Sign Up For My **free** 7 Day Yin Yoga Immersion Program To Improve Flexibility
I get asked time and time again for a follow up to my one hour flexibility flow on my YouTube channel. And last week I put out a new one hour flexibility flow, this time focusing on the hips and hamstrings.
Ive pulled poses from the first half hour of this one hour class and outlined them step by step below for you. These 7 poses work deeply into the lower body to increase your flexibility.
Give yourself as much room as you can, as you may go a little bit off of your mat in both directions.
I did not use any props for these poses, but you may want to have a strap or blocks handy in case.
2. Thread the Needle Come to hands and knees, taking a few rounds of cat/cow before returning to a neutral spine. Inhale the right arm up and then thread it underneath you. Coming down onto the right shoulder and right temple. Come on to the fingertips of the left hand, drawing the left shoulder blade down. Push the right arm into the floor. Make sure your hips have remained directly over the knees, and not shifted to one side or the other. The work here is all through the upper body. Switch sides.
4. Yogic Squat Standing with your feet about hip distance, turn the heels in and toes out. Drop your hips as you bend your knees. Bring the hands together at your heart, use elbows to push the knees open wider. Lengthen the spine, keeping the upper body lifted and heart shining forward.
Repeat 5 through 7 on the other side.
Yoga Classes To Increase Flexibility
Flexibility is essential for our overall health and well being. As we age, our muscles naturally lose elasticity and become less supple, which can lead to poor posture, poor circulation and injury. Increasing our flexibility decreases our risk of injuries when performing physical, everyday, activities by helping our joints move through their full range of motion and enabling blood flow to our muscles so they work most effectively.
This weeks featured classes will increase your range of motion and will create more flexibility and space in your entire body.
Dont Wait For A Workout To Work On Your Flexibility
Getting to the gym can be hard some days, so dont put off your flexibility training just because you missed a workout. Instead, do simple stretches while sitting at your desk or waiting in line at the store, says Barrett.
Benson recommends having a morning routine that includes household chores to get yourself moving. He also suggests making sure you change positions frequently throughout your day.
Even walking from one place to another is an opportunity to improve your flexibility, Benson says. Walk with a long stride versus lazily sauntering from point A to B, he recommends.
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Why We Dig Yoga So Much
Yoga workouts, especially ones targeting your weak or tight areas, are beneficial for both body and mind. Movements like plank, chaturanga, chair pose, and lunges build strength, while poses like forward fold, pigeon, and happy baby bring your body into a deep stretch.
Another major perk of yoga is that there are certain postures and stretches that can help you stretch those hard-to-reach, smaller muscle groups. So, whether youre training for a distance run, a specific sport, or your all-around fitness, there are yoga postures that can help your muscles recover and possibly boost your performance.
Aside from being totally versatile, other benefits of yoga include:
Improved quality of sleep
Balance out the body
Boost your immune system
If youre a little trepidatious about joining a yoga class, start by bookending your quick, effective 8fit HIIT workouts with a warm-up and a stretch. We suggest that you at least add a 5-minute warm-up before and follow each workout with a stretch focusing on the muscles you worked out. So, in the end, your 8-minute HIIT workout is more like a 20-minute session but, in our humble opinion, thats still pretty darn quick.
Why Is Flexibility Important
Increasing your flexibility is good for you in many ways. Some of the most important benefits include:
- Greater range of motion. Increased flexibility makes it easier to move your joints in a normal direction with less effort.
- Less muscle tension.Stretching your muscles can help release tension and tightness, making it easier to move.
- Better posture. Tight, tense muscles can lead to muscle strain and poor posture.
- Less pain. When your muscles arent tense, theres usually less stress and pressure on certain parts of your body and, as a result, less pain in your back, neck, and shoulders.
- Lower risk of injuries. Greater strength and flexibility in your muscles and joints may make you less prone to injuries.
- Less stress. When tension is released in your muscles, it may help you feel more relaxed. In turn, that may lower your stress levels.
- Improved circulation.Better blood flow may help your muscles recover more quickly after a workout and also prevent stiffness.
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Who Is 90 Days To Flexible For
This program is great for:
- Guys who are intimidated by yoga, and want a program that matches their flexibility and beginners knowledge
- Guys who want to keep up with their other workouts, and want a yoga workout schedule that doesnt take an hour every day
- People interested in learning beginner modifications, proper technique, and understanding the benefits of the postures
- Anybody who wants a specific schedule of workouts that eliminates guesswork and makes it easy to get started
This program is meant to be a path to increasing your flexibility, to give you a structured schedule of workouts you can do over the course of months and months to take you from not that flexible to maybe I can touch my toes.
