You will find a practical manual for nurturing the many facets of you as a woman. Yoga — as you may know – is an ancient art and science that brings health and well-being to your body, mind, and spirit. Yoga accomplishes this through a practice of movements, held postures, breathing exercises, and mental focus. People who practice yoga say that they feel more relaxed, accomplish more with less stress, and feel in touch with their inner being, their sense of authentic self.
Why yoga for women? Yoga is good for everyone — men, women, and children. Why, then, a yoga book just for women? We women have well-defined needs, issues, and stages of life. Just think, for a moment, how a woman’s outlook and physical health are affected by her hormones, which control menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause. Yoga balances these hormones efficiently and effectively through the many stages of a woman’s life. But yoga is not just for the bodily changes that women undergo. It is for balancing emotions. For reducing the risk of diseases such as breast cancer and osteoporosis. And for the feminine need to have a cozy, relaxed way of life, supported by a spiritual outlook.
About 85 percent of those who practice yoga are women, and we are attracted to it for many reasons — to find relaxation, gain energy, and to remain flexible physically and mentally, nurturing the spirit and developing inner strength and higher awareness. Generally, women exhibit more physical and mental flexibility than men. To be able to carry and birth babies, we have been designed with flexible bodies. We have an innate capacity to do many things at once – take care of a sick child, cook, talk on the telephone, and perhaps three other things all at the same time. We have a natural mental flexibility that allows us to “go with the flow.” These star qualities shine brightly with a practice of yoga and meditation that can be enhanced by beautiful, inspiring music designed especially for use. And through yoga, we experience the balanced interplay of vitality and relaxation — the ability to be alert yet peaceful, relaxed and energized, all at the same time.
As women, we also have needs. I have found from my years of practice and teaching that yoga goes directly to the heart of women’s needs. We need to feel loved. Yoga develops self-love. We need to feel secure. Yoga lets a woman know her security lies within. We need to feel fulfilled. Yoga develops self-awareness and self-fulfillment. When a woman knows she is complete in herself, all her relationships enjoy the benefit of that knowledge. Just with her presence she uplifts her partner, her children, her parents, her co-workers, her friends, and even those she meets in passing. I believe that you will find Yoga for Women to be a treasure house filled with the best gems and jewels that women’s yoga has to offer.
Beginnings of Women’s yoga
The genius of yoga is that it is a self-perpetuating system. I have found that in practicing yoga I feel inspired and empowered to want to do more yoga. It is as if yoga says to me, “You take the first step, and let me do the rest.” Of course, experience is everything. So set yourself in a quiet space and get ready to begin your yoga journey. Here, at the beginning, is always a good place to start. In this part of the book you will come to understand the big picture of yoga and begin to glean many of the finer points that make yoga the wonderful, self- transforming practice that it is fitness.