Yoga is a highly beneficial practice for people of all genders and ages. It combines physical exercise with breathwork and meditative practices with a philosophical framework.
This results in various benefits for the mind, body, and spirit. Yoga is a beneficial practice for everyone as part of a holistic approach to well-being. But there are even more specific yoga benefits for women.
Read on to explore the particular Yoga benefits for women. Learn about the 12 yoga benefits for women, as demonstrated by recent scientific research:
- Why yoga is different for women
- 12 yoga benefits for women
- Balance and Flexibility
- Bone Strength
- Heart Health
- Mental Health
- Improved Sleep
- Better Sex
- Pregnancy Benefits
- Gestational Diabetes Relief
- Relieve PMS Symptoms
- Menopause Relief
- Manage PCOS
- Breast Cancer Treatment
Why is Yoga Different For Women
Men and women have different hormone levels and hormone cycles. This results in significant physiological differences.
Most men function on a stable 24-hour hormone cycle. Women’s hormones fluctuate throughout the month in relation to the menstrual cycle.
This results in differences in sleep, stress, and even the way that men’s and women’s bodies react to disease. Consequently, female hormonal function can be more sensitive to environmental factors.
Yoga can stimulate the endocrine system, which regulates hormone production. This can help women manage fluctuations in their hormonal health.
Benefits include improved sleep, better sex, better skin, stronger bones, and improved mental health. Yoga also provides specific benefits when women’s hormones are changing, such as during pregnancy and menopause.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the many ways that yoga can improve women’s lives. Read on for a more detailed look at the 12 benefits of yoga for women.
12 Yoga Benefits for Women
1. Flexibility and Balance
Good flexibility and balance make everyday tasks such as household chores and picking up children easier and safer. It significantly reduces the chance of injury when the unexpected happens.This is one of the major benefits of yoga for women, especially as they age and have a higher risk of falling and sustaining a serious injury.
Various studies have shown the effectiveness of yoga in improving flexibility and balance. Many practitioners attest to this personally.
This is what attracts many athletes to yoga. Improved flexibility and balance improve performance in other sports. But these benefits are important for everyone.
Try these 10 yoga poses to increase flexibility.
2. Bone Strength
Maintaining bone density as we age is particularly important for women, who naturally have a lower bone density than men. This is why women over 50 are 3.5 times more likely to develop osteoarthritis than men in the same age group.
Increased bone density is one of the major benefits of yoga for women, especially as they age.
A ten-year study of 741 volunteers found that regular yoga practice can increase an individual’s bone mineral density over time.
Maintaining strong bone density is important for preventing bone-related diseases such as osteoarthritis. The study suggests that it can be achieved with just 12 minutes of yoga a day.
3. Heart Health
Heart disease is the leading killer of women in the United States. Women in mid-life whose bodies are changing with menopause are at the greatest risk.
The American Heart Association says that 90% of women experience risk factors for heart disease at some point in their lives. Improved cardiovascular health is one of the important benefits of yoga for women.
Various studies have shown the effectiveness of yoga for improving cardiovascular health.
While the stress reduction that accompanies yoga is a significant factor, regular practice has also been shown to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels.
Try these heart-opening yoga poses to boost your heart health.
4. Mental Health
Studies also show that women tend to be more prone to psychological issues such as depression due to differences in the brain composition of men and women. This increases the importance of preventative mental health interventions, like yoga.
The mind-body connection promoted by yoga is effective in reducing stress and anxiety. It can also reduce stress-inducing hormones such as cortisol and increase endorphins.
Several studies have found that yoga offers tangible improvement in psychological health.
Read our guide to yoga for depression, which can be used in combination with prescribed treatments.
5. Improved Sleep
This is thought to be in part due to hormonal cycles. Women’s hormones fluctuate more throughout the month with their menstrual cycle, impacting their circadian rhythms. Improving sleep is one of the essential benefits of yoga for women.