One Legged Side Body Stretch
The side body is often neglected as we dont realized how tight we are there, or that we even need to stretch it. One Legged Seated Side Stretch helps open up the rib cage and provides circulation into this often forgotten area.
How to to Seated Side Stretch from Cobra Pose:
- Come to a seated position with your feet together. Straighten your right foot out in front of your with your foot flexed. Make sure your spine is straight and you are sitting tall.
- Bring your right arm by your right ankle and sweep your left arm up overhead, folding over sideways. Allow your gaze to come to your left and look up.
- Keep your left leg ground as you continue to breathe into your ribcage and folder deeper over your side, while being mindful to maintain a straight back.
- Stay here for 30 seconds as you breathe deeply.
Stretches: Side body, shoulders
Modification: Sitting upright can be difficult for many when first starting out. If you find it challenging to maintain a straight back, place a blanket underneath you to assist you. You can also choose to do a side body stretch from Easy Seat, which is one of the first yoga poses beginners learn due to its accessibility for all levels.
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Best Yoga Poses For Flexibility
You cant just become a yogi overnight, but there are plenty of in-person and online yoga classes that can help you develop a regular yoga practice to increase your flexibility. Try Vinyasa, Hatha, or Yin yoga to get started.
You can also ease into yoga by trying various poses at home. To help you get started, weve rounded up some of our fave flexibility-boosting moves below.
As with any yoga practice, flow at your own pace. Its more important to feel the benefits of the poses than to push yourself to rush through them. Dont let yourself get caught up in how you look instead, focus on how the poses make your body feel.
Try to do each pose correctly to reap max benefits and avoid injury. Repeat the poses as often as you wish, but release out of a pose ASAP if you experience any pain.
Vinyasa Flow Yoga For Flexibility
Difficulty Level: For intermediate students, or beginners who have a good endurancelevel
Duration: 1 hour
Yoga with Kassandras classes tend to be focused on flow and yin yoga, two complementary styles of yoga. I usually go for her flow classes, and this recommended video is one of them.
Although this class is titled intermediate, most of the poses arestill accessible to beginners who have some level of endurance. There areseveral poses which may be slightly more intense than the other videosrecommended, including
- Side angle bind
- Revolved triangle
- Straddle side stretches
For those who are just starting out, I suggest building up yourstamina by doing only as much as you can and increasing the time spent on thisvideo as you progress.
How do you feel after doing these stretches? If you like these routines, you may also want to check out these other sequences for your practice
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Who Is This 30 Day Yoga Challenge For
This particular 30 day yoga challenge/series that i am discussing today is created for inflexible people and the beginner practitioner.
Inflexibility can be due to lack of movement, imbalance between your lifestyle or even the skeletal structure as each and every one of us are unique.
This 30 day flexibility challenge offers accessible poses that the beginner can explore, accessible poses that inflexible people can safely increase flexibility while also offering accessible yoga poses for those who simply cannot reach a deeper stretch by utilizing props like pillows, yoga blocks, and straps.
It is for everyone, even the flexible practitioner who is looking for a more gentle practice or looking for relaxation.
Standing Forward Fold With Shoulder Opener
Here we add a shoulder stretch to your forward fold. Youll receive all the same benefits as the forward fold along with more flexible shoulders.
How to: From your standing forward fold, interlace your fingers behind your lower back. Do your best to straighten the arms and bring your arms over your head toward the floor in front. If youre not able to straighten your arms, hold a towel or strap so your arms are straight. Make sure youre moving your shoulders away from your ears, breathe as you stretch, and think about melting any tension or tightness in the shoulders and hamstrings.
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Yoga For Hip Mobility And Flexibility
Start by warming up the hips with gentle movements. Stand with the feet about shoulder-width apart and the knees slightly bent. Shift the body weight from side to side. This helps to lengthen the tissue around the hip and will also affect the knee and the ankle.
As you shift from side to side, keep the leg that you shift in straight with the quads active. Make sure that you dont rock to the outer edge of the foot but root the inner arch down instead. This maintains the safety of the joints by creating a muscular brace around the ankle, the knee, and the hip.
Keep the body weight equally distributed on both legs. This exercise will give you a nice stretch on the outer line of the thigh and, as a result, increase the flexibility of the hip. This will, in turn, give you more mobility. Repeat this movement 10 times on each side.
