Flexibility is one of the essential elements of best physical health. With time your body might lose flexibility because of aging, a sinful lifestyle, bad posture, and stress. If you want to increase flexibility, a regular yoga practice, whether at your home or class, helps increase the mobility of your muscles and joints.
Besides increasing flexibility, some of the yoga poses also assist in building your muscle strength and decrease the feeling of anxiety and stress.
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Have a look at some of the significant reasons why flexibility is so essential for your body?
Increasing body flexibility is good for you in several ways. Some of the significant benefits are:
- Increase range of motion: When your body is flexible, it is easy to move your joints in any direction with minimum effort.
- Reduced muscle tension: When you stretch your muscles, it helps release tension and tightness, making it very easy to move.
- Good posture: Tight and tensed muscles result in muscle strain as well as poor posture.
- Reduced pain: When there is less tension in your muscles, there is less stress and less pressure on some parts of your body, and because of that, there is less pain in your back, shoulders as well as neck.
- Low injury risk: more strength and flexibility of your muscles and joints makes you significantly less prone to all kinds of injuries.
- Reduces stress: When your muscles are free from tension, it assists you in feeling more relaxed, and this, in turn, lowers your stress level.
- Enhanced circulation: With better blood flow, your muscles recover fast after any workout and prohibit any stiffness.
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Now let us see how yoga helps in improving flexibility?
Yoga is more than just stretching as it emphasizes safe form along with duration and several stretches that address both the major muscle group and deep stealth muscles you may not know you have. The Yoga difference can be described with three As that is alignment, awareness, and attention.
Alignment is a specific way each pose is done to maximize its advantages and reduce the injury risk. This might also include the use of props for supporting the tight areas as they start opening up. Practicing with proper alignment, make sure you are not compromising any area of your body while focusing on another.
Attention implies you are not going out or going only through the motions, but rather you are feeling each pose to its fullest. This assists in cultivating the body awareness to differentiate between the discomfort that might arise in utilizing your body in a novel way and the pain, which is the signal of your body to back off.
Awareness means you are entirely focusing on the present moment all through the practice. The physicality of any yoga practice is sufficient for keeping us supported. It is one of the best tools as it helps us come out of our lazy minds and then reset, reduce stress and anxieties.
Here are the five best yoga poses for increasing body flexibility:
- Reclined hand to big toe pose: There are several poses for adapting this pose, the most important one is using a strap around the instep of your lifted leg. This pose helps in stretching your groin, hamstrings, hips, and calves.
How to do
- Start by lying down on your backside by keeping your knees bent and your feet soles flat on the floor.
- Now hug your right knee inwards towards your chest. You can take a yogi toe grip around your big toe, or you can use a strap around the instep.
- Extend the right leg in an upward direction towards the ceiling.
- If you want, you can extend the left leg across the floor. It is also ok if you keep it in a bent position.
- Activate both of your feet.
- A hand in your left thigh assists in reminding you to keep the hip flat on the mat.
- Ensure you have kept both the right femur and the good humorous well settled in sockets.
- After you have taken five to ten breaths, repeat the same thing with your left leg.
- Sucirandhrasana or eye of the needle pose: This yoga pose provides a fantastic way for stretching the hip flexors moderately at first and then profoundly as flexibility increases.
How to do it?
- Lie down on your back, keeping your knees bent and feet soles on the floor.
- Keep your right ankle on the top of your left thigh, opening up your right knee to the right.
- Stay here or lift your left foot from the floor and start bringing your left thigh towards your chest. Grasp your right hand with the help of the gap in between your legs to clip your hands around the back of your left thigh.
- Draw the left knee close to the chest while ensuring your sacrum stays supported to the floor. You can also make use of the right elbow to push your right knee far away from your wardrobe.
- Keep both feet active all through.
- After taking five to ten breaths, change your legs.
- Downward facing dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana: This yoga pose is best for everything, especially stretching out the hamstrings and the calves alongside the back of the legs.
How to do it?
- Position your knees behind the hips.
- Curl your toes under and lift your knees from the floor.
- Lift your ceiling by keeping your legs straight.
- Start pedaling your feet once at a time.
- Settle down with stillness for a minimum of five breaths while making a solid push into your hand palms and maintaining the v shape of the pose.
- Crescent Lunge or Anjaneyasana: It is like an adventure kind of pose. Either you can lunge very deeply towards your front hip, or you can keep it over your knee. Getting the arms towards the ceiling also stretches the muscles in between your ribs. You can also try reaching around to your back foot to add a quad stretch. Pick up a variation that works best for you.
How to do it?
- From Downward facing dog pose, step up your right foot in a forward direction towards the inside of your right hand. Offer your foot some assistance if it is not making its way towards the front.
- Lower down your left knee towards the mat.
- Inhale for lifting your arms overhead. Extend up for the ceiling while moving your shoulder away from the ears.
- For a deep hip stretch, take your right knee a little forward.
- If you need a quad stretch, lift your left heel towards the left glute. Get hold of your right arm behind your back to get hold of your left foot or the ankle.
- Hold on to this position for about three to five breaths.
- Pyramid pose or Parsvottanasana: This is another best pose for going deep into the hips and the hamstrings. Use props as required, and keep in mind that both hip points must face the front of the mat in this pose.
How to do it?
- Starting from the downward-facing dog, take a step with your right foot towards the inside of your right hand.
- Take your left foot towards your mat front about five-inch inches and out to the left side about 3 inches.
- Lower down your left heel so that your toes turn out about 45 degrees.
- Now keep your legs straight, lift your hips. When your hand comes off from the floor, take the block under them.
- If you require more stability, you can keep your left foot further out towards the left side of your mat. Both hips will now continue to face the front side of your mat.
- Now inhale to come to flat back. Start exhaling to lower your chest towards your right knee.
- Reprise this whole process of elongating on the inhalation and deepening in exhalation for about five breaths.
So, all these poses are some of the best poses for starting to gain body flexibility. But keep in mind that it is entirely your body and mind approach that will make yoga one of the best ways for improving your flexibility.