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FLEXIBILITY WITH
YOGA

Flexibility With Yoga

It's True, You Can Boost Your Flexibility With Yoga

The struggle of the inability to stand normally after long sitting hours is real. Apart from the pain and discomfort, your shoulder, lower back, and thighs suffer the most from it.

Believe me. For the past 1 year, I have felt it too. And like most people, I picked up my mobile and searched Google to know “why I was having this issue”. The answer I got is “Lack of Flexibility”. Are you kidding me? I’m still in my 20s, how can I lack flexibility. Jokes apart, I really needed to understand this concept.

So, Why is flexibility even important?

Well, we need it to maintain the range of motion of joints and muscles. If not worked on, our muscles have a tendency to shrink. This will cause tightness in them which will lead to body aches. For example, watching your phone and laptop for long hours can cause the neck muscles to stress up, or your hams will get affected by sitting too much. By focusing on flexibility, we can release the tension of the joints and muscles, which will enhance our effectiveness.

Then I searched more to find out that…

We need to work on our flexibility on regular basis (which I wasn’t doing). Many factors dwindle it down such as age, stress, prolonged sitting, etc. As of age, we can’t do anything (still wishes if we could), but we can counter the side-effects of long sitting, bad posture, and stress with “Yoga”.

Yoga is widely practiced for health and relaxation. And it works wonders for muscle and joint flexibility and mobility. Other than that you can also build up the strength in your muscles, improves the circulatory system, sharpen your brain, better functioning of organs, and calm your mind.

That’s why I adopted yoga in my life and you wouldn’t believe I experienced the changes in my body only after a few sessions. I felt the ease in doing activities and my mind was clearer.

Flexibility Yoga

Gain Flexibility with Yoga

There are multiple options in yoga to improve your flexibility capabilities. You can try asanas according to your preference and comfort like standing poses, sitting poses, prone poses (lying on your abdomen), or supine ones (lying on your back).

Every asana you’ll try is going to ease the stiffness in your muscle fibers. Here’s, a list of the easy and effective asanas that worked for me.

Standing Yoga Poses for Flexibility

1. Standing Forward Bending (Uttanasana): This asana targets your full body. Right from the shoulders to your feet, every part in between gets stimulated by performing this pose. 

Works on: Neck, Shoulders, Back muscles, Pelvis, Glutes, Hamstrings, Quads, and Calves.

Instructions:

• Stand straight with your feet hip-width distance.
• Bring your hand above your head.
• Slowly bend forward by making the fold at your hips, not the back.
• As you bend, lengthen your spine, stretch your quads and put your weight on the balls of your feet.
• Remain in the position for a few seconds.
• Get back up with an inhalation.

2. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana): This asana works amazingly on strengthening the upper and lower half of the body. You might need to keep your eyes open to balance your body. Improving your digestion to sciatic pain relief, can do all.

Works on: Shoulders, Chest, Hams, Groin, Calves, and Quads.

Triangle Pose

Instructions:

• Stand straight and spread your feet slightly more than your shoulder length.
• Turn your upper half to the right, keeping your right foot in line with your face and left foot at 45 degrees toward the right.
• Equally, balance your weight on both of your feet.
• On an exhale, bend your body down (sidewise) to the right while keeping your back straight.
• Touch the ground with the right hand and lift the left hand in the air. Keep them in line.
• Feel the stretch for a few breathe and get back to the normal standing position.
• Repeat the same to the other side.

3. Downward-Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana): This asana provides a good stretch to the body. It also increases the strength and stability of the body.

Works on: Hands, Arms, Hams, Calves, and Feet.

Downward-Facing Dog Pose

Instructions:

• Start on all fours keeping your hand at shoulder-width and spreading your fingers.
• Put your knees right under the hips.
• Tuck your toes, press your hand to the ground, and lift your hips toward the ceiling to form an inverted V-shape.
• Hold this position for 5-6 breaths.
• Release by getting bringing your knees to the ground and lowering the hips.

Sitting Yoga Poses for Flexibility

1. The Child Pose (Balasana): If you’re stressed out, this is the asana you should do as it calms your nervous system. It also provides good flexibility with gentle stretching.

Works on: Spine, Buttocks, Hams, Quads, and Ankles.

Instructions:

• Sit on your feet and keep your hips on the heels.
• Bend forward so that your forehead touches the ground and your belly rest between your thighs.
• Be in this pose for a few breaths. Relax your muscles.
• Get back to the sitting position.

