Growing up, I focused only on cardio and weight lifting. However, as I’ve gotten older, I am FEELING how it’s essential to focus on flexibility as a required component of exercise. For your own health and well-being, here are a few yoga flexibility poses for everyday living.
What are the benefits of improved flexibility? For one thing, it prevents everyday injuries, such as backaches. It also prevents muscle and disc strains from doing tasks on the job or even just sleeping the wrong way. Increased flexibility improves your posture, makes the cardio activity a lot lighter and easier, and (for me) makes playing with your kids less injurious.
Now that we know the benefits, let’s take a look at how we can incorporate yoga flexibility into our own life. As with any yoga practice, I caution you to flow at your own pace. It’s more important to feel the benefits of the poses than to push yourself to rush through them. On a side note, if you’re interested in learning more moves to get the heart pumping, please check out “Stretching Exercises for Increased Flexibility“.
Now, with that said, let’s get started…
Downward Facing Dog
A great way to begin: This popular pose delivers a super stretch to your hamstrings, calves, hands, feet, and arms. Start on all fours, with wrists under your shoulders, and knees under your hips. Push your hands into the floor and lift your hips toward the sky, lengthening your legs so your body forms an inverted “V” shape.
Let your spine lengthen as you hold that position for 30 to 60 seconds. For a quick tutorial on the correct method, watch this short YouTube clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC7RGJ975iM.
A perfect yoga pose to stretch your hips, abdominal muscles, shoulders, and neck. Start in a comfortable cross-legged position with a long spine. Inhale as you sweep your arms overhead. Now exhale as you bring your right hand to the side, and lean to the right while extending your left arm over. Look from underneath your left arm. You’ll feel that wonderful stretch.
To come out, press into your hand and lift your torso upright. Now repeat on the other side. To watch it done correctly, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUyfMIM0MOU.
Head to Knee
Suitable for all levels, this pose helps improve flexibility in your back, hips, and thighs. It also increases blood flow in the lower abdomen and can be a great stress reliever. I hope the picture is pretty explanatory, but if you’re a visual learner like me, here’s a link on the proper method.
Standing Forward Bend
Tough to do, but it feels so good on the lower back and it stretches the hamstrings. When practicing, try to keep your hips over your ankles. (I have a tendency to let my hips creep too far back.) Now slightly bend your knees to avoid hyperextension and feel that lovely stretch. Let your torso hang and try to last for a good 30 to 60 seconds.
Did these yoga flexibility poses work for you? Was there a pose that you love that I forgot to include? I’d love to hear your thoughts at email@example.com. Thanks for reading and please be sure to subscribe to receive more great blog tips straight to your inbox each Friday.