Yoga for Flexibility : Flexibility is the ability of the joints to move freely. Tasks such as bending down to pick up something, getting out of bed, sitting, squatting etc would become very difficult if your body is not flexible.
Factors such as age, lack of activity and gender contribute to inflexibility. No matter what your reason is, it is never too late to improve flexibility of your body and this post is here to help you get started.
Why should we care?
- Flexibility prevents regular injuries, such as a sudden muscle pull trying to move heavy things around the house or muscle pain trying to lift heavy grocery bags.
- Flexibility improves posture and supports your spine to help you stand straight.
- A flexible body is more likely to find physical activities such as running/jogging/tennis etc much easier.
- Flexible body feels more open and makes one feel confident.
What better work out than to improve flexibility with Yoga at your own pace and comfort of your own home?
How can We Improve Flexibility with Yoga?
Practicing Yoga is a great way to improve the flexibility of the body. Each Yoga pose is designed to accommodate amateur to advanced practitioners, where, individuals can build their flexibility gradually, at their own pace. Yoga poses can be modified depending on the intensity of your liking; all you need is a motivated mind and a space for practice.
Let’s get started with these 8 Yoga poses to improve flexibility.
*Remember to always warm up before getting down to these asanas. Warm up with Suryanamaskar.
Yoga for Flexibility – Basic Yoga Asanas
1. Tadasana or the Mountain Pose
This yoga pose is great for strengthening the spine and correcting the posture of the body. Although this pose looks easy, it engages almost every part of the body.
- Stand erect with feet together, the heels and big toes touching each other. Rest the hands by the side of the thighs. Stretch all toes flat on the floor.
- Tighten the knees and pull the knee caps up, contract the hips and pull up the muscles at the back of the thighs.
- Tuck the tummy in, pull your spine upward and the neck straight.
- Distribute the weight evenly on the toes and heels.
- Breathe normally.
Also Check : 8 Benefits of Hatha Yoga
2. Uttanasana or Forward Bending Pose
This pose is great for flexibility of your In this yoga pose:
- Stand straight in Tadasana (mentioned above)
- Exhale and bend forward, placing fingers on the floor. If you are unable to reach for the floor, hold the pose where ever you are comfortable- knees, ankles etc.
- Try to hold the head up and stretch the spine.
- Remain in this position for at least 30 seconds, while breathing continuously and normally.
- For a more intense stretch, move the upper body closer to the legs and rest the head on the knees. This can be achieved with regular practice.
- Inhale, lift the hands and return to the original position.
Must read : 14 Yoga Asanas To Reduce Stress
3. Prasarita Padottanasana or Wide Legged Forward Bending Pose
This pose is great for improving flexibility in hamstring and calf. To get into this pose:
- Stand with feet wide apart and parallel to each other.
- Inhale and pull the spine straight and erect
- While exhaling, fold forward so the crown of the head rests on the mat between the feet. Place your hands in between the legs. If you are unable to reach all the way down, hold the position you are most comfortable with. You might want to place your hands slightly in front of you to maintain balance.
- Remain in this position for at least 30 seconds, while breathing normally. With every exhale, stretch the spine further towards the ground.
- Inhale and come all the way up.
Also Check : 8 Powerful Yoga Poses To Boost Your Stamina
4. Upavistha Konasana or Wide Angle Seated Forward Bend – This yoga pose is similar to the one above, where instead of standing, we do this in a seated posture. This is a great pose for improving flexibility of the hamstrings.
- Sit straight with your legs extended outside in front of you.
- Open your legs, wide forming a triangle. Tilt your hips gently forward and rotate your thighs outward. Your knee caps must point to the sky.
- Avoid lifting your knees. If this happens, press your knees to the ground.
- Walk your hands forward between your legs while keeping your torso long as you bend forward.
- Place your hands in front of you and hold the posture at whatever distance you are comfortable in. Once you get comfortable with time, you can reach your right arm to your right foot and your left arm to your left foot and hold the big toe.
- On each exhale deepen the bend until you feel like you can’t go any further. You should feel a comfortable stretch in your hamstrings.
- Stay here for at least 30 seconds. On your next inhale, slowly walk your hands inward and draw your torso back up so that you are back in an upright position.
Must read : 15 Powerful Yoga Poses To Get Rid Of Belly Fat
5. Badhakonasana or the Butterfly Pose– This pose gives a good stretch and improves flexibility in the hip, inner thigh and groin
- Sit with your spine erect and legs spread straight out.
- Bend your knees and bring your feet towards the pelvis. The soles of your feet should touch each other, like a seated triangle.
- Hold your feet with your hands and intentionally bring the heels as close to the genitals as possible.
- Inhale and while exhaling, press the thighs and knees downward towards the floor with your elbows. Make a gentle effort to keep pressing them downward.
- Hold this pose for at least 30 seconds.
- Feel the stretch in the inner thighs while breathing continuously.
- As you exhale, gently release the posture. Straighten the legs out in front of you and relax.
Also Check : 7 Yoga Poses For Attaining Your Dream Buttocks
6. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana or the Pigeon Pose – This is the best pose to open your hips and greatly improve flexibility in the hips and inner thighs.
- Begin on your hands and knees. Gently, tuck your toes and lift your knees off the floor while pointing your pelvis toward the ceiling.
- Then, bring the right leg up and bend your right knee and bring that knee to the floor outside the right hand while releasing the front of the left leg to the floor.
- The right shin may angle back towards the left hip or be more parallel to the front of your mat, depending on your flexibility.
- Square your hips towards the front of your mat.
- Take padding under the right side of the butt as necessary to make the pose more comfortable.
- Hold this pose for as long as you feel comfortable. With the next inhale, slowly release the right leg and return to original position.
- Repeat on left side.
Must read : 10 Yoga Poses To Keep a Check On Diabetes
7. Setu Bandhasana or Bridge Pose– This is a great pose to open chest cavity, hips, abs and shoulders.
- To begin, lie on your back.
- Fold your knees and keep your feet hip distance apart on the floor, with knees and ankles in a straight line.
- Keep your arms beside your body, palms facing down.
- While inhaling, slowly lift your lower back, middle back and upper back off the floor; being the chest as close to the chin as possible without bringing the chin down, supporting your weight with your shoulders, arms and feet. Feel your bottom tighten up. Both the thighs are parallel to each other.
- Continue breathing normally
- Hold the posture for a minute or two and exhale as you gently release the pose.
Also Check : Yoga to Increase Memory Power
8. Balasana or Child’s Pose– This simple yet powerful posture stretches the lower back, hips, thighs, knees and ankles increasing flexibility in these regions.
- Start with folding your knees and sitting back on your heels while resting your upper body on the thighs.
- Inhale and with an exhale, bend forward, touching your forehead on the floor.
- Place your arms stretched in front of you trying to lengthen your spine.
- While in the pose, avoid lifting your hips from your heels.
- Breathing continuously; hold this pose for up to 2 minutes.
- With the next inhale, lift your torso up and return to the original seated position.
Must read : Yoga Poses to Increase Height Naturally
I hope you have enjoyed reading and practicing these poses to improve flexibility. Slowly and gradually you will see an improvement in your flexibility. Remember to always focus on breathing when holding a pose and most importantly, have fun while doing Yoga.
If you have any questions or comments regarding this post, please drop in a message. Thank you.