A consistent yoga practice supports women physically, emotionally, and spiritually—but adapting your practice to meet your needs at each juncture is vital. While you can enjoy a challenging yoga regimen at any age, you'll get the most from a practice tailored to the present—in other words, customized for your stage in life and how you're feeling on any given day. Taking time to be aware of what's happening in your life, in your body, and with your emotions is the key to getting the most from what yoga can offer you, all through your life.
Here is a quick guide to a lifetime of practice:
Adolescence. Start off with a dynamic sequence to release energy, then quiet the body and mind with seated poses and forward bends.
Childbearing years. Now's the time to take up meditation. Studies show that 20 minutes of meditation twice a day lowers blood pressure, decreases anxiety, and improves both sleep and memory.
Perimenopause. Inversions can relieve stress and insomnia; twists can relieve fatigue and depression; forward bends help ease irritability and anxiety.
Postmenopause. Weight-bearing poses may help keep your bones strong and improve joint function. And a consistent asana practice can help maintain your range of motion and flexibility.