Yoga for Flexibility : 5 best Yogasanas to Increase your Flexibility

Yoga for Flexibility : 5 Best Yogasanas to Increase your Flexibility

Yoga for Flexibility
YOGA FOR FLEXIBILITY

WHY IS FLEXIBILITY IMPORTANT

Flexibility is important for every individual irrespective of the work they do. Being flexible helps us keep ailments away. Ailments such as less muscle tension, better posture, less pain, lower risk of injuries, less stress mental and physical. 

Being flexible gives greater range of motion for our body and improves the blood circulation which in turn helps our body in multiple ways.

5 YOGA POSES TO INCREASE FLEXIBILITY

1. RECLINED HAND TO BIG TOE POSE [SUPTA PADANGUSTHASANA]

There are numerous ways to adapt this pose, most notably by using a strap around the instep of the lifted leg. If you don’t have a yoga strap, any belt will do or just hold the back of your leg. Keeping your leg as straight as possible is the best way to stretch your groins, hips, hamstrings, calves. Don’t worry about how high you can lift your leg.

Instructions
1. Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and the soles of both feet flat on the floor.
2. Hug your right knee in towards your chest. Either take a yogi toe grip around the big toe or fit a strap around your instep.
3. Extend your right leg straight up toward the ceiling.
4. If you can, extend your left leg along the floor. It’s also ok to keep it bent.
5. Activate both feet (point or flex).
6. A hand on your left thigh can help remind you to keep that hip flat down on the mat.
7. Make sure to keep both the right femur (thigh bone) and the right humerus (upper arm bone) settled in their sockets.
8. After five to ten breaths, repeat with the left leg.

2. EYE OF THE NEEDLE POSE [SUCIRANDHRASANA]

 

This pose offers a wonderful way to stretch the hip flexors gently at first and then more deeply as flexibility becomes more available. If you are looking for more intensity, you can substitute in Pigeon.

Instructions
1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the floor.
2. Place your right ankle on the top of your left thigh, opening your right knee to the right.
3. Stay here or lift your left foot off the floor and start to bring your left thigh towards your chest. Reach your right hand through the gap between your legs to clasp your hands around the back of your left thigh (or around the front of the left shin).
4. Draw your left knee closer to your chest (which will cause your right knee to move away from your chest) while making sure that your sacrum stays anchored to the floor. You can also use your right elbow to nudge your right knee further away from your chest.
5. Keep both feet active throughout.
6. After five to ten breaths, switch legs.

3. DOWNWARD FACING DOG [ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA]

You didn’t think we’d leave out, Downward Dog, did you? This pose is good for everything, particularly stretching the hamstrings and calves along the backs of the legs.

Instructions
1. Come to your hands and knees with the knees slightly behind your hips.
2. Curl your toes under and lift your knees from the floor.
3. Lift your seat to the ceiling by straightening your legs.
4. Pedal your feet one at a time.
5. Settle into relative stillness for a least five breaths while pushing strongly into the palms of your hands and maintaining the inverted V shape of the posture.

4. CRESCENT LUNGE [ANJANEYASANA]

Consider this a choose your own adventure type of pose. You can lunge deeply into the front hip or keep it more over the knee. Reaching the arms toward the ceiling also stretches the muscles between the ribs (intercostals). You can try reaching around for your back foot to add a quad stretch if you like. Pick a variation that works for you.

Instructions
1. From Downward Facing Dog, step your right foot forward to the inside of your right hand. Give your foot some help if it doesn’t make it all the way to the front.
2. Lower your left knee to the mat.
3. Inhale to lift your arms overhead. Reach for the ceiling while simultaneously moving your shoulders down away from your ears.
4. For a deeper hip stretch, take your right knee forward a little or a lot.
5. If you want a quad stretch, lift your left heel toward your left glute. Reach your right arm behind your back to catch hold of your left foot or ankle. Draw your foot toward your butt.
6. Stay three to five breaths in your final version of the pose before switching sides.

5. PYRAMID POSE [PARSVOTTANASANA]

Another post that gets deep into the hamstrings and hips. Use props as necessary and remember that both hip points face the front of the mat in this posture.

Instructions
1. From Downward Facing Dog, step your right foot to the inside of your right hand.
2. Step your left foot toward the front of your mat about five inches and out to the left side about 3 inches. (Distances may vary depending on your size and flexibility.)
3. Lower your left heel so that your toes are turned out about 45 degrees. (Use the 45-degree lines on your Liforme Mat.)
4. Straighten both legs, lifting your hips. If your hands come off the floor, take blocks underneath them.
5. If you need more stability, you can step your left foot farther out to the left side of your mat. Both hips continue to face the front of the mat
6. Inhale to come to a flat back. Exhale to lower your chest toward your right knee.
7. Repeat this process of lengthening on the inhalation and deepening on the exhalation for about five breaths. Then switch sides.