By Dr. Rajeev Rajesh
Women today perform a variety of roles in their life, more so than ever before. They are professionals, moms, wives, friends, community volunteers and spouses. Finding time for oneself on top of the difficulty of juggling family and career is virtually impossible. Spending all of their time balancing their obligations between maintaining the home, meeting the needs of a demanding job and taking care of the family can harm women’s health by creating stress and worry. In this fast-paced environment, they need a combined solution that gets things done quickly and effectively. This solution is yoga. Yoga has numerous advantages for working women.
How Yoga Helps Alleviate Stress and Anxiety for Working Women
Yoga promotes both physical and mental relaxation, which lowers tension and anxiety. The physical poses encourage flexibility, ease stress, and lessen discomfort.
There are many scientific evidence which supports that yoga is effective for reducing stress.
A 2018 study found that women who did asana and pranayama three times per week for four weeks saw improvements in their health. After 12 sessions, their levels of stress, despair and anxiety significantly decreased.
Yogasanas may aid in the release of emotions and tension as well as physical impediments like muscle knots. They also encourage the release of endorphins, the feel-good hormones that can help working women cope with stress and lift their mood.
Also, during yoga practice, paying attention to the present moment improves the awareness, sharpens focus and centres the mind.
6 Yoga Poses for Working Women
A working lady who practises yoga can maintain both a healthy physical and mental state. Anyone who adopts yoga can experience a real transformation from doing it. Here are 6 yoga poses for working women:
- Shashankasana (Child’s Pose)
This pose has calming effect on the mind. It stretches and relieves stiffness from back.
How to do:
- Sit in Vajrasana and keep your palms on the thigh.
- While inhaling, raise both the arms above the head.
- While exhaling, bend forward and stretch the palms on the floor with the abdomen pressing against the thigh.
- The forehead must touch to the floor.
- Breathe normally.
- While inhaling, return.
- Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
This asana stretches the chest, improves respiratory functions and reduces fatigue and stress. It also strengthens the spine, gluts and shoulders and improve the flexibility of back.
How to do:
- Lie down on your stomach.
- Place your palms besides your chest. Your elbows should be close to your body and it must be facing upward.
- While inhaling, raise the head, chest and the navel up, bend the head back and look up.
- Maintain the position with normal breath for some time.
- While exhaling, release the pose and relax.
- Pawanmuktasana (Wind Relieving Pose)
This asana gives the back and spine a gentle massage and helps relieve gas and bloatedness
How to do:
- Lie down straight on your back. While inhaling, raise the legs up. Bend the legs from the knees and bring them to your chest. Interlock the fingers and hold the shin.
- While exhaling, press the thighs against the abdomen, lift the head up and touch the knees with the chin. Maintain the position with normal breath.
- Bring the head down. While inhaling, raise the legs up and while exhaling, bring the legs down.
- Naukasana (Boat Pose)
It strengthens the abdominal and reproductive organs.
How to do:
1. Lie straight on a mat with legs together and hand beside the body.
2. While inhaling, lift your legs, upper torso and arms up. Stretch your hands towards your knees.
3. Keep your arms and the toes at the same level.
4. Fix your eyes on the toes and balance the body on the buttocks.
5. After holding for a few breaths, exhale, lowering your upper body and legs.
- Anuloma Viloma Pranayam (Alternate Nostril Breathing)
This breathing technique strengthens the immune system and improves cardiorespiratory health.
How to do:
- Sit comfortably in a cross-legged position. Keep the spine straight and close your eyes.
- Adopt nasika mudra by bending the index and middle fingers.
- Close the right nostril with your right thumb and gently inhale through the left nostril to fill your lungs. Hold the breath for sometime.
- Close the left nostril with the ring finger, release the thumb and exhale though the right nostril.
- After complete exhalation, gently inhale via your right nostril and hold the breath.
- Close the right nostril with the thumb, release the ring finger and exhale though the right nostril.
- Repeat the practice for 5 minutes.
- Bhramari Pranayama
This pranayama technique helps calm the mind and relieves stress and anxiety.
How to do:
- Sitting in Padmasana or Sukhasana.
- Press the flap of the ears with your thumbs.
- Place the index finger on forehead and gently press the eyes with other fingers.
- Now, inhale through the nostrils and let the lungs expand fully.
- While exhaling producing humming sound from throat and nose and feel its vibration in the brain.
- Practice five rounds.
Yoga is a wonderful way to reduce stress, replenish energy and enhance overall well-being. Take pleasure in learning which methods and practices will benefit you the most.
(The author is a Chief Yoga Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute, Bangalore. The article is for informational purposes only. Please consult medical experts and health professionals before starting any therapy, medication and/or remedy. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the FinancialExpress.com.)