When you first start getting into yoga, there is usually an underlying motivation. It could be to lose weight, reduce stress or to improve your strength. These are all great reasons to do yoga, and another is using yoga to improve flexibility.
If this is your goal, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are some tips to get you started.
Increase Bends and Arches
One of the easiest ways to improve your flexibility through yoga is to increase the poses that use bends and arches.
For example, downward facing dog is a great pose to start with. You start off with your body in a bent position making a reversed V shape with your body.
Your rear is the point of the triangle or V while stretching your arms and legs.
Over time, this helps improve flexibility as you increase the stretch. You can also work to bring your hands and feet closer together, making a V with a smaller angle.
You can do this technique with other poses and asanas as well. These include any of forward or reverse bends, rocking boat and bridge techniques.
Move Away from the Wall
With some asanas you are using a wall as a wall sit or backup for your legs. The problem with this is that you don’t really work your leg muscles or back muscles.
As a result, you won’t actually improve your flexibility. The wall gives your body a backup so you are resting against the wall rather than using your muscles fully.
Attempt to move away from the wall and start using your own muscles and body to hold the position. You will notice more flexibility and you will also be working your core.
Use Bricks and Straps
It is easy to get discouraged when first working on your flexibility with yoga. What you will find is that you aren’t able to keep your legs or arms stretched as much as you thought. Instead of getting discouraged, use bricks and straps.
With straps you can start with a certain length on the strap and shorten that length overtime. Eventually, you may be able to remove the strap completely.
To use bricks, start with them in the highest position on their side. Slowly move the brick to the other side so it is laying down. Finally, remove the brick once you are able to stretch to the full extent of the move.
If you use these tips for using yoga to improve flexibility, then you will start to see a difference.
Flexibility does come with routine yoga practice and changing your routine as needed. It also requires a little patience. Give it time and keep working at it. The results will come.