“Does Yoga make you flexible?” is the first question that comes to mind when we think about signing up for a Yoga class.
Yoga is a fitness form that has reached far and wide in the world. It has many benefits and has proven to be beneficial to many people. Among the benefits, flexibility is an enormous one. It promotes good bone health and provides an amazing range of motion, which can help prevent body aches and workout injuries.
With many of us following the work-from-home model of work, we hardly get any activity in unless we dedicate an hour to work out or ensure we stay active by moving around our homes during the day. While individuals practice Yoga to improve flexibility, it is vital to practice yoga with guidance and proper posture to reap the benefits of flexibility. It can take many sessions for the body to gain strength and support the muscles that support the body.
Here is why flexibility is beneficial & important:
- When you practice yoga stretches for flexibility, it can help release the tension that is built up in your muscles and relieves tightness which helps you move easily
- You experience fewer body aches because your muscles are not tensed anymore and there is lesser pressure on your other body parts like the back, neck and shoulders
- Your posture gets better
- Increased flexibility can help your joints move better with lesser effort, which means you experience a greater range of motion
- You experience less stress because Yoga helps you feel relaxed
- Better blood flow can help your body recover well after a workout
- You experience lesser injuries because your muscles & joints are more flexible
If you are still looking to know more about beginner’s Yoga for flexibility, check out the beginner's guide to yoga.
Here are some Yoga poses that focus on hamstrings & calves that can help improve your flexibility:
EYE OF THE NEEDLE POSE (SUCIRANDHRASANA)
This pose is a great way to stretch your hip flexors slowly till you feel your hips getting a good stretch that does not strain your body. Here is how you achieve the asana:
- Lay flat on your back and bend both your knees
- Place your left ankle on your right thigh
- You can choose to stay in that position or try to pull in your right knee towards your chest slowly while clasping your hands from between your legs
- Keep your legs engaged throughout the posture
- After 5 - 7 deep breaths, you can switch the position with the other leg
DOWNWARD DOG (ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA)
This pose is great to stretch the legs, right from the hamstrings to the calves. Here is how you achieve adhomukhasvanasana:
- You can come down to your hands and knees, on all your fours
- After curling your toes, lift your hips and knees and straighten your legs
- Maintain an inverted-V shape with your hips being the highest point
- Stay still while breathing steadily and push into your palms and feet
GARLAND POSE (MALASANA)
This pose helps to open up your hips and back. It is also the most natural way for humankind to sit. Here is how you achieve malasana:
- While standing, keep your feet shoulder-width apart and make sure your toes are facing outward
- Bend down into a squat and bring your hands together into prayer position, also known as the Anjali Mudra near your chest
- While in this position, your elbows are touching the insides of your knees and you can push the knees out gently with your elbows
International Yoga Day is celebrated on 21st June every year. This year, Fitternity is celebrating Yogafest by offering complimentary yoga sessions by Anindita Singhvi & Manish Pole on 20th & 21st June at 5PM. You can sign up for the sessions here and be a part of a life-changing experience.
Check out the Yoga classes near you: