Are you considering switching up your fitness routine? Then check out this complete guide to yoga for flexibility, which unravels its top benefits and dives into the best yoga poses for improving your flexibility!
Think you aren’t flexible enough for yoga? Think again! Yoga can be a great exercise, one that actually works to improve your fitness and flexibility. Stretching is a big part of yoga. A good stretch can do wonders for the condition of your muscles! It also does wonders for your flexibility.
Yoga is also great because it combines care for your mind with care for your body. It makes a perfect choice for many people that are pressed for time and looking for an exercise with the best impact for their needs. One of the best things about yoga is that it is a very customisable routine. So this means that you’ll be able to build the right routine to give you the perfect body conditioning. Learn more in this comprehensive guide to yoga.
If you build muscles with your gym routine, you won’t want to lose your body’s flexibility and aptitude for doing everyday tasks. Or perhaps you’ve found yourself wincing as you bend to pick up a dropped item. No matter the cause, you can improve your body’s flexibility with yoga!
How Can Yoga Improve Your Flexibility?
Before you sign up for a series of yoga sessions, you’ll want to be assured that yoga will help you achieve new levels of flexibility. Or perhaps you are not yet convinced. Here are a few of the ways choosing yoga for flexibility can improve your abilities.
Yoga stretches your muscles and your joints. Simply the act of doing yoga poses will help loosen your muscles. You may see an improvement even after just one class! That’s not to say yoga is easy but rather that yoga is an effective option when it comes to improving flexibility.
Yoga poses specifically target different body areas. Since yoga has so many moves, you can create a routine that will help you focus on key areas that might need improvement. Whether it’s the hamstrings, your hips, or even your shoulders, you can pick the poses that will give you the most benefit in these areas. You can also stick with a general routine for all-over improvements.
You can take your time with your workouts. If you are feeling stiff and sore, moving too quickly can cause you damage or injury to these areas. Yoga is well-suited to these needs because of the slow pace and ability to customise what you do in each session. This means you can ease into yoga. You may want to start with one class a week and increase the frequency as your muscles become ready for the challenge.
Yoga is about the journey to becoming flexible. Being perfect in each pose is not the goal of yoga. It is about attaining new levels of fitness and flexibility. So take the time on your mat to stretch, breathe, and take the first step on your journey to flexibility.
Yoga For Flexibility – Why is Flexibility Important?
Flexibility is how we manage to complete many daily tasks, so it’s important to maintain a certain level in your body to feel confident no matter what life holds in store for you. It can also be a point of concern as we age and start to lose some of this natural flexibility. This can affect our mobility in ways that we don’t anticipate. Maintaining your flexibility and muscle strength is key to your health and well-being.
Increase your flexibility to build strength. If you notice stiffness, it could be a result of a lack of strength in a certain area of your body. A sore hip could be from the overcompensation for a weaker side. This can cause balance issues and tired muscles, especially as one side of your body works harder than the other. So working on your flexibility can improve how your whole body feels.
Counteract the effects of ageing. As we age, we naturally lose our strength and speed. There isn’t much we can do about that, but yoga can help keep up levels of flexibility! Regular yoga practice will keep you moving freely and comfortably.
Help Soothe pain. Improving your flexibility can also soothe pain. If you have a chronic pain condition speak to your doctor about whether yoga could be a good option for you.
Benefits for Athletes
Increase your range of motion. Tight muscles in your calves or hamstrings are a sign that the range of motion in your legs could use some improvement. This can come from an uneven workout. So if you spend a lot of time running on the treadmill, you may find that the muscles in your legs are not retaining flexibility as you work out. This prevents unnecessary strain on other parts of your body as they seek to compensate for stiffness elsewhere.
Relax muscles. A flexibility workout can be a great way to relax your muscles in preparation for some challenging physical activity. This makes a short yoga program the perfect warmup before running or swimming.
It warms up your muscles and ensures they are up to the task. It can also be a good way to cool down as you stretch your muscles gently to ensure they are staying flexible and won’t seize up after activity.
Injury prevention. Any athlete runs the risk of developing an injury. But increasing your flexibility, such as with yoga, helps lower the risks by keeping your muscles and joints in their full range of motion. This is especially important if you work through strength-building exercises.
Of course, you know that yoga will you gain new levels of flexibility, so it’s time to learn about the best poses to get you what you need.
What Are The Best Yoga Poses For Flexibility?
As a whole, your yoga routine will help stretch your muscles and joints and improve your flexibility. But here are some of the best poses to lengthen and stretch your muscles more effectively.
This pose will stretch out your legs, sides, and arms. Start with your feet about shoulder-width apart, with your right foot at a 90-degree angle. Set your right hand to the floor and feel the bend in your waist, just above your right hip. Use a yoga block if you aren’t able to rest your hand on the floor comfortably and focus on breathing throughout the pose. Straighten your right leg as much as possible. You’ll feel the stretch in both sides and in your hips and sides since you bend at the waist. This will improve your flexibility in the areas you need most.
In this pose, you’ll focus on gaining flexibility in your hips. From a seated position, bring your feet together and let your knees fall outward. You should feel the stretch in your hips and inner thighs. Keep the soles of your feet as together as possible, using your hands to hold them.
If you need to, sit on a block to raise your hips up and let gravity do the work of moving your knees out into a stretch. Over time, this pose will help you increase the flexibility in your hips.
Seated Wide-Legged Straddle
This pose does wonders for the flexibility in your hips. The wide-legged spread improves the stretch in your hips and legs. From a seated position, place your palms on the mat in front of you and move your legs away from your body. Your upper body will stay in a sitting-up position. You should feel the stretch in your hips and hamstrings. Over time, this will make you more flexible in your back.
Standing Forward Bend
From a standing position, lean forward to press your palms to the floor by your feet. If you can’t quite reach, hold onto your elbows and just let the weight of your torso hang.
Focus on keeping your hips above your feet. You should feel a stretch throughout your hamstrings, but keep your knees slightly bent to avoid overextending yourself. This increases the flexibility and range of motion in your legs and hips.
Reclined Big Toe Pose
From your back, lift one leg straight up and as far back as possible. You’ll feel the stretch in your legs, back, and hips. Keep your hips pressed down and against the floor. If you need the help, use a strap to pull your leg towards your body and increase the stretch. This increases the flexibility in your hips and hamstrings.
Yoga is one of the best ways to target stiff and sore areas on your body to improve your flexibility. Even if you don’t feel like you aren’t any good at practising yoga, simply the act of trying is going to help you achieve new levels of fitness.
Now, if you don’t feel confident about your abilities, turning to a yoga class is the best way to get started. A qualified instructor can lead you through the movements and assure you that you are moving safely. They can help with any of the top moves we’ve outlined above to help you improve your flexibility. So make your move today!
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