Your yoga practice can be an incredible support system in your life, helping you to find strength, courage, wisdom and release — there really is a yoga pose for just about every situation and emotion that you find yourself in.
You don’t need to do a full on practice to invite the benefits of yoga into your daily life. The following poses can be done on their own in the moments that you feel you need their benefits the most. Allow your practice to become a "go to" place for strength, energy, deep relaxation, and to get to know yourself.
Here are my top 5 yoga poses every woman needs to know:
1. Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II)
This is the ultimate pose in which to call upon your inner Goddess. Feel your inner warrior rise as you stand rooted in your own strength, powe,r and wisdom.
A great "fake it 'til you make it" pose if you are ever in any doubt about how amazing you are or feeling particularly down or unsure, a few deep breaths in Warrior II will help you to connect deeply to that part of you that is always stronger than you think, braver than you feel and wiser than you know!
Feel warrior-like in every cell of your body as you stand firm in your truth. Alongside connecting you back in to your inner warrior Goddess, this powerful pose will also tone up your legs and arms and give you a stronger core.
2. Utkata Konasana (Goddess Pose)
The word utkata means powerful or fierce, and that is just what this pose offers! Use this pose to help you release your frustrations, find your strength, or for when you need an energy blast through your entire body, heart, and mind.
For the ultimate stress, tension, and frustration release or for when you need to invite that extra bit of rooaarrrrrr into your life, combine this with a Kali breath — take a deep inhale, then on the exhale stick the tongue out as far as you can making a loud haaaaaaaaa sound. You can even clench the fists for extra effect!
As well as giving you a powerful energy fix this pose will also strengthen and tone the quads, inner thighs, and the core.
3. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Us women tend to be natural nurturers, giving a lot of ourselves, especially our hearts. Sometimes we give too much leaving not much left, or life events can leave us feeling hurt, sad, and wanting to close off and protect our hearts.
The best thing we can do in these situations is to open our hearts to the support and love that surrounds us, and most of all to reconnect us back into the deeply loving and giving part of ourselves. Just like smiling when you feel sad automatically lifts your mood, opening your heart when you feel least like it will make your heart feel more warm, bright, and receptive, helping you to prevent shutting down and shutting off from your big, beautiful heart.
As well as helping you feel the love, this pose will strengthen and improve the flexibility of the back and tone the abdomen.
4. Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
As women we have a tendency to multi-task and always be on the go, trying to be everything for everyone. This can sometimes leave us with an over-active mind, meeting ourselves coming backwards.
This is a great pose in which to reset and come into a space of still, centering balance. Feel the mind begin to calm and quiet as you take a moment to pause, plant roots into the earth, and reconnect with yourself; your body, your energy, your breath, your heart. Invite balance into every area of your life as you breathe deeply here.
As well as restoring your equilibrium, this pose will tone the legs, strengthen the feet and knees, and improve stability.
5. Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Goddess Pose)
In order to function as the super-powered Goddesses that we are, we need to take regular time out for ourselves to nurture, heal, and restore — and this is one of the sweetest places to do it.
Just as the name suggests, this is a place to simply recline your goddess and give yourself whatever you need in that moment.
Close your eyes, melt into a deep place of surrender, and allow your goddess to be nourished, rested, relaxed, cared for, held, re-inspired and recharged.
As well as being deeply healing for your body, mind, heart, and soul, this pose will also stretch the groin, knees, and inner thighs and best of all help relieve symptoms of menstruation and mild stress.
I’d love to hear about your experiences with these poses or any others that help you in real times of need — let’s share the love! Drop me a line in the comments below.