Fitness Magazine

Guest Post: Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds - Yoga for Women

By Nadine
Enjoy this guest post from Carolyn of Full-On Fit!
In the mass array of celebrity exercise and diet trends, women are often bombarded by images that focus on a "stylized” version of fitness rather than a holistic embodiment of health. For women, finding an exercise practice that not only allows for them to develop strength, cardiovascular conditioning and overall body wellness can be confusing and overwhelming. However, adapting a safe yoga practice can ease women out of the chaos of trend and towards a journey of self-confidence and physical fitness.
On the whole, enabling women to learn to see themselves as both physically strong and mentally centered can provide a level of fitness that is often overlooked by various trends found in more traditional forms of exercise. Yoga provides women with an opportunity to clear a quiet space for themselves and adapt their bodies to the natural flow of movement, which in turn grants the participant an array of benefits. The flexibility training and posture progressions that yoga affords can assist with an increase in joint range of motion and musculoskeletal plasticity as well as relief from stiff joints and certain effects that come with conditions such as arthritis and tendonitis. According to St. Joseph’s Hospital, Americans are nearly 100% likely to have an episode of knee pain at least once in their lifetime. Continued and devoted practice also helps to develop the core strength needed to support a healthy back and stable spine. Focus and attention on body alignment, increasing flexibility, endurance and keeping the mind uncluttered, all aid in providing a sustainable and enjoying yoga practice.
For women, it is vitally important that any exercise journey not focus on what needs to be “fixed” with the body, but rather what the body and the mind are capable of achieving if conditioned properly. With yoga, women are able to fully engage themselves in a practice that focuses on holistic health, not a shortcut to superior fitness. Such a practice forces the participant to slow themselves down, concentrate on both one’s internal and external strengths and channel such qualities into their everyday lives to help reduce stressand filter anxiety.
All too often women are “quarantined’ to the areas of a gym that include “women friendly” equipment and all too often because of this environment, women miss the fundamentals of exercise to improve health. A yoga practicecan offer women an outlet that is both relaxed, self-paced and that provides the opportunity to focus on both the mind and the body’s progression in a well-rounded approach to fitness. For most women, finding the time to exercise is a constant battle. However, with the increased demand for more and more yoga-centered facilities, women have access to a wide array of venues to begin their practice. As with any new exercise program, it is vital that one is aware of their limitations, has done their research and sets realistic goals.
Carolyn Fallon is a 20-something year old with a passion for life, fitness and overall well being. She is an avid cycler, golfer and has been known to bust some serious moves on the dance floor. Check out Carolyn’s blog at!

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