10 Best Yoga Poses for Women

A strong mountain pose has a grounding effect that helps with balance.

A strong mountain pose has a grounding effect that helps with balance.

Life can be complicated at times. Balancing work, social activities and rest is common for many women today. Throw kids into the equation and the balancing act intensifies. Fortunately, devoting time to these 10 yoga poses will improve balance, stability and strength – qualities that can effectively make the complications of life less stressful.

Three Poses for Balance

Juggling multiple things at a time can really take its toll on the female body and mind. Even at rest, your mind is likely scattered, focusing on past events or future plans instead of living in the present. Tree pose and revolved triangle both demand full attention to maintain proper balance and prevent falling. This centers scattered minds by forcing the focus to be in the present moment. The balancing act translates to life itself, helping to keep you calm as you manage multiple everyday tasks. Mountain pose also helps with balance by having a stabilizing effect -- activating the feet, core and shoulders in this position will help keep you rooted and centered. The grounded yogini is comfortable in her own skin, and this self-confidence leads to a higher level of clarity during stressful situations.

Three Poses for Physical Strength

Yoga can help build physical strength that could potentially provide health benefits for women. Downward dog, plank pose and chair pose may cause your muscles to shake a bit, but their ability to tone is worth it. According to Harvard Medical School, holding weight-bearing poses can be strenuous enough to strengthen muscles and even burn calories. More importantly, yoga has the power to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, both risk factors for heart disease -- the No. 1 cause of death for women in the United States. Start with holding each pose for 20 to 30 seconds and work up to at least 60 seconds over time.

Three Poses for Emotional Strength

Women tend to address the needs of others before their own, a habit that can be emotionally taxing and stress-inducing. Women hold stress and other negative emotions in the pelvic area, according to Yoga Journal Online. Pigeon pose, lizard pose and high lunge stretch the muscles around the pelvis and help release these negative emotions, freeing the mind of tension and stress. The calm, stress-free mind will help you face everyday challenges despite your chaotic lifestyle.

One Pose for Rest

Be careful to listen to your body and not overdo it. Back out of a pose if you experience pain or abnormal discomfort. Adequate rest in child's pose after holding each position is necessary to prepare you for the next and reduce the risk of injury.

About the Author

Stephanie Soscia holds a Ph.D. in anatomy and neurobiology from the Boston University School of Medicine. She has studied the molecular mechanisms underlying Alzheimer’s disease for more than a decade, publishing her work in several peer-reviewed journals. Soscia is also a Yoga Alliance-certified yoga teacher and CrossFit level 1 trainer.

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