Flexibility is not a requirement for Yoga, in actuality, a tight body is the one which feels the benefits of the stretch more than a flexible body. Flexibility does not make you ‘better’ at yoga, but it does help explore your body and twist yourself into new self-serving postures.
There are a few poses which help you go that extra stretch and help you feel release all throughout the body.
- Forward fold: The forward fold requires you to bend the body over and touch the ground, stretching the entire back, neck, shoulders, and arms.
- Downward Dog: This upside-down pose gives an angular stretch to the back muscles, strengthening the arms, core, and hamstrings, variations of this stretch can also open up the hips.
- Bound Angle Pose: The butterfly pose is an intensive and complete stretch for the lower body. This pose stretches your groin area and inner thigh, making you feel pleasantly stretched and relaxed.
- Child’s pose: The Child’s pose is a restorative pose which allows the shoulders, back, groin, thighs, and hips. Relaxing, stretching and strengthening all at the same time.
- Warrior Pose I, II, III: The warrior pose requires the body to undergo a full body stretch and release, allowing better blood circulation and flexibility.
Body flexibility also works as an indication of how flexible the mind is in new situations. The Yoga philosophy asks of you to be kind gentle and loving with the body you call home. All stretches are supposed to feel good, releasing and gentle. Every one of our bodies is different, but forcing a stretch is simply not Yoga.
Relax, contract and flow.