Looking at flexible people moving their bodies all around with ease and grace, you often wish to become as flexible as them. When you try to do the same, you end up feeling feel stiff, achy, and immobile. Don’t get disappointed, the good news is you can still improve your flexibility without undergoing any treatment or spending hours in the gym. Yes, it is possible with regular practice of Yoga.
Yoga is undebatably the most effective solution for achieving flexibility. Regular practice of yoga helps the body become more flexible by lengthening and strengthening the muscles of the entire body in a safe and effective way. It provides remarkable flexibility in all parts even those which have not been worked upon.
Here is a list of some of the best and simple yoga postures that help achieve a flexible and supple body. Take a glance:
Balasana or Child’s Pose: Sit on your heels on the mat. Keep your knee either together or apart. Now, slowly bend forward and lower your forehead to touch the floor. Place your arms alongside the body or reach out the arms towards the top of the yoga mat, palms facing down. Now, gently press your chest on the thighs. Hold the posture for 1 minute.
Standing Forward Bend Pose or Uttanasana: Stand straight in Tadasana or Mountain pose with feet hip-width apart. Inhale, lengthen the spine and place the hands on your hips. Now, hinge your hips to bend forward and reach out the arms towards the floor. Bend your knees in order to avoid any strain in the lower back. Let the arms and the crown of your head hang down. Press your heels into the floor and lift your sit bones towards the ceiling. Touch the floor with fingertips Hold the posture for a few breaths.
Savasana or Corpse Pose: Lie down on your back. Extend your legs straight and keep them separated. Place the arms alongside the body. Now, close the eyes and relax your mind and body. Stay in this pose for 3-5 minutes and breathe deeply at a steady rate.
Setu Bandhasana or Bridge Pose: Lie on your back and keep the arms sideways with palms facing down. Bend your knees and fold the legs. Ensure your ankles and knees are aligned and, feet are a few inches apart from each other. Press the palms into the floor and raise your entire back off the floor slowly. Once balanced, hold the posture for a few deep breaths. Keep your thighs parallel to each other and let your chest touch the chin.
Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward Facing Dog Pose: Begin on your hands and knees in a table-top position. Keep your knees and elbows straight. Now pull your belly in and push your hips upwards in a way that the body forms an inverted ‘V’ pose. Keep your hands shoulder-distance apart and knees hip-width apart on the floor. Press the palms into the floor and lengthen your neck. Look straight and breathe deeply. Hold the posture for 1-3 minutes.
Warrior Pose II or Virabhadrasana II: Stand straight with legs hip-distance apart and arms on the sides. Now, spread the legs wide apart. Turn the right leg by 90 degrees to the right side. Turn the other feet inwards by 45 degrees. Do not twist the body. Stretch the hands sideways at shoulder height, palms facing up. Now, bend the right knee and turn your head to the right side while exhaling. Push your pelvis and keep going down while breathing. Repeat on the other side.
Standing Forward Bend or Padahastasana: Stand straight in Tadasana Pose. Inhale deeply and lift your hands up over the head. Exhale, bend the body forward with straight palms and try to touch the floor. Do not bend the knees. Hold the breath, tuck your tummy in and remain in the posture for about 60-90 seconds.
Locust Pose or Shalabhasana: Lie down on your belly on the floor. Keep your hands below the thighs. Allow your chin and forehead to rest on the floor. Now, raise your one leg off the floor about 10 inches without bending the knee. Repeat the same with the other leg as well. Also, try to lift up both the legs together without bending the knee.
Viparita Karani or Legs up the Wall pose: Lie down on the floor near a wall and breathe deeply at a steady rate. While exhaling, swing your both legs against the wall in a way that your heels and sitting bones are supported onto the wall. Push your body slightly back from the wall in case you feel any discomfort in the lower back. Place your arms on the floor at shoulder height with palms facing up. Keep the spine straight and let your head rest on the floor. Close your eyes and relax in this posture for a few minutes.
Tadasana or Mountain Pose: Stand straight with legs slightly apart. Let your hands hang alongside the body. Lift your ankles, kneecaps, thighs and abdomen upward and look slightly up. Relax the shoulders. Now, inhale and raise your heels, chest, shoulders and arms slightly upwards, putting the whole weight on the toes. Breathe deeply 5-6 times and feel the stretch in the entire body.
So, get started with these yoga poses and begin your journey on the road to flexibility.