Flexibility and Why We Need It
Flexible muscles are capable of reaching their full range of motion, which makes our general movement easier. This prevents you from getting injured as easily because your body can handle more stress. A flexible muscle is also much less likely to have an imbalance, which can lead to damage.
Being flexible also decreases the risk of developing aches and pains in your body, like your back. Also, it lessens the possibility of having sore muscles. This is because they are looser and more flexible, thus less prone to damage. They are also less likely to develop painful cramps.
According to the Mayo Clinic, flexibility can help your muscles to work better and provide the joints with complete range of motion. This makes it easier to carry out your day to day activities, since motions like bending and reaching will be possible. It may also elevate your ability to exercise, since you can stretch, move, and bend more easily.
Flexibility improves our sense of balance. It also enhances posture because it can resolve muscle pain. This is one of the biggest causes of poor posture. According to Harvard Health Publishing, slouching can lead to issues like heartburn, incontinence, and back and neck pain. It’s certainly worth learning how to increase flexibility.
Yoga and Flexibility
Yoga for flexibility increases your physical strength, as it involves a lot of moving and body lifting. It also greatly enhances flexibility, as it includes so much stretching. Flexibility is the ability to move your muscles through the complete range of movement easily.
Over time, we lose some of this ability by not being active enough. Yoga for flexibility can improve your range of motion so that you are able to stretch more easily and do exercises that you found difficult previously. In addition, it improves your coordination. If you have difficulty with balance, doing yoga on a regular basis can correct this problem.
The mobility that you gain from doing yoga for flexibility will make it a lot easier for you to carry out physical movements. It will enable you to move freely without pain or restraints.
Yoga for flexibility will also help you with balance and movement in your everyday life. It can improve your reaction time in day-to-day activities, such as driving a car. A study published in Activities, Adaptation, and Aging found that being more physically flexible led to improved driving skills.
10 Yoga Poses That Can Make You More Flexible
If you’re looking for a way to become more flexible, join our beginner yoga routine and learn a few key poses that could lead to a more limber you. Here are the best yoga moves for increasing flexibility.
1. Downward Facing Dog
This famous pose can especially stretch the calves and hamstrings. You begin on your hands and knees with your knees a little bit behind your hips. Then you curl your toes under and lift your knees off the floor. Now straighten your legs, so your buttocks are facing the ceiling. One at a time, pedal your feet. Take 5 breaths, while pressing down on the palms of your hands.
2. Crescent Lunge
This pose uses all of the body’s muscles. It begins in Downward Facing Dog. You move your right foot forward so that it’s inside your right hand. At this point, you move your left knee down to the mat. Take 5 deep breaths in and out and then switch sides.
Lift your arms over your head and take a deep breath. Move your shoulders in the opposite direction from your ears. If you want to stretch your hips more, move your knee forward. To stretch your quads more, raise your left heel towards your left glute. Hold for 3-5 breaths, then switch to the other side.
3. Half Moon Pose
This yoga for flexibility is great for improving balance. It begins from Downward Facing Dog, by stepping your right foot inside your right hand. Move your right hand a few inches while keeping your knee relaxed.
Put your left hand on your left hip and lift your left foot off the ground, while straightening your right leg. At that point, put your left hip over your right hip and move your left leg parallel to the floor. Then lift your arm up and open up your chest on the left side. Look up towards your fingers and take deep breaths. Now do the other side.
4. Pyramid Pose
This yoga for flexibility strengthens the hamstrings. Begin in Downward Facing Dog and move your right foot into your right hand. Then move your left foot forward a few inches and to the left a few inches. Move your left heel so that your toes are at about 45 degrees. At this point, you should straighten both of your legs and lift up your hips. Make sure to keep your hands on the floor. Slowly inhale and exhale 5 times, then do the other side.
5. Cow Face Pose
For this pose, you begin sitting down. Put your right knee on top of your left knee at your midline, and have your feet pointing towards the opposite buttock. Then lift your right arm up high and bend the elbow so that your left hand is reaching towards the center of your back.
Your hands should meet behind your back and you can hold them. If you can’t, try moving your head towards your right arm. Inhale and exhale at least 5 times, then repeat on the other side.
6. Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
In this pose, you begin with your legs crossed and your right leg out front. Move your right foot to outside your right thigh, keeping your right knee up and your right sole on the floor. Then move your left foot to the outside of your right buttock, keeping your left foot on the floor.
Take a deep breath and then twist to the right with your right hand behind you and your left elbow outside of your right knee. Press down on your left hand and press your right foot into the mat. Look towards the right and take deep breaths in and out, then switch to the other side.
7. Standing Forward Fold
If you’re wondering how to increase flexibility, this yoga pose is it. Also, it’s very easy to carry out. You can do this either with your feet together or a few inches apart. Place your hands on your hips. Now, bend your knees a little and slowly move forward. Your head should hang loose, and your arms should be relaxed and pointing towards the mat. Inhale and exhale 5 times. Then roll up into a standing position.
8. Half Splits Pose
This pose stretches your hamstrings and hips. It’s the move you learn before you do the splits. It begins in “TableTop Position”, where you have your arms on the mat with your fingers splayed out, your back flat to the ceiling, and your knees bent with your feet facing outward.
Now put your right foot between your palms. Straighten your right leg gently, and at the same time, move your hips back. Keep your hips lifted above your left knee. Now inhale and exhale 5 times, and then switch sides.
9. Lizard Pose
If you want to know how to increase flexibility, try the lizard pose. This position stretches your quads, hamstrings, and hip flexors. Start on your hands and knees, in the Tabletop Position. Now move your right foot to the outside of your right hand. Both palms should stay inside your right foot while you extend your left leg outward. Take a deep breath in and out and do this 5 times, then do the other side.
Flexibility and Its Advantages
- Being more flexible can improve your mood, making you more positive and less stressed.
- It can reduce the chance of having a heart attack or stroke by making the arteries less stiff.
- It resolves pain in the muscles and joints, which leads to greater flexibility and mobility.
- Flexibility can improve your sense of balance.
- It can elevate your athletic performance because being flexible makes it easier to stretch.
- Flexibility helps to prevent injuries to the muscles as well as back problems.
- It greatly improves your posture, which can protect you from developing health problems.
The Final Word
Yoga is considered to be a physical activity, which improves your flexibility and physical strength. It’s also a practice that can enhance the mind and spirit. If you’ve never engaged in this practice, try a beginner yoga routine to get your feet wet. Yoga can improve your full range of motion, enhance your coordination and balance, increase your response time, and give you better posture. It can also prevent you from getting injured easily.
If you were wondering how to increase flexibility, now you have the answer. Yoga will make you more limber, and it could also lead to emotional benefits like lower stress and anxiety levels. Consider signing up for a yoga class, and you’ll be on your way to a more flexible life.