Now a days between the ages of 18 to 45, a woman is possibly developing a career, building long lasting relationships, having babies, raising families, making financial ends meet and finding her way in the world. Though in early times women were only a unit of family organization but now they are becoming significant unit of society and also influencing the course of social change. Now apart from a good daughter, wife, mother and grandmother etc. women are also good doctors, engineers, astronauts, lawyers, business women etc. But this journey from house hold to outer world brought a lot of stress to her life. Now she is expected to be super duper in all spheres of her life, which in turn brings many challenges to her good health. These all challenges can be met only with the help of the regular practice of yoga.
Now a days between the ages of 18 to 45, a woman is possibly developing a career, building long lasting relationships, having babies, raising families, making financial ends meet and finding her way in the world. Though in early times women were only a unit of family organization but now they are becoming significant unit of society and also influencing the course of social change. Now apart from a good daughter, wife, mother and grandmother etc. women are also good doctors, engineers, astronauts, lawyers, business women etc.
But this journey from house hold to outer world brought a lot of stress to her life. Now she is expected to be super duper in all spheres of her life, which in turn brings many challenges to her good health. These all challenges can be met only with the help of the regular practice of yoga.
Yoga for women is intended for releasing stress and focus on treating it with kindness. Women are powerful but delicate and keeping balance can be quite a challenge in stressful environment. If we look at total life span of women, it can broadly be divided into three important phases as starting of menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. In these stages, physiological changes occur and in each of these phases women have to face problems. There is change in working of different body parts. If we microscopically observe these changes in different stages then we can reach to a conclusion that hormones are responsible for all these changes. We can also say that female health revolves around different body hormones. By balancing hormones we can reduce painful periods, pre-menstrual symptoms, menopause and post menopause. Stress and toxins from environment and faulty dietary habits are the main culprits for hormonal imbalance of a healthy woman body.
Yoga helps women to balance their hormone. Before understanding effects of on hormones, a female should have a little knowledge about the location of the glands which are responsible for production of hormones. To start with Hypothalamus, which is a small structure at the base of the brain, is the control center of all automatic regulatory activities in body. Pituitary gland is located at the base of hypothalamus. It controls the function of all endocrine glands. Thyroid is one of the largest glands in body. It is located in neck below the Adam’s apple. It regulates the rate of metabolism, weight and temperature. Parathyroid glands are located behind the thyroid. They control the supply of calcium to whole body. Adrenals are walnut sized pyramids directly above kidneys. Their main purpose is to help the body to respond to stress. Pancreas located behind the stomach regulates the blood sugar and secretes digestive enzymes in small intestines. Ovaries are oval shaped and are located in lateral walls of pelvis. They secrete estrogen and progesterone important for health, growth, balance and functioning of reproductive organs.
We all know that in yoga, there is variety of body movements like back bends, forward bends, twists, squats, inversions etc. These body movement affect various glands.
There are variety of Yogasanas that can be practiced regularly to maintain health. In fact there is no word like very late or cannot in yoga. Anyone can start yoga at any age. The rule is go simple and listen to your body. Start with simple stretching and bends with twists then go for higher. There are few important yoga asanas Maarjariasana, Garbhasana, Shashankasana, Yogmudrasana, Shavasana which are beneficial for female.
Yogasanas for balancing the hormonal system in females
Marjariasana (Cat pose): Come onto your fours. Form a table such that your back forms the table top and your hands and feet form the legs of the table. Keep your arms perpendicular to the floor with the hands directly under the shoulders and flat on the ground, your knees and hip width apart. Look straight ahead. As you inhale, raise your chin and tilt your back, push your naval downwards, raise your tail bone & compress your buttocks. Hold the cat pose. As you exhale, drop your chin to your chest and arch your backup as much as you can. Relax the buttocks. Practise for 5-6 times.
Benefits: It gently tones the female reproductive system, giving relief from menstrual cramps and leucorrhoea. It improves the functioning of Kidneys, adrenals & thyroid glands. It gives flexibility to spine. It tones up abdomen and improves digestion. It also relaxes mind and strengthens wrist, shoulder and pelvis.
Garbhasana (Foetus pose): Sit in Padmasana. Insert the hands into gap between the thighs and calf muscles of both the legs. The elbows should bend around the calf muscles to hold the legs. Lift up the legs with hands & exhale. Hold the ears with hands. The entire weight of the body is on buttocks. Remain in this position for as long as feel comfortable.
Benefits: It is good for cramps & constipation, Massages abdominal organs, kidneys and adrenal glands. It helps in emotional stability, stimulates the digestive fire & increases the appetite. It alleviates nervous disorders and helps a female to control anger.
Shashankasana (hare pose): Sit is Vajarasana. Place your hands on thighs. Raise both your hands above the head, palms facing forward. The arms should be in line with shoulders. Slowly bend down & bring hands forward till the hands and forehead touch the ground. Exhale while you are bending forward. Rest in this position for as long as you are comfortable.
