useful for aging women.

• Yoga along with meditation also results in higher serotonin levels, which is the mood boosting happiness hormone that can boost quality of life and general contentment.”

• Couples often turn to yoga to increase chances of conception. Yoga promotes relaxation and reduces stress in the mother to be, both of which improve chances of conception. Yoga also plays a role in promoting blood flow to the reproductive organs, which improves organ function and hormone function.

• Posture improves because yoga strengthens the core.

• Yoga helps build lean muscle tone.

• Quality time in a class setting allows for social interaction, comradery and an emotional connection to others, which improves a woman emotional health helping to improve her physical health and reduce risk for heart disease.

• Being aware of and knowing how to stretch core muscle groups can be beneficial in managing menstrual cramps and childbirth without medication. They are also used in back strengthening techniques in older women at risk of osteoporosis.

• Core strength improves with yoga. Using yoga to strengthen core muscles can increase flexibility in women, which can improve overall health as well as comfort during pregnancy. These techniques are also valuable in sports practiced more often by women such as gymnastics and cheerleading.

• Proper breathing techniques have been used to help women in childbirth for decades. It can also be used to relieve anxiety and help with insomnia.

There is also evidence, though less conclusive, that yoga can benefit those under more severe ailments:

• Breast and Ovarian Cancer: Though yoga cannot change the physical consequences of cancer, many have reported a higher quality of life after practicing these techniques regardless of the severity of their condition.

• Depression: No conclusive evidence has been made, but the physical act of stretching and communicating with others in a class setting can help improve quality of life and alleviate mild depression.

Yoga can have positive effects on overall health as well as some specific disorders. Injuries are rare, and there is little equipment or training needed. It is easy to find certified yoga instructors at the local gym, or by visiting the site one of the most recognized organizations, Yoga Alliance. It can give women the extra punch they need to be in excellent overall health.

How Yoga Can Improve Women’s Health

Latest Update: Friday, September 21, 2018

healthier you

Taking control of your health is most effective when you take a look at
yourself with a holistic perspective. The holistic approach to health takes
into account the complete person; their physical, psychological and social
needs which directly relate to their spiritual selves. Basically, you would
improve your overall well-being by integrating aspects of every part of
yourself and by not just eating right and getting exercise. Your mind needs
stimulation, you need social interaction and solid relationships, and you
need to nurture your spiritual side along with honoring the operation of your
body’s physical aspects.
healthier you

HEALTHIER YOU

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Taking control of your health

Latest Update: Friday, September 21, 2018

One of the biggest hurdles when it comes to exercising is the aches and stiffness you feel roughly around 24 hours after your workout. This is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). The symptoms are usually pain in your muscles when you move and your muscles may feel weak and tender.
This is normal and nothing to be worried about. Women who have led sedentary lifestyles for a while will experience this in the beginning. In fact, both genders are susceptible to DOMS and it is part and parcel of working out.
Over time as your body gets used to the activity, you will not become sore unless you increase your training load and intensity. As long as your training is hard and there are micro tears in the muscle fibers, there will be pain.
You must be able to distinguish the difference between muscle soreness from cramps or muscle strains and pulls. DOMS is just discomfort that arises from inflamed muscles that are healing. Your body will not be in pain if you’re not moving. Muscle soreness is felt only when you move.
Cramps, however, are sudden pain spasms that arise due to a contraction of muscle fibers. The best way to treat cramps is to stretch the muscle. Massaging and stretching a cramped muscle will ease the pain.
The same does not apply to muscle soreness. Stretching before workouts, muscle rub creams, massages, ice baths, etc. cannot prevent muscle soreness. They may provide temporary relief but you will still need 2 to 4 days for your muscles to heal.
It can be discouraging in the beginning when you embark on a training program and plan to exercise regularly but after one workout, you can’t move without groaning for a few days. You’ll need to rest till you’re healed.
The best way to prevent this is to make your first few sessions light. The goal is to just do a few of the exercises and use light weights. If it’s cardio, don’t go all out and give your maximum effort. Just stick to a slow or moderate pace.
Even short 15 or 20 minute sessions will suffice in the beginning. This will prevent your muscles from being too sore the next day. Always ease into your training regimen slowly. By slowly and gradually increasing your intensity and training load, you’ll be giving your body time to adapt to the demands placed upon it.
Many women are eager to lose the weight fast or get fit overnight and they try to give it their best. Common fitness mantras like ‘Go hard or go home’ and ‘No pain no gain’ do not help here.
These motivational quotes are best used by athletes and people who train often. When you’re just starting off, do go slow. Slow progress is better than no progress.
In the event that you still have muscle soreness, you can try soaking in a tub of water with Epsom salts or you can try over-the-counter muscle rubs. These will provide temporary relief.
If you’re experiencing muscle soreness in your legs, you can always focus the day’s workout on your upper body and vice-versa. There’s no need to skip a workout if just one part of your body aches. You’ll feel satisfied knowing that you at least got something done for the day.
However, if your entire body aches and this can occur when you do full-body workouts, you can rest or go for a slow walk. Resting and recovery is just as important as activity. It doesn’t mean you’re off track. Even a tiger crouches before it leaps.
So, don’t feel dejected and quit just because your first few sessions are causing you pain. Maintain a positive mindset and keep pushing forward knowing that pain is weakness leaving the body. Approach your training in a gradually progressive manner and you’ll be just fine.

Dealing with Muscle Soreness and Pushing Forward

Latest Update: Friday, September 21, 2018