Flexibility is a challenging thing to achieve. Many people struggle with it, even as adults. So what do you do? How can you increase your flexibility? There are many techniques and programs out there, but one that has proven beneficial time and again is yoga. It’s no secret that yoga requires a high level of focus. However, this ancient practice also provides some amazing benefits in terms of increasing your flexibility. If you’re thinking about starting a yoga program or perhaps have tried it before with little success, keep reading to find out why practicing yoga can help you increase your flexibility and how exactly you can make it happen.
How Can Yoga Benefit Flexibility?
To understand how yoga can improve your flexibility, you first need to understand exactly how yoga works. Yoga can help you increase your flexibility in a few different ways. The first is through a process called yoga breathing. As you know, each yoga pose requires you to stretch yourself as far as you can. However, if you don’t take a moment to breathe, you’re more likely to injure yourself as your muscles are being stretched past their normal range of motion. Yoga breathing is a way to calm your body and control how far it moves.
8 Yoga Poses to Increase Flexibility
There are tons of different yoga poses that can help you increase your flexibility. However, some are more effective than others. Here are the most effective poses for increasing flexibility.
- The Downward-facing Dog: This might seem like an odd choice, but it’s actually one of the most effective yoga poses for increasing flexibility. To perform this pose, you’ll start on all fours, with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. You’ll then push into your hands and feet, extending your spine and getting in a straight line from head to toe. Hold this position for about 10 seconds, and then relax and repeat.
- The Bridge: The bridge pose is another great yoga pose that can help you increase flexibility in your lower back. This pose is a bit more challenging, so make sure you’re comfortable with the downward dog pose before attempting this one. To perform the bridge pose, start on your back with your feet and knees together and your arms resting on the floor by your sides. Once you’re in position, lift your hips and lower back off the floor. Squeeze your glutes and keep your abs engaged as you do this. Hold this pose for 30 seconds, and then slowly lower yourself back to the floor.
- The Cobra: The cobra pose is an effective way to stretch your chest and shoulders. To perform this pose, lie on your stomach with your arms stretched out in front of you and your palms resting on the floor. Once you’re in position, push up with your arms, lifting your chest and legs off the floor as you do so. Hold this pose for five seconds before lowering yourself back to the floor.
- The Seated Forward Fold: This is one of the most effective stretches you can do to improve your flexibility in your hamstrings, calves, and back. To perform this pose, start seated on the floor with your legs out in front of you and your hands resting on your thighs. You can then lean forward and rest your torso on your legs. If you’re ambitious, you can even touch your nose to your toes. Hold this pose for 30 seconds and then slowly lift yourself back up.
- The Child’s Pose: This is a great seated pose that can help improve your flexibility in your hamstrings, calves, upper back, and shoulders. To perform this pose, sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you and your hands resting on your thighs. Then, push your hips back until you’re resting on your shins and your torso is resting on your thighs. Hold this pose for 30 seconds before slowly lifting yourself back up. - The Seated Spinal Twist: The seated spinal twist is another great seated pose that can help improve your flexibility in your hamstrings, calves, and shoulders. To perform this pose, sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you and your knees and feet touching each other. Then, place your right hand on your right knee and your left hand behind your back. Gently twist your torso as far as you can to the right. Hold this pose for 30 seconds before switching to the other side and twisting to the left.
Flexibility is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. It can help you avoid injury and can even help improve your posture. Yoga is a great practice that can help you increase your flexibility. There are tons of different yoga poses that can help you increase your flexibility. The key is to find the poses that work for you and then making sure you do them regularly. If you’re interested in improving your flexibility, start practicing yoga today. You won’t regret it.