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Yoga helps women tackle three major phases of life



Yoga can help women in dealing with three most important phases of their life – menstruation, maternity and menopause. Yoga asansas and pranayama are helpful in dealing with these three phases, say yoga experts.

Menstruation

Women go through this phase between puberty and menopause. To ensure a healthy menstrual cycle, proper functioning of ovaries is important. During this phase, women often experience painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea), and premenstrual syndrome. Stress and many other factors including inflammation, and womb spasm can cause dysmenorrhea.

Asanas such as Kapalabhati, Bidalasana, Sukhasana, Bhujangasana, Bidalasana, Dhanurasana, Matsyasana, Anuloma Viloma, Pavanamuktasana, Baddha konasana, Suptabaddhakonasana, Paschimottanasana, Janusirsasana, can ease menstrual pain and help in increasing blood supply to pelvic organs.

Maternity

Some specific yoga poses can prevent miscarriages and infertility in women caused by defective ovaries, and displacement of uterus. During pregnancy, the first three months are crucial, when pre-natal care is advised. Yoga improves the strength of pelvic muscles and prevents back strain due to extra weight of the baby. Strong uterine muscles can ease delivery pain.

Meditation, along with pranayama and other yoga poses such as bhujangasana, gomukhasana can help in stimulating the pituitary gland, responsible for secretion of pro-lactin.

Performing yoga after delivery can help in removing excess fat that was built up in the body during pregnancy, while also re-shaping the body and removing any stress on the pelvis, shoulders, neck and back during pregnancy period. Some specific yoga poses such as Virabhadrasana II, Viparita karani, ujjayi breathing, Salambhasana, Sukhasana, MArichyasana, Paripurna Navasana, are particularly helpful poses during the post-partum period.

Certain poses such as Adho Mukha Svanasana, Trikonasana, Marichyasana, Vipariti Karini, and Bhujangasana are particularly helpful for women who have had C-sections.

Menopause

Menopause is part of every woman’s life, occurring between the ages 40 and 60, when menstruation permanently stops. It is associated with hormonal, psychological and physical changes. The symptoms usually associated with menopause are irregular menstruation, hot flashes, change in appearance, sexual desire, urinary problems, sleep disturbances, mood changes, palpitations and backaches, though not all of these are experienced by every woman.

The yogic phases that may be of help during this phase are Kapalabhati, Tadasana, Pada Hastasana, Warrior Pose, Trikonasana, Padmasana, Bhujangasana, child pose, Paschimothanasana, Marichyasana, Pavanamuktasana, Anuloma viloma, and simple meditation techniques.

All these phases can cause physical and psychological disturbances of varying degrees in women. Pranayama helps immensely, as it reduces cortisol in blood, regulates endocrine gland and maintains proper functioning of crucial glands. Regular practice of yoga by women during all these phases in life, not only reduces the associated symptoms, but, improves the overall quality of life, helping to deal these natural biological processes with peace and acceptance.

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