2. Cat and Cow Pose (Bitilasana Marjaryasana): This asana is a combination of two poses: cat pose and cow pose. Synchronizing your breath with the movements involved is the key to getting the benefit from it.

Works on: Neck, Core, Shoulder, and Spine.

Instructions:

• Get on all four on a flat surface.
• Keep your hands right under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
• Inhale and allow your belly to move toward the ground as you look toward the ceiling.
• Exhale and bend your spine up as look to the ground.
• Repeat this for a minute.

3. Low Lunge Pose (Anjaneyasana): This energetic asana can reverse all the problems that come with long sitting. It provides a deep stretch that relaxes your lower back muscles.

Works on: Core, Spine, Pelvis, Lower body.

Low Lunge Pose

Instructions:

• Start with a Downward-facing dog pose.
• Take your right foot forward between the hands and lower the left foot so that your left knee touches the ground.
• With an inhalation, move your hands (above your head) and torso upward.
• Tilt the head so that you can glaze the ceiling.
• Hold for some time
• Exhale and get back to normal.

4. Boat Pose (Navasana): Challenge your mind and body with this asana to build flexibility. It provides a great stretch to your core and enhances your concentration power.

Works on: Arms, Abdomen, Hips, Quads, and Legs.

Instructions:

• Sit on the floor with your legs straight
• Press your hands to the ground slightly behind the hips and lift the legs up in the air.
• This will tilt your torso back naturally.
• Move your hands up in parallel to the floor.
• Hold this V-shape for a few seconds
• Get back to normal and relax.

Prone Yoga Poses for Flexibility

1. The Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana): This back-bending asana strengthens the spine, opens up chest muscles, and improves the functioning of body parts.

Works on: Neck, Shoulders, Spine, Glutes, Hips, Quads, Hamstrings, and Calves.

Instructions:

• Start with lying down on your stomach.
• Put your hands right under the shoulder.
• Inhale and slowly move your upper half up.
• Hold the pose for 5-6 breaths.
• Exhale and relax the body.

2. The Bow Pose (Dhanurasana): It works amazingly on improving posture, increasing blood circulation, and reducing stress levels.

Works on: Arms, Legs, Spine, Thighs, Pelvis, Glutes, Quads, and core.

Instructions:

• Lay down on your stomach.
• Bend your knees toward the lower back and hold your ankles with your hands.
• As you breathe in, lift your chest and legs up off the floor.
• Look up and hold the bow pose while breathing in and out.
• Exhale and slowly return to your original position.
• Relax your muscles and spine.

Supine Yoga Poses for Flexibility:-

1. Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana): Awaken your senses with this pose. This asana needs attention and care which calms the mind.

Works on: Neck, Chest, Spine, Hams, Buttocks.

Bridge Pose

Instructions:

• Lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet at hip distance apart.
• Move your feet close to the hips and arms resting on the floors.
• Inhale and raise your body up from the hips so that your entire back not touching the ground.
• Your weight should be on your shoulders, arms, and feet.
• Keep breathing and hold for a minute.
• Relax.

2. Spinal twisting (Supta Matsyendrasana): This is a restorative asana that detoxifies our body. It is also great for good posture, back pain, and tight shoulders.

Works on: Neck, Back, Shoulders, and Thighs.

Instructions:

• Lie on your back and spread your arms horizontally to your shoulders.
• Bend your right knee and crossed it outside of the left leg near the knee.
• With your left hand, push the bent knee to the left side so that it touches the ground (if not, then don’t stress it).
• Move your head to the right side while your shoulders are tucked to the ground.
• Hold this position for 30 seconds, and feel the stretch.
• Release the asana and relax.
• Repeat with the other leg.

Points to remember

If you’re into workouts (whether at the gym or an online platform), you might have seen your trainer emphasize warm-ups before you do anything. There’s a reason for that. Our muscle fibers are cold at rest.

If you start the workout right off, it can cause sudden stress to them and damage them. That’s why you should prepare your body for activity by warming the fibers first, which will increase the blood flow to them. It will only take 5-10 minutes. You can try the routine your trainer decides or perform any light activity like a stationary walk.

Takeaway

An increase in flexibility is one of the gifts Yoga offers. Practicing the above-mentioned yoga asanas will help you with it. But you have to keep one thing in mind. It has taken us months to lose it, so how can we think of gaining it back after a week or two.

Have patience. Be consistence. And improve your flexibility with yoga.

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