Yoga has been shown to improve sleep in practitioners, probably due to a combination of reducing stress, relaxing muscles, and requiring significant physical and mental exertion. This results in less sleep latency, fewer sleep disturbances, and deeper, better-quality sleep.
Read our guide to yoga for insomnia.
6. Better Sex
Women’s fluctuating hormones can often lead to a reduced sex drive. This can be most pronounced during pregnancy, post-partum, and as part of menopause. Boosting the sex drive can be one of the major benefits of yoga for women.
A Havard study of 40 healthy women found that after a 12-week yoga program, 75% were more satisfied with their sex lives.
Their improved satisfaction related to a variety of factors including greater desire, improved lubrication, and better orgasms.
7. Pregnancy Benefits
Pregnancy is one of the most transformational moments in a woman’s life. It has a profound impact on women’s bodies.
There are many benefits of yoga for women during pregnancy to better carry the baby, during delivery to speed childbirth, and after birth to improve pelvic floor and abdominal muscle control.
Studies have shown that yoga can reduce the need for induced labor, reduce episiotomy rupture, and reduce the duration of labor. It also has a significant impact on normal baby birth weight and gestational age.
Read these nine postpartum yoga tips for new moms.
8. Gestational Diabetes Relief
Gestational diabetes is high blood glucose during pregnancy. It affects more than 15% of pregnant women. Controlling blood sugar is one of the benefits of yoga for women.
A study has found that regular yoga practice can reduce blood glucose levels and prevent adverse outcomes for both mother and child as a result of gestational diabetes. While various forms of low-intensity exercise are effective, yoga showed the most significant positive results.
9. Relieve PMS Symptoms
Premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, is a collective term for symptoms that many women experience in the weeks before their period.
PMS symptoms tend to include mood swings and anxiety, but also pain, headaches, fatigue, bloating, breast tenderness, and more. Many women find that PMS has an adverse effect on their well-being, work, and relationships.
One of the big benefits of yoga for women can be to help control PMS symptoms, caused by the fluctuating hormones associated with menstruation. Studies have shown that yoga is the most effective form of exercise for reducing PMS symptoms.
Try these seven powerful yoga poses for PMS relief.
10. Menopause Relief
Menopause is the period in a woman’s life when she stops menstruating. This change in her hormones leads to various changes in her body.
While menopause is a natural part of aging, the transitional period, which can start several years before your period stops, can be accompanied by uncomfortable symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, weight gain, and hair loss.
Controlling menopause symptoms, especially hot flashes, is one of the benefits of yoga for women, especially as they age.
One study with a group of 54 menopausal women shows a 66% reduction in hot flashes and night sweats after just 10 weeks of yoga practice.
Try these nine simple yoga poses for menopause.
11. Manage PCOS
PCOS is a hormone imbalance that affects 6-12% of women of reproductive age and impacts menstruation and fertility.
It can also be accompanied by symptoms such as acne, weight gain, and excessive hair growth. It can lead to depression, anxiety, and diabetes. Managing PCOS symptoms can be one of the notable benefits of yoga for women.
Studies show that certain yoga poses stimulate the endocrine system and can help regulate hormonal imbalances that cause PCOS. Yoga can also help manage the stress, anxiety, and elevated blood glucose that can accompany PCOS.
12. Breast Cancer Treatment
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States. It represents one in three newly diagnosed cancer cases in women. Survival rates for breast cancer can be very good when caught early and treated proactively.
A study on yoga for breast cancer patients showed that yoga could help with the emotional challenges that accompany cancer treatment, and help manage the fatigue and pain associated with breast cancer therapy.
This is one of the major benefits of yoga for women with breast cancer.
Yoga Benefits for Women – Final Thoughts
Yoga can be an important tool in a holistic approach to health. It strengthens the body and fortifies the mind. It can have a profound impact on many of our bodies’ major systems from the cardiovascular to the endocrine.
While yoga can be a beneficial practice for everyone, there are particular yoga benefits for women. Many of these relate to hormone management.
Positive outcomes for women can include strong bones, healthy babies, an improved sex life, and a smoother menopause transition.