The Best Yoga Poses for Women: Strengthening the Mind and Body

Key Points

  • Yoga is for anyone of any age and fitness level.

  • Some of the best yoga poses for women include the downward-facing dog, the child's pose, and the cobra.

  • Practice yoga cautiously, never pushing yourself too far, or benefits become negatives.

Do you feel relaxed and centered today? It's likely because you've enjoyed your favorite yoga poses! Yoga helps millions of people with strength, flexibility, and overall health daily. It's an exercise that suits people of any age and fitness level. What are the best yoga poses for women? The list is endless!

Romper staff writer Jamie Kenney says, "Based on practices and philosophies that some believe date back thousands of years, yoga is said to benefit body and mind, from increasing flexibility and balance to helping to maintain mental health." Who couldn't use a little more of all those natural benefits?

Whether you're a regular yogi or someone who wants to give yoga a try for the first time, it's good to know the best women's yoga poses so you're able to move in the right direction with your next yoga workout.

Downward-Facing Dog

Even if you've never done yoga before, you've likely heard of the downward dog pose. This famous pose stretches the whole body while strengthening your arms and legs. Your body improves circulation, posture, and blood flow in this position.

Get on all fours on the floor to get into the downward-facing dog position. Straighten, raise your knees, and let your backside go as high as possible. You make a triangle shape using the ground as one side and your body as the other two sides.

Downward-Facing Dog Benefits

This pose is simple to master and works well for beginner yogis. Since it stretches your whole body, it relieves back pain and arthritis. Your upper body gains strength, but you also gain muscle in the soles of your feet. Your heart is above your head in this pose, which helps you to stimulate blood flow and get circulation moving well.

Downward-facing dog yoga pose

Warrior II

The warrior II pose is also a simple action that anyone easily achieves. It allows your body to open at the hips and shoulders as you get a great stretch to the thighs and chest. The more you practice this pose, the stronger your legs, abs, and arms grow. You receive further balance and focus as you hold the position as well.

When ready for the warrior II pose, place your feet wide apart and lean into a lunge on one leg or the other. Place your arms to the front and back and turn your head to look past the fingers over your leg in the lunge. Stay in this position for several breaths, then shift to a lunge on the other leg.

Warrior II Alignment Tips

Alignment is a critical part of any yoga pose. If you aren't using women's practice yoga tips and methods correctly, you may end your workout sore in all the wrong ways. In order to get proper alignment in this pose, take care of your shoulders. Stretch your spine and roll your shoulders back so your shoulder blades are together and your chest is open.

Engage your core to prevent your ribs from sticking out and causing poor posture. Think about lengthening your spine and drawing your tailbone toward the mat. Take in these warrior II alignment tips to practice the pose correctly and get the most out of the move.

Warrior II yoga pose

Tree Pose

The tree pose is popular, but it's not a beginner pose since it takes balance and focus. If you haven't tried the tree pose, having a chair or wall nearby is wise to give you a balance check.

To get into this pose, stand on one foot and draw the other to your knee or higher, placing it on your leg. Your hands sit in a prayer pose at your chest or raise above your head. Drawing your shoulders up and back is essential, lengthening your body.

Tree Pose Variations

The tree pose improves posture and focus as part of the balancing act that strengthens your legs and core. If you want to start at a lower level or advance after you master the initial pose, try variations. The wall pose, for example, is excellent if you have trouble with balance. Take the pose flat against the wall to give you a center.

The low tree is one of the tree pose variations that keeps your foot closer to the ground for easy balance-checking. Instead of placing your raised foot on your knee or higher, keep it at shin or ankle level.

Plank Pose

The plank is one of the best yoga poses for women, improving posture, stability, and strength to the core and arms. It's a full-body pose that isn't easy but shows you progress as you improve and are able to hold the pose longer.

Practice the plank during a yoga session or on breaks throughout the day. Lie down on your belly as if about to do a push-up. Then, push up and get your body in a board-like position, balancing on your hands and toes. Breathe deeply and hold the plank for as long as possible, lengthening that time as you advance.

Plank Pose Variations

Luckily, there are plank pose variations, which help keep your body from getting bored. If you're worn out or have trouble with a full plank, the variations also allow you to modify positions. Instead of raising yourself to your hands, place your elbows on the ground. Remain on your elbows and toes while you breathe deeply.

If those poses are too much, drop your knees to the ground like you're about to do push-ups on your hands and knees. This modified version is more manageable and helps you get the plank position until you're ready to advance.

Plank yoga pose

Cobra Pose

If you need a good back stretch, there's nothing better than the cobra pose. The cobra pose benefits muscles in the arms, shoulders, and back.

Lie face down on the ground and push up with your arms like you are doing a push-up. Instead of keeping your body flat like a board, push your head and shoulders back. The farther back you push your head, the more advanced the move becomes. Start slow, and don't push yourself too far too fast.

Cobra Pose Benefits

There are nearly endless benefits to the cobra pose. The stretch opens your shoulder blades, back, and neck and helps to relieve discomfort in those areas from long hours at the computer. Enjoy improved circulation and improved alignment. This pose even improves digestion and reduces stress.

Cobra pose

Bridge Pose

The bridge pose in the yoga world differs from what you see in gymnastics. It's a beginner's pose that allows you to feel the muscles in your core and glutes while you stretch your chest and shoulders.

To get into the bridge pose for women, lie on your back and bend your knees. Place your arms flat on the floor beside your torso and use your heels to lift your lower body off the ground. Pulse in that position or go as high as possible and hold it.

Positive Effects of the Bridge Pose for Women

This pose stretches the chest, neck, spine, and hips. See effects like strength and energy restoration to your legs, reduced backaches, less depression and stress, and relief from symptoms of high blood pressure.

Bridge pose

Child's Pose

This relaxing pose feels good after weight-lifting, as a stretch in the morning, or any other time of the day. The child's pose relaxation techniques include deep breathing while in the position.

Fold your legs beneath you on the floor and bend forward, stretching your arms out in front of you onto the floor as comfortably as possible. Part of the child's pose relaxation technique is because your body quickly relaxes in this position and allows you to focus on your breathing.

Child's yoga pose

Women's Yoga Practice Tips

Don't push yourself beyond your comfort zone, whether you're advanced or a beginner. Take the poses slowly and advance as you see fit. Yoga stretches and strengthens the body, but if you stretch too far, adverse effects appear instead of positive benefits.

Dress the part in the proper clothing and hydrate before, during, and after any yoga session. It's crucial to concentrate on breathing and form in any pose.

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