Yoga for Woman – Stretching and Strengthening the Back, Hips, and Thighs

woman yoga

Woman are successful multifaceted beings who wear many hats both professionally and at home. This multitasking comes with its own share of stress and fatigue which is why women suffer from several health issues both physical and mental.

Yoga has a number of benefits for women including lessening the severity and frequency of anxiety and depression symptoms. It also helps you stand taller and look more confident.

Pigeon Pose

Long days sitting at work can lead to tight hips and low back pain, but pigeon pose (aka eka pada pajakapotasana) helps stretch the muscles and relieve tension. It is also relaxing and can help lower blood pressure, according to a 2013 scientific review.

This yoga posture strengthens the hip flexors and gluteal muscles, which improves overall hip mobility and prevents injuries. It also stretches the piriformis muscle, which can reduce sciatic pain. In addition, pigeon pose opens up the front side of the pelvis, which improves digestion and stimulates the reproductive organs.

Beginners should work up to this posture by performing half pigeon first and focusing on improving their alignment and breathing. As you get better, you can move up to one-legged king pigeon pose. This variation is more challenging and deepens the stretch. However, it may cause hip strain and knee injury, so beginners should practice under the guidance of an experienced instructor to avoid any injuries.

Downward-Facing Dog Pose

This pose is usually used as a restorative posture during yoga classes, but it also stretches the lower back and strengthens the arms, shoulders, wrists, and torso. It also increases blood circulation to the internal organs.

It is important to keep the head and neck long in this position. A common mistake is to scrunch the shoulders up toward the ears. This is counterproductive, and it also limits the space for breathing. Instead, encourage students to externally rotate the upper arms. This broadens the collarbones and allows the shoulder blades to move down the spine, explains Health Shots.

Downward-facing dog is an inversion that stretches the front of the legs, back of the shoulders, and hamstrings. It can be difficult for beginners to perform, so it is a good idea to build up to the pose with other poses, such as Table, Cat, Dog, and High Lunge. People with carpal tunnel syndrome or slipped discs in the spine should avoid this pose.

Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose is a relaxing and restorative posture that allows the body to stretch without exerting too much effort. It helps to relieve back pain, neck pain and fatigue while stretching the hips, shoulders, thighs and internal organs. It can also help to ease stress and depression.

The posture stretches the back muscles, buttocks/gluteal muscles and front of the thighs/quadriceps. It also massages the abdominal area, which can be helpful for women going through menstruation as it may alleviate some of the discomfort.

The pose can be adapted to suit different needs by adjusting the positioning of the knees. Keeping the knees together allows for deeper inner thigh and hip opening, while spreading them wider reduces the intensity of the pose. Adding a block or bolster under the forehead can help reduce the tension on the neck and upper spine. The pose can also be used as a counter-pose to backbends. It encourages conscious, slow and deep breathing while helping to calm the mind and restore equanimity.

Boat Pose

Boat Pose strengthens your core, which can help protect the lower back and improve balance. It also stretches the backs of the legs. But it can be hard to master if your lumbar spine is weak. Many students tend to prioritize straightening the legs in Boat Pose, but this can compromise the proper alignment of the spine. Instead, try to keep a tight V between the thighs and the spine. It’s fine to stay in Boat with the legs bent at the knee if it helps you maintain that alignment.

It’s important to remember that Boat Pose activates the Solar Plexus and Sacral Chakra, which can balance emotions, improve intuition, and bring a sense of confidence. It can also boost energy and combat fatigue. You can use a block or prop to reduce strain and make the pose more accessible. It takes a lot of strength and flexibility to hold Boat Pose, so your arm and leg muscles will develop stronger over time.