8 benefits of yoga for women
Yoga is growing more and more popular among women, and for good reasons. The practice offers improved mental clarity, better posture and increased self-esteem, not to mention greater flexibility and strength when it comes to surfing.
Let’s take a look at some of the specific advantages yoga offers to women of all ages.
1. Yoga offers a sense of community
It’s often overlooked, but yoga offers the chance to experience a sense of community among like-minded women who find its rhythms to be a universal experience. More than 55 million people practised yoga in 2021, with 72% of those being women. It’s also interesting to note that 14 million people doing yoga are over the age of 50.
2. Yoga improves flexibility
In 2020, two of yoga’s leading organisations, Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance, conducted a worldwide survey looking at a variety of statistics about yoga in an attempt to quantify its value amid ever-increasing popularity. The most cited reason people selected for doing yoga was to increase flexibility.
Flexibility is an important component of physical health. Yoga offers many styles to choose from, varying in intensity from high to moderate to mild. Even the lowest intensity styles have been found to increase flexibility. When it comes to surfing, yoga is a great way to stretch before and after a surf session in order to keep the body flexible and avoid injuries.
Yoga seems to be especially helpful for improving movement in adults aged 45 and older. Reduced flexibility is a natural part of ageing, and a 2021 study found that yoga both slowed down loss and improved flexibility in older adults.
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3. Yoga improves heart health
Did you know that heart disease is the biggest killer of women in the United States? It’s also a leading cause of illness and death among Australian women, with recent data indicating that over half a million women have one or more heart, stroke and vascular diseases and that these account for almost one-third of all deaths among women. Research has shown that a regular practice of yoga can improve cardio-metabolic health, with significant improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
4. Yoga helps with premenstrual syndrome
An article published in the International Journal of Women’s Health and Reproduction Sciences highlights how powerful yoga can be for PMS. Researchers focused on the emotional, behavioural and physical symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome. Improvements were seen in all three areas, with the study concluding that yoga should be recommended as a treatment option for those struggling with PMS.
5. Yoga helps with menopause symptoms
Studies have also focused on how yoga can help menopausal women cope with hot flashes. In a sample group of 54 perimenopausal and postmenopausal women, a huge 66% (two-thirds) reported a reduction in hot flashes following just 10 weeks of classes. Not only that, but they stated that their hot flashes were less intense than they had been previously.
6: Yoga improves back pain
Yoga is a winner in the battle against back pain. It stands to reason that greater flexibility and a regular but non-strenuous yoga routine can stretch those muscles and tendons that so often are the cause of back pain. It is particularly useful in relieving the symptoms of sciatica, which can really ruin your week – just ask anyone who has ever experienced it. Yoga gives you improved physical movement and a decrease in pain.
7. Yoga helps with anxiety and mental health
Many people suffer from anxiety, and yoga can certainly help with this. The routine poses and regular movements were designed over centuries by yogis on the Indian subcontinent, specifically with the idea of calming both the body and the mind. A big part of yoga is the control of your breath, and this regular exercise allows the mind to focus on the simple act of breathing in and out, freeing it from the narrative that goes on in our heads.
8. Yoga will increase your strength
While most people associate yoga with stretching and flexibility, some types of yoga classes can also be considered strength-building. It just depends on the class level, approach, and teacher. Yoga’s effectiveness at building strength has been studied in several specific contexts – it all leads to the same conclusion: yoga is a powerful tool in strengthening your body, its flexibility and your ability to control your emotions, outlook on life and general health.
At Surf Getaways, we believe in yoga’s incredible benefits for both our physical and mental wellbeing, and that’s why we love to include yoga in our Surf Experiences to treat the body and mind after an intense day in the water.
So what are you waiting for? Join us for a surf and yoga getaway at any of our unique destinations. Trust us when we say it all makes sense.