This year, when Jehangir Hospital, Pune, decided to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th March, I was approached to present my perspective on women in relevance with Yoga, to which I readily agreed. In Jehangir Hospital, Yoga has now become an integral part.
More than 250 female family members of our Hospital collected when the function started. There were beautiful cultural programs organised by the gorgeous ladies of all varied departments. They had chosen to give a strong message of “We can & We will” to the society through each performance. We all enjoyed each presentation.
When my turn came, I was pleasantly surprised at the attention and silence during my talk. I had a very good demonstrator who demonstrated all the practices for everyone on the stage. The Yoga presentation was applauded very well.
I chose the subject – “Importance of Yoga for Female Reproductive System” to speak on, as this is one area which is still not very clear to many ladies and they suffer many disorders or abnormalities in regard to this. I know that women even today feel shy or find themselves in a dilemma to speak to anyone on the imbalance in their reproductive system, hormonal troubles (many can’t even figure out), agonising menstrual cycles, etc.
Yoga provides solution with specific Asanas, Pranayamas and Yoganidra. The Yoga practices I selected are the ones which strengthen the female reproductive system, work to manage disorders, prevent future diseases and promote a healthy system with proper balance of hormonal secretions. With regular practice, one can achieve the 3 H’s –
- HAPPY( the capability to be joyful in any situation)
- HEALTHY( no health issues)
- HASSLE FREE (ability to lead a stress-free life)
Now we are working on celebrating each day as women’s Day for this whole year till next International Women’s day in Jehangir Hospital, by giving the practical experience of the Yoga program to each female employee.
This Yoga program is my personal research work. I’m sharing this with you all so that those of you who want to, may benefit from practicing the program.
IMPORTANCE OF YOGA FOR WOMEN
- It’s important for us women to remember to take time out to nurture and look after ourselves.
- As women we can probably relate to experiencing a hormonal imbalance at some point in our lives causing mood swings, irregular menstrual periods, fatigue, weight gain, digestive problems etc.
How Yoga helps?
- We must remember that all systems, organs of human body are interconnected and interlinked. One Yoga practice effects many areas of our body, apart from the specific section we are working on.
- To balance hormones: Yoga helps stimulate, activate and balance the glands, and organs responsible for hormonal health – mainly the pituitary gland, adrenals, thyroid and ovaries.
- Aides with our menstrual cycle: A regular and dedicated yoga practice can help to regulate our menstrual cycle, reduce symptoms of PMT (pre/post menstrual symptoms), lighten heavy bleeding, and ease cramps and pains.
- Reduces stress: Stress can be unavoidable and as women we can take on the role of the multi-tasker and play many different roles to different people. Yoga helps to reduce stress levels by regulating the breath, relaxing the body and bringing us into the present moment where we can find a sense of calm.
- Yoga also helps to:
ü Strengthens bones
ü Tones the body
ü Enhances metabolism
ü Boosts Fertility
ü Experience serenity and calmness within.
YOGA PROGRAM FOR FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM.
- MARJARI ASANA
- SHAVA UDARAKARSHAN
- CHAKKI CHALANASANA
- NADI SHODHAN
- YOGA NIDRA
TYPE OF ASANA: standing & stretching asana
AWARENESS: On maintaining balance, stretch in the whole body and on breath.
BREATHING: Inhale while stretching up; exhale while lowering the feet
- Develops physical and mental balance.
- Entire spine is stretched, and loosened.
- Helps clear congestion of spinal nerves.
- Stretches the Rectus Abdomini Muscles.
- Very helpful to check blood sugar level.
- Thus removes constipation (extremely helpful to open the whole body in the morning after waking up).
- Useful during the first six months of pregnancy to keep abdominal muscles and nerves toned.
TYPE OF ASANA: A standing side bending asana
AWARENESS: On coordination of movement, balance and on the stretch to the side of the trunk.
BREATHING: Inhale while raising arms and returning to center; exhale while bending on sides
- Affects the muscles on the sides of the trunk, the waist and the back of the legs.
- Stimulates the nervous system and alleviates nervous depression.
- Improves digestion, stimulates appetite, activates intestinal peristalsis and relieves constipation.
- Strengthen pelvic area and tones reproductive organs.
- Regular practice reduce waistline fat.
- Its emotional benefits: calms mind, relieves anxiety and reduces nervous tension.
- The only post-digestive Asana.
- Very helpful for varicose veins.
- Assists women during labour pains.
- Preventive measure against hernia.
TYPE OF ASANA: Sitting; from Vajrasana
AWARENESS: On the movement of abdomen contracting and stretching.
BREATHING: Inhaling while arching the spine; exhaling while lifting the spine up
- Improves the flexibility of neck, shoulders and spine.
- Gently tones all female reproductive organs.
- Gives good relief in cramps during menstrual cycle.
- Women suffering from menstrual irregularities must practice regularly.
- Reproductive disorders get eliminated.
- Helpful in PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome)
- Improves digestion.
- Relaxes the mind.
- Tightens the abdominal muscles, very helpful post-delivery.
TYPE OF ASANA: Sitting, from Vajrasana
AWARENESS: on the pressure of the abdomen against the thigh
BREATHING: Exhale while bending the trunk down; inhale while raising the trunk upright.
