Womenhood is about beauty, elegance, intelligence, strength and nurturing all in one neat package. Women are natural home-makers. Just a few decades ago most of the women were at home taking care of families – cooking, cleaning, washing, keeping track of children’s homework and extra-curricular activities and much more. This is not a simple task. It takes plenty of energy, planning and time management skills to ensure that all these above activities happen like clock-work on a daily basis. This is in itself a full time job. More often than not women don’t get the “me time” to take care of themselves.
In recent times due to socio-economic reasons, women have had to step out of the house and take additional responsibility of working for someone else besides her family. Even though working an outside job opens up more possibilities for professional success, her caregiving responsibilities at home have not changed much. This puts tremendous pressure on women to now manage both home duties and an outside job with the same level of efficiency, causing adverse lifestyle changes. Time management demands coupled with lifestyle changes has negatively impacted women’s health. Some of the common health problems faced by women today (more prevalent after the lifestyle changes) are cancer, heart diseases, gynecological disorders, mental health, osteoporosis, fibroids etc.
Recently the health care system has been paying attention to women health issues and has put alternative support systems in place for early detection of ailments. But these support systems address only a part of the problem (physical or mental), but does not address the issue holistically (emotional and energy aspects). Prevention of course is the best cure. But the demands of work and family leave little time for self care. However, self care is the need of the hour and it behooves us as women to spend at-least a few minutes daily on personal well-being. There are very simple holistic practices like yoga that can be done to target specific areas in the body that are prone to degenerative diseases. Below are a few asanas that can be done to target specific areas of the body that are prone to early degeneration in women.
Gynecological disorder: These asanas strengthen and massage the digestive and reproductive organs and regulate the hormone levels. They also provide support to the ovaries and uterus and helps alleviate menstrual cramping. The twisting involved with asanas helps massage the hips, waist, uterus and ovaries
1) Trikonasana – Triangle pose.
2) Dhanurasana – Bow Pose.
3) Ardha Matsyendranasana – Seated spinal twist.
4) Pavanamuktasana – Wind releasing pose.
Cancer care: While yoga may not cure cancer, it can help build physical, mental and emotional resilience. Stress is one of the main causes of cancer besides genetics. Doing yoga regularly has shown to reduce stress levels, improve the mind, body, emotion, energy balance and connection, thereby reducing the risk of cancer. Yoga mudra for example helps create an uninterrupted flow of healing vital pranic energy in the system, which has a restorative effect on the organs. Doing these asanas help improve the metabolism and bring deep relaxation to the whole system.
1) Surya Namaskar -Sun Salutation.
2) Yoga Mudra.
3) Shavasana – Corpse Pose.
4) Pranayama – Alternative nostril breathing.
5) Meditation .
Mental Health: Women are more prone to depression and anxiety than men. Hormonal imbalances and thyroid malfunction which are more prevalent in women compound the problem. By doing these asanas one can stimulate the nervous system, calm the mind, activate the thyroid gland and energize the whole system.
1) Balasana -Child Pose.
2) Uttanasana – Standing forward bend.
3) Setubandhasana – Bridge pose.
4) Bhujangasana – Cobra pose.
Heart Health: Heart disease is another ailment that affect more women than men. Again this ailment has more to do with lifestyle changes than anything else. Doing these specific asanas on a regular basis is a great preventive and your heart will love you for it.
1) Tadasana – Palm Tree pose.
2) Vrikshasana – Tree pose.
3) Utkatasana – Chair pose.
Talk to your doctor before doing these practices. Learning these asanas from a trained yoga teacher is the best way to get started. Yoga might not be a “cure all”, but the health benefits of daily practice are well known. It is holistic practice and does not take much effort. It needs some dedicated time, a yoga mat, a small space and most importantly “YOU”. As women we need to make our health and self care a priority in our life. The time to start is now.
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