Improve flexibility with yoga
November 12, 2023
In an era where lifestyle is much more sedentary and we spend hours sitting, having good flexibility is much more vital than before to prevent injuries, give longevity to your muscles and tissues and generally feel great in your physical body.
Before we start pulling muscles as each asana asks us to, let's see what flexibility is.
Flexibility is a range of motion in the joints that is free from restrictions and pain or discomfort. The joint is surrounded by muscles, ligaments, tendons, capsules and skin. All of these tissues support the joint so that it works well. Obviously each person has a different structure and thus flexibility, but the range of motion differs due to the mobility and elasticity of all those tissues, which will be shortened by the lack of stretching.
How yoga improves flexibility:
many kinds of yoga They focus on maintaining posture through calm breathing and stability. This activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which governs autonomic functions when our body is relaxed. When this is activated, there is a lower muscle contraction, and as a result the resistance to stretching is lower and therefore all the tissue will respond in a more elastic and natural way.
Additionally, many studies have shown that when a body part is subjected to an uncomfortable stretch, the nervous system sends a contraction reflex to protect the muscle. Yoga works on conscious stretching, little by little overcoming this self-reflex and gradually and comfortably opening that range of flexibility.
Tips to improve flexibility with yoga:
- Play with your limits: It is not about forcing them but about going little by little further. The only way to learn and expand your body's limits is to challenge it a little.
- Breathe: With each inhalation, be aware of your body and check the integrity of your posture. With each exhale, think about letting go and settling into the pose a little more.
- Keep calm: A lot of muscle tension comes from a fearful mind. This is detrimental to the parasympathetic system that we talked about before. Long, deep breaths will relax your brain and nervous system, thus relaxing the muscles and connecting tissues and as a result they will be more elastic.
- Help yourself with yoga accessories: apart from having a good yoga mat, that you like and that gives you confidence, have yoga accessories as a yoga block or yoga belt They are great allies to keep the body aligned and relaxed when you are taking a posture further.
Best Yoga Poses for Flexibility:
Most yoga asanas improve flexibility and strength, but there are some that are more recommended to increase flexibility in a more natural, gentle and comprehensive way since they require minimal effort and so you can focus more on relaxing, breathing and being physically aware.
We leave you a list of the names of the best yoga postures to improve your flexibility:
- Baddha Konasana
- Upavishta Konasana
- Utthita Trikonasana
- Supta Kapotasana
- Eka pada rajakapotasana
- Janus Sirsasana
- Bitilasana and Marjaryasana
- Ardha Matsyendrasana