- Stretches the back muscles
- Separates the individual vertebrae from each other, releasing pressure on the discs on the back
- Regulates the functioning of adrenal glands
- Tone the pelvic muscles, and the sciatic nerves
- Helps alleviates disorders of both male and female reproductive organs by a strong yet gentle compression of the abdomen.
- Reduces anger and cools the brain by fresh blood supply
TYPE OF ASANA: Backward bending asana
AWARENESS: On the systematic arching of the back, pressure on abdomen
BREATHING: Inhale while raising & curling the body; exhale while lowering down
- Removes backache during menstrual period pain.
- Keeps the spine supple and healthy – a stiff spine interferes with all nervous impulses sent from the brain to the body & vice versa.
- This asana notably tones the ovaries and uterus, and helps alleviate menstrual and other gynaecological disorders.
- Useful for leucorrhoea, painful periods and absence of periods.
- Relieves physical stress and mental fatigue.
- Stimulates appetite, reduces hunger, thus improving digestion. The kidneys which purify our blood, are compressed thereby removing stagnant blood.
- The adrenal glands situated on top of kidneys also receive a good massage.
- Bhujangasana helps to maintain and encourage the correct secretion of Cortisone, a major hormone secreted by adrenal glands, which has been found to be closely associated with the occurrence of Rheumatism.
- Thyroid gland is regulated.
- This practice expands chest more than usual, helping to improve one’s breathing habit and eases symptoms of Asthma.
TYPE OF ASANA: Twisting in supine position
AWARENESS: On the relaxation of back and the diagonal effect on abdomen
BREATHING: Inhale in center; exhale on sides
- The twisting of torso squeezes the internal reproductive organs giving good massage and relieving congestion of reproductive system.
- Tightness and tiredness of lower back are relieved.
- Pelvic and abdominal organs are toned through its massaging action.
- Relaxes sciatica nerve and helps alleviate sciatic pain to great extent.
TYPE OF ASANA: Backward bending asana with Inverted effect.
AWARENESS: On abdominal area, stretch in spine and back, chest expansion and thyroid gland.
BREATHING: Inhale, retain the breath to lift; exhale while lowering body.
- Realigns the spine and navel.
- Rectifies rounded shoulders.
- Relieves backache.
- Massages and stretches the colon, liver and all abdominal organs improving digestion.
- Tones and strengthens the functioning of male sperms and female ovaries, improves the health of uterus – helping couples overcome infertility and miscarriage.
- It also helps beats vaginal discharge due to infections and increases lubrication within vagina.
- Kandharasana is used in yoga therapy for the management of menstrual disorders, prolapse, and various bronchial and thyroid conditions.
TYPE OF ASANA: Sitting with legs out-stretched.
AWARENESS: on breath, forward-backward movement of pelvis, lower back & abdomen.
BREATHING: inhale while leaning back, exhale while bending forward.
- One asana which gives very good massage in the lowermost abdominal area.
- Eliminates energy blockages in pelvis and abdomen.
- Reduces abdominal fat.
- It is especially useful for gynaecological disorders.
- Removes constipation.
- Helpful in postnatal recovery.
- Pranayama is a technique through which the quantity of prana in the body is activated to a higher frequency.
- Pranayama comprises of two words – prana and ayama which means “expansion of prana with the help of breath”.
NADI SHODHAN PRANAYAM
POSTURE: Done in a comfortable sitting meditation posture, breath should be silent and not forced.
MUDRA: Nadi shodhan is done performing Nasagra mudra.
AWARENESS: on breath, on count.
- Our mind has a tendency to keep regretting or glorifying the past and getting anxious about the future. Nadi Shodhan pranayama helps to bring the mind back to the present moment.
- Nadi shodhan pranayama ensures the whole body is nourished by an extra supply of oxygen.
- Carbon dioxide is efficiently expelled and the blood is purified of toxins.
- Helps harmonize the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which correlate to the logical and emotional sides of our personality.
- The pranic channels are purified and decongested.
- Controls the oscillations of the body-mind network.
- Brings balance and harmony throughout the system.
- Practiced by alternating the inhalation and exhalation between left and right nostrils.
- It induces tranquillity, clarity of thought & concentration; recommended for those engaged in mental work.
- When the internal stress reduces, the actual beautiful self starts to show. This is what Yoganidra helps in.
- Yoganidra is done in Shavasana.
- Using the conscious mind, the awareness disciplines sub-conscious mind, relaxes the body-mind complex, and releases the suppressed stress.
- The secret of Yoganidra lies in withdrawal of mind in a very friendly way, enter a state where you are neither in deep sleep nor completely awake, whatever impressions enter the mind become powerful, and they remain there.
- Yoganidra also known as “ART OF RELAXATION”.
- A systematic practice of Yoganidra helps to release muscular tensions, emotional tensions and mental tensions progressively.
- Yoganidra is the fastest technique to explode Samskaras, allowing the possibility of change of habits, & personality.
- This Yoga program covers the important benefits of each practice.
- One must learn these practices from an experienced yoga teacher.
- When done with regularity, consistency and dedication, results would show.
*The information has been extracted from the books of Bihar School of Yoga, Munger, Bihar, India.
Blog written by Ruchira Pandey.
Yoga Teacher & Therapist