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Yoga and deep breathing relieve stress from your day.
Yoga offers women benefits beyond weight management, increasing self-esteem, relieving stress, improving your mood and providing an energy boost. For women, practicing yoga also eases symptoms you may experience during your period and menopause. You can also target common trouble spots in a woman's body with specific poses.
Yoga Poses for Your Figure
Plank pose and side plank pose are two yoga poses that get you lean from head to toe. Start and finish plank pose from downward dog, which also strengthens your arms and shoulders. In plank, keep your arms perpendicular to the floor and your spine straight. Get into side plank pose from plank by lifting one arm into the air and pivoting your hips so that they face the wall instead of the floor. Return to plank to switch sides. Focus on stretching and lengthening your body in this pose to build long, lean muscles that make you look taller and thinner. Side plank tones your arms, abs, butt and thighs. It also targets your love handles and saddlebags, two areas where women gain fat easily.
Yoga Poses for Your Period
Butterfly Pose helps prevent uncomfortable symptoms of menstruation. It's a seated pose that you execute by putting the soles of your feet together and inching your heels as close to your pelvis as you can. It opens your hips and relaxes your lower back, so it's a good pose to practice if you're having pain during your period. Frog pose also opens your hips, and improves circulation in your pelvis, which can reduce menstrual pain symptoms. Come into frog pose by lying on your belly. To do half frog pose, grab the top of one foot with the same hand and pull it to your buttocks, and to do full frog pose, grab both feet with the corresponding hand. Reclining hero pose is similar to full frog pose you lie on your back instead of your tummy. It improves your digestion and circulation, eases menstrual discomfort and energizes tired legs.
Yoga Poses for Menopause
Women go through perimenopause usually between ages 45 and 55. During this phase, hormone levels fluctuate and cause various uncomfortable symptoms. Some of these are hot flashes, trouble sleeping, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, depression and mood swings, memory lapses and irregular periods. Reclining hero pose is restorative during menopause as well as during your period. Other poses that relieve menopause symptoms and help make your periods occur more regularly are bridge pose, reclining bound angle pose and head-to-knee pose. Come into bridge pose, which is a back bend, lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor, then lift your pelvis. Reclining bound angle pose is like butterfly pose, except it's a reclining pose with your upper body lying supine on your mat. Head-to-knee is a seated forward bend, where you fold your upper body over one leg at a time.
Yoga Poses for Stress Relief
Child's pose is a rejuvenating pose for stretching your lower back, relieving stress in the body and relaxing your mind. Come into it from your hands and knees; sit back on your heels and stretch your arms out in front of you, resting your forehead on the mat. Pigeon pose is another tension-releasing pose that relaxes you mentally as well. It stretches your hips, which tend to store built-up tension from sitting throughout the day. Women in particular hold more tension in the hips than men. You can come into it from a lunge or Warrior position. Stretch one leg straight back flat on the floor, with the other leg bent and turned out. Sit on your outer thigh, keeping your hips as square as you can. Take deep breaths while you stretch to intensify the relaxing effect.