The practice of yoga as a whole works wonders for your body’s flexibility and mobility. When we think about what it means to be flexible, many of us immediately picture the splits.
Learn How to Do the Splits In This Yoga Pose Photo Tutorial
But advanced yoga poses aside, flexibility means creating more space and length in the body by targeting your major muscles, joints and tissues and also increasing your overall range of motion in the joints.
Pro Tip: Sun Salutations are a great way to warm up your body and prepare for your yoga practice.
Read on to discover 8 awesome yoga poses for flexibility.
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Practice These 8 Yoga Poses to Increase Flexibility:
Remember: the secret ingredient to increase your flexibility is consistent practice and holding each yoga pose for several deep breaths.
1. Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
One of the most simple and straight forward (pun intended) stretches you can do to increase your flexibility is a Standing Forward Fold. This can be done with feet together or hip-width distance apart.
Experiment with these different variations to see what gives you the best stretch. Also don’t be afraid to incorporate a yoga block or two to help bring the ground up to you.
Let’s Try It:
- Start standing with your feet hip-distance apart and hands on your hips
- Microbend your knees and hinge forward slowly
- Allow your head to hang heavy. Your arms can relax towards the mat (let them hang heavy, or you can grab opposite elbows)
- Stay here for at least five deep breaths
- When you’re done, slowly roll all the way up to standing
2. Wide Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana)
Similar to #1 but a slightly different stretch, a Wide Leg Forward Fold takes your stance four feet apart. This yoga pose stretches – and can also strengthen – your hamstrings, calves, hips, low back and spinal column.
The key is to enter this pose mindfully, hinging from your hips as opposed to rounding your spine, and maintaining control and muscle engagement while you’re in it.
Let’s Try It:
- At the top of your mat, turn to either side and take a 4-foot step out
- Option to subtly turn your toes slight inward to prevent from…