Benefits: It gives powerful massage for the thyroid and parathyroid glands. It also massages and regenerates the kidney and adrenal glands. It is beneficial for female reproductive organs & tones the pelvic muscles & relieves constipation and sciatic pain. It gives good stretching to upper body.
Yog Mudra (Psychic union pose): Sit is Padmasana. Hold wrist with other hand behind the back and inhale deeply. While exhaling bend forward. Bring the forehead to the floor. Relax in same position and breathe slowly & deeply. Stay in final position.
Benefits: It stimulates circulation to brain and massages the abdominal organs, kidneys, adrenal glands and ovaries. It regenerates nervous system. It is known to awaken Manipura charka. It brings back flexibility to back, spine and hips
Purvottansana (Mountain pose): Lie on abdomen and with extended arms put palms of hands on firm floor, then taking the deep breath, pull the body upwards and feet firmly on the ground. The body makes a shape of a triangle when observed from sides. It looks like a mountain and hence the name is given to it. It is also a part of sun salutation.
Benefits: It massages the thyroid and parathyroid, massages the kidneys and adrenal glands. It strengthen the muscles of arms, legs, spine and pelvic region.
Garudasana (Eagle pose): Stand in Tadasana. Bend your knees and lift your left foot up to cross it over the right one. Ensure that your right foot is firmly place on the floor and left thigh is over right thigh. Left foot’s toes should be pointing downward. Extend your arms straight in front of your body. Cross the right arm over the left one and bend your elbow so that your arms are perpendicular to the floor. Ensure that the back of your hands are facing each other slowly turn the hands so that the palms face each others. Press the palms together, stretch the fingers upward. Keeping your gaze focused at one place. Slowly release the hands & bring them to side of the body. Raise your left leg & place it back on the floor and finally come back into Tadasana.
Benefits: It maintains the balance between body and different organ systems. It strengthens the muscles of legs, pelvic region. Pain and stiffness of joints can also be minimized by proper practice of Garudasana.
Shavasana (Corpose pose): Lie flat on the back with the arms about 15 cm away from body. Palms facing upward. Move the feet slightly away from each other and close your eyes. The head and spine should be in straight line. Relax the whole body and stop all physical movements. Become aware of your breath & allow it to become rhythmic & relax. Inhale & exhale with deep breathings for 15 to 20 minutes.
Benefits: Calming and balancing for all body systems. Good for high blood pressure and improves circulations to internal organs like ovaries, adrenal and thyroid gland. It tones up female organs and cures various disorders.
Mudra for Hormone Deficiency
Varun Mudra is best natural and holistic process that will help you to overcome hormone imbalance and other body fluids. How to do: Sit in any comfortable pose or Padmasana. Join the tips of little fingers and thumb finger. This is called varun mudra.
Pranayama for Hormonal Imbalance:
Breathing exercise is the easiest way for curing hormone imbalance.
Kapalbhati: Deeper rather than faster Kapalbhati tickles & stimulates the good hormonal flow from all the glands. It nourishes uterus, ovaries and pelvic muscles.
Ujjayi: Long ujjayi breathing helps to overcome imbalance of thyroid and para thyroid glands.
Anulom-Vilom Pranayam: Helps to correct the energy imbalance. Chanting & Bhramri Pranayama resonates the hormonal axis with subtle variations. They also calm down the body and overcome the stress induced damage.
Bandhas to regulate hormones:
Bandhas are called hormonal locks. By the use of Bandhas in yoga one can try & regulate hormones quite easily. Bandha control the hormone levels in body by applying pressure on the glands. We can bring new energy to the glands and thus good quality and quantity of hormonal levels can be achieved by practising Bandha.
Mool Bandha: Sit in Padmasana. Place your hands on knees. Exhale completely. Pull up genital space and close the anal space. Keep your abdominal muscles tight. Release the lock & inhale. Repeat only thrice. It is beneficial for pelvic muscles. It tones up female reproductive organs and helps in curing many disorders related to ovaries, fallopian tubes & uterus.
Uddiyana Bandha: Stand with your legs apart and slightly bend. Rest your palm on your thighs. Bend your back and exhale forcefully. Suck in your stomach to create a hollow space. Hold the position as long as you can hold breath comfortably Release the contraction & breath. Repeat thrice. Uddiyana Bandha is very helpful for females suffering from poly cystic ovarian disease, insulin resistance and hormonal imbalance.
Jalandhar Bandha: Sit in Padamasana and keep your hands on your knees. Inhale deeply. Keeping your chest high. Hold your breath and lock your chin against the chest. Hold the position as long as you can. Release the chin. Lock up & exhale. Repeat thrice. Jalandhar Bandha is very helpful for maintaining hormonal balance related to pituitary gland, thyroid and para thyroid glands. It relaxes brain and thus over all body is balanced.
Apart from yoga, diet and lifestyle is also important in treatment. The way woman lives her daily routine has strong effect on her health. So, every female should devote quality time for herself through regular practice of yoga under supervision of yoga expert.