How do yogis get so flexible?
Yoga and Flexibility In particular, we increase our flexibility through the various poses that are performed in yoga designed to stretch the muscles, making the body limber. The body loves this benefit of yoga because it loosens soreness and tight muscles, and serves as a recharge after more strenuous work activity.
The Best Yoga Poses for Flexibility
Yoga is an excellent way to improve your flexibility and overall health. Practicing yoga regularly can help you to become more flexible, reduce stress, and improve your posture. Flexibility is an important aspect of overall health and is especially important for athletes and people who want to perform at their best.
The following yoga poses are among the best for achieving greater flexibility. Each of these poses stretches and lengthens your muscles, allowing them to move through greater range of motion.
Camel Pose: Camel pose, or Ustrasana, is great for opening up the chest and chest muscles, as well as stretching the spine. Start by kneeling on the floor with your feet hip width apart. Place your hands on your hips and arch your back, pushing your chest forward. Try to keep your shoulders down and away from your ears. Hold the pose for five to ten breaths before returning to the starting position.
Pigeon Pose: Pigeon pose, or Eka Pada Rajakopatasana, is a powerful stretch that helps to open up the hips. Start in a tabletop position and slowly bring one leg forward, bending the knee and lowering the shin to the floor. The other leg should be bent with the shin parallel to the top of the mat. Slowly lower your chest onto the thigh of the front leg, breathing into the stretch. Hold the pose for five to ten breaths before repeating on the other leg.
Downward Dog: Downward dog, or Adho Mukha Svanasana, is a classic yoga pose that stretches the hamstrings, calves, and arms. Begin on your hands and knees in a tabletop position. Spread your fingers far apart and press your hands firmly into the mat. Gently lift your knees off the floor and straighten your legs, pushing your hips up toward the ceiling. Hold the pose for five to ten breaths before returning to the starting position.
Big Toe Pose: Big toe pose, or Padangusthasana, is a great pose for stretching the hamstrings, calves, and hips. Start standing tall with your feet together. Gently lift one foot off the ground and bend it at the knee, using your hands to grab a hold of the big toe. Gently pull the toe toward your shin, pushing back through the heel. Try to keep your torso and hips as still as possible during the stretch. Hold for five to ten breaths before repeating on the other side.
Sphinx Pose: Sphinx pose, or Salamba Bhujangasana, is a great pose for stretching the lower back and chest. Start by lying on your stomach with your feet hip-width apart. Place your elbows beneath your shoulders and gently use your arms to push your chest up away from the ground. Breathe into the stretch and hold the pose for five to ten breaths before lowering down.
These five yoga poses are great for improving your overall flexibility. Each pose stretches and lengthens the muscles, allowing them to move through a greater range of motion. Practicing regularly can help to improve posture, reduce stress, and reduce the risk of injury. So give these poses a try and get ready to reap the benefits of a more flexible body!