Has it ever happened to you that you need to pick something up that is right next to your foot, so you pick it up from your toes, but then it is followed by a whole series of struggle between the inability of your arms to reach the object and the inability of your legs to fold enough to bring it to your hands? Well, if you have been there, then it wouldn’t be the wisest thing to ignore it. Do not allow your body to stiffen up because of your modern lifestyle and let it be a victim of premature aging.
If you feel like this is a problem that you relate to, then here’s a solution for you. Practicing yoga can bring to you all the flexibility you’ve been wanting lately. It is not a claim we’re making in the air; various studies and researches show that one of the most effective outcomes of a regular yoga practice is body flexibility. So, without further ado, we bring to you a list of a few yoga asanas that can help you in increasing your flexibility.
To do this, stand with your feet together first. Then bend your knees very slightly and fold your lower body over your legs from your hips and not the back. Now try placing your hand next to your feet on the ground. By keeping your gaze on the ground right beneath you, breathe gently and deeply. Hold the position for some good 2-3 minutes and then slowly break out of it as you exhale. Regular practice of this yoga stretches your hamstrings, hips and calves and releases any kind of blockages in those muscles.
Start with standing in the mountain pose. Take your right leg back, about one length. To maintain a balance now, extend your left foot a little more towards the left. Bend your front knee a little to avoid blocking it. Draw your left hip a little forward. Inhale and bring your arms behind your back and try holding your elbows. Now breathe and try to elongate your torso. Maintain the length of your spine. Make sure your torso is folded from the hip and not your waist. Keep your gaze on the floor right beneath you and breathe slowly and deeply. Hold this position for one minute and then slowly come out of it as you exhale. The practice of this pose will help in the stretching of your hamstring and shoulders. It also allows you to maintain a body balance and stretches your spine, chest and hip.
To enter the pose, begin by lying on your back. Slowly bring both of your knees towards your chest. Now, place your right ankle over the left thigh, making your right knee droop in the air on the side. From within the “eye” like structure created by the bending of the right knee, try to clasp your left knee. Pull it towards your chest. Hold this position for one minute and then come out of it as you exhale. This pose will help in the strengthening of your calves, ankle and hamstrings muscles. It also improves the flexibility of the spine and opens up the chakras of your heart.
Stand with your feet together and then bring your hands on the floor, a few lengths away from your feet. From your inner ankles bring your inner legs into the groins. Firm up your outer thighs and bring them slightly inwards. Broaden your shoulder blades and bring them towards the tailbone. Keep your gaze towards your feet and hold this position for 1-3 minutes and then slowly come out of it while breathing and rest in child’s pose. This pose will help you lengthen your spine and tone your calves and improve the strength of your ankles. The involvement of your arms allows this pose to strengthen their muscles as well.
Sit with your legs stretched out in front of you. Bend your left leg and place the left foot flat on the floor and right next to the right hip. Place the right leg on the left knee. Now, twist your waist, neck, and shoulders towards your right and maintain a gaze over your right shoulder. Place your right hand behind you, on the floor and the left one on your right knee. Hold this pose for half a minute and take deep breaths. Then slowly come out of the pose as you exhale, rest for a few seconds and then repeat the pose from the other side. This asana will help your spine become more flexible and betters its functioning with the stimulation. It also helps relieve any kind of stiffness and back pain from between the vertebrae. The twist helps the muscles stretch and remove all kinds of blockages,
Lie down with your belly facing the floor. Stretch your legs at the back and spread your hands on the floor, under your shoulders. Begin to straighten your arms and start lifting your chest from the floor. Maintain a height where your pubis and your legs remain in a connection. Try pushing your side ribs forward while avoiding the pushing of your front ribs. Hold the pose for half a minute and breath easily and come out of it to lie down on the floor like the way you did in your initial position. This pose will help relieve stress and fatigue from your muscles and will stretch out your spine, shoulders and abdomen.
Practice the above mentioned poses on a daily basis and see how your inflexible body gradually turns flexible and once again you are filled with vigor and energy.