One of the most important aspects of good physical health is flexibility. However, due to aging, a sedentary lifestyle, stress, or bad posture and movement habits, your body may lose flexibility over time.
Regular yoga practice, whether at a class or at home, maybe one of the best ways to improve joint and muscle mobility if you’re ready to improve flexibility. Certain yoga poses for flexibility can help you lessen stress or anxiety and build muscle strength.
We’ll go over the advantages of increasing your flexibility and show you the best yoga poses for flexibility that also stretches your hips, back, core, neck, and shoulders in this article.
Why is It Important to Be Flexible?
There are numerous benefits to increasing your flexibility. The most significant advantages include:
- Greater motion range: It is easier to move your joints in the normal direction with less effort when you have more flexibility.
- Reduced muscle strain: When you stretch your muscles, tension, and tightness can be relieved, making it easier to move.
- Improved posture: Poor posture and muscle strain can result from tight, tense muscles.
- Less pain: There is typically less stress and pressure placed on particular parts of your body when your muscles are not tense, which results in less pain in your shoulders, back, and neck.
- Lower chance of harm: You may be less likely to get hurt if your muscles and joints are stronger and more flexible.
- Less Stress: You may feel more relaxed when your muscles let go of tension. That, in turn, might make you feel less stressed.
- Better circulation: Improved blood flow may prevent stiffness and speed up muscle recovery after exercise.
8 Poses in Yoga for Flexibility
The best yoga poses for increasing flexibility are Vinyasa, Hatha, or Yin. The following poses can be especially helpful for increasing flexibility and stretching many of your major muscles if you are short on time or prefer to practice some yoga poses at home.
Proceed at your own pace through each pose. Instead of focusing on how it looks, think about how it feels. As long as each pose doesn’t hurt or make it hard to do correctly, you can do it as many times as you want.
2 Poses of Yoga for Flexibility in Your Back
Forward bend (Parsvottanasana)
This intense side stretch stretches your legs, hips, and spine. It likewise helps your stance, equilibrium, and assimilation.
- Stand with your toes slightly bent at an angle with your left foot in front and your right foot back, facing forward.
- Square your hips so that you face forward.
- Your hands should be on your hips.
- Fold your torso forward at the hips and tuck your chin into your chest to perform this pose.
- Place your hands on a block or place them on the floor.
Keep this pose for anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute and perform the opposite side while shifting the position of your feet.
Head to knee (Janu Sirsasana)
This pose helps you become more flexible in your back, hips, and thighs. It is suitable for people of all levels. Additionally, it can be an excellent stress reliever and increases blood flow in the lower abdomen.
- Use a yoga mat or the ground to sit down.
- Press your left foot into the inside of your thigh while extending your right leg.
- Take a deep breath and raise your arms overhead.
- Fold forward toward your leg that is outstretched and exhale as you bend at the hips.
- Hold on to your outstretched leg or foot or place your hands on the floor.
Hold for one to two seconds and repeat with the opposite side while switching legs.
2 Poses in Yoga for Flexibility in Your Core
Cat-Cow (Bitilasana Marjaryasana)
This pose is good for improving core, neck, shoulder, and spine mobility and flexibility due to its fluidity.
- Make sure your wrists are under your shoulders and your knees are below your hips when you begin this pose on all fours.
- As you allow your belly to fall toward the floor, inhale while keeping your weight evenly distributed across your body.
- As your belly moves downward, raise your chest and chin.
- To round your spine up toward the ceiling, exhale as you press into your hands and tuck your chin into your chest.
Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
This intermediate-level helps stretch many of the muscles used when sitting. It might be able to help you become more flexible in your legs, back, chest, glutes, and core muscles. If you are experiencing discomfort in your back, neck, or shoulders, you should not perform this pose.
- Place your arms in front of you as you lie on your stomach.
- Reach back with your hands to grasp the outside of your ankles by bending your knees.
- If you can, try to raise your chest and shoulders off the ground, but don’t go above where you feel most comfortable.
- Take a few long, deep breaths while keeping your head pointing forward.
Try to hold for as long as 30 seconds before letting go and repeat atleats twice.
2 Poses in Yoga for Flexibility in Your Hips
Low lunge (Anjaneyasana)
An ideal pose for all levels, the low lunge (Anjaneyasana) helps you lengthen your spine, open your hips, and strengthen your muscles. Additionally, it might alleviate sciatica.
- Place your left knee on the floor and knelt.
- Place your right foot flat on the ground in front of you while bending your right knee.
- Through your spine and out to your head’s crown, lengthen.
- Arms and torso should be raised. You also have the option of extending your arms sideways and parallel to the ground.
- Push into your right hip gently.
Make an effort to maintain this position for at least 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side by switching legs.
Wide-angle seated forward bend (Upavistha Konasana)
Upavistha Konasana, or wide-angle seated forward bend, can help open up your hips and low back while also improving your hamstring and calves’ flexibility. You can tilt your pelvis forward while sitting on the edge of a cushion or block to go deeper into the pose.
- With your legs spread as wide as they will go, sit on the floor.
- Lift your arms up high.
- Fold forward at the hips and walk your hands in the direction of your feet.
Maintain this position for up to a minute or two. Move your legs closer together if your toes are pointing out to the sides. Your toes should be facing upward as if you were pressing the soles of your feet into a wall.
2 Poses in Yoga for Flexibility in Your Shoulders & Neck
Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana)
The Cow Face Pose, which stretches your arms, chest, and shoulders, is suitable for all levels.
- Sit in a position that is convenient for you.
- Allow your chest to expand and your spine to lengthen.
- Bend your elbow so that your fingers point down along your spine after extending your left arm overhead.
- Draw your left elbow over to the right with your right hand, allowing your left hand to move further down your spine.
- You can try clasping your left hand by bending your right arm along your spine if that feels good to you.
At least stay in this position for 30 seconds. Switch sides and do it with both arms.
Plow Pose (Halasana)
This intermediate pose may assist in relieving tension in your neck, shoulders, and spine. Rest your feet on a chair seat or a stack of cushions if it is difficult for you to reach the ground. If you are concerned about your digestion, neck, or blood pressure, you should not perform this pose.
- Place your palms on the floor while lying on your back with your arms alongside you.
- Straighten your legs to a 90-degree angle.
- Overcome your head with your legs.
- Place your hands on your lower back, pointing upward with your pinky fingers on either side of your spine.
- Hold for one to two seconds.
- Roll your spine back to the floor and let go.
Repeat up to two times.
Things to Remember While Performing Yoga for Flexibility
When performing a yoga pose, avoid overdoing it or forcing yourself into any position. This could make you more likely to get hurt. Follow your body’s cues. Release a pose immediately if it becomes too painful or uncomfortable.
It’s alright if you can only hold a pose for 10 or 20 seconds at first. You can work on holding the poses for longer as you get more flexible. Also, before beginning yoga stretches for flexibility, you should consult your doctor or a certified yoga instructor if you are
- Having high or low blood pressure
- Having any kind of pain or injury, including sciatica
- Having menstruation
- Having digestive issues
- Having asthma
- Being pregnant
- Having cardiovascular or respiratory issues
- Taking any medications
The Bottom Line on Yoga Poses for Flexibility
In conclusion, being able to move around with ease and being flexible are crucial aspects of your physical health. Your muscles can become tense and tight from stress, age, inactivity, and poor posture, which can limit your flexibility.
Practising yoga poses on a regular basis is a very good way to loosen up your muscles and improve your flexibility. The most important thing is to begin slowly and gradually increase the amount of time you can hold a pose with the proper form.