Warm up the hips by shifting them from side to side.
Follow this up with a pelvic movement to the front and back, i.e. an anterior and posterior tilt of the pelvis. Softly bend the knees and start to rock the pelvis front and back in a subtle manner.
Engage the back muscles to bring the pelvis into an anterior tilt first. Focus not so much on bringing the tailbone back but rather on bringing the pelvic bones forward. To tilt the pelvis posteriorly, bring the pubic bone toward the belly button and the spine into flexion. Repeat this 10 times.
Tilt your hip forward and backward.
Draw circles with the hips to increase mobility.
Practice Yoga For Flexibility These Poses Will Help You Gain Flexibility And Mobility
For all of these yoga poses, breath is key! Be sure to maintain consistent conscious breathing while youre in each pose, and also as you transition between them.
When we breathe deeply and fully, we send the signal to our body that were safe. As a result, were able to access the stretch deeply and safely.
Remember to modify, and use yoga props!! Yoga props are your friend and can be an excellent aid in helping you increase flexibility.
Take your time and know that flexibility does not happen overnight! It takes time, patience, and also consistency. Continue practicing these yoga poses for flexibility and note your progress over time.
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Yoga For Men: Get Into A Better Physical Condition
A recent Harris poll suggests that men now make up 23 percent of 15 million yoga enthusiasts in America. These guys have discovered that taking one yoga class per week or doing a couple of pre-workout poses can increase endurance, build strength, prevent injuries, and may even stave off heart disease. Men are more into sports and other physical activities that build muscle mass and add to the bodys tightness. Practicing yoga helps offset physical irregularities resulting from these tasks. Yoga loosen the tightness in the muscles, resulting in flexibility which helps men perform better and indulge longer in physical activities. Yoga is a full-body workout that creates not only flexibility but also strength which lessens the possibility of injuries caused by sports and similar physical endeavors.
Is Yoga Fix Beginner Friendly
This is an intermediate program, but would still be considered beginner-friendly if youre already in pretty good shape. Theres a moderate amount of instruction with sufficient guidance on proper technique, but not as much as a tutorial-focused program. So, if youre an absolute bare-bones beginner, this program might not be for you.
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Three Legged Dog/eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana
Stretches: calves, hamstrings, shoulders, spine
- Alternate between flexing your right foot and pointing your toes several times.
- Return to Downward-Facing Dog and repeat on the other side.
- Focus on the length of your spine rather than on straightening your leg.
- Keep your body level dont dump all the weight on the left side.
- Keep your neck and jaw relaxed.
How Long Does It Take To Improve Flexibility With Yoga
Yoga practice is called a practice for a reason.
Theres no destination that youre heading to. Theres also no time frame or deadline that you should be meeting. Instead, theres constant self-improvement and small achievements on the way.
The time it takes you to get more flexible will depend on a range of factors: age and sex, current mobility and strength, daily activity, past injuries. Even genetic predisposition. We all have different bodies with our own individual characteristics.
Youll probably see the most significant changes in your body during the first 5-6 weeks of consistent yoga practice. With commitment and dedication, your flexibility will continue increasing as long as you practice.
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Move More Often To Stay Healthier
There truly is a variety of flexibility exercises you can do, Travers says.
And like with all other exercises, if you can find a few you enjoy youll reap the benefits of having an easy, go-to routine that will become like second nature. Knowing how to stay flexible can make you feel better, help you move more easily and prevent joint pain and muscle tension down the road.
Yoga For Flexibility: Faq
How often should I do these yoga poses to improve my flexibility?
The best yoga pose for increasing flexibility is the one you do regularly. Dont expect fast results overnight.
Consistency and regular practice are essential.
Strive for at least 10 minutes of yoga every day to loosen up the body. Do a full yoga session with longer holds at least 2-3 times a week to see the results as soon as possible.
How long should I hold each pose?
Whatever you feel like. Every day is different from another, and your body might feel very open at one point and super stiff at another.
In general, I suggest you start out by holding each pose for about 2-3 full breaths and increase the number of breaths over time.
Short holds are great for quick morning yoga routines to limber the body and prepare for the day. Longer holds are better after a workout or in the evening when your muscles and joints are warm.
How long does it take to improve flexibility with yoga?
It depends on many factors: your age, gender, current fitness level, even genetics. Many reasons can negatively impact your flexibility gains.
For example, lack of strength and joint stability is one of the most common reasons for the lack of flexibility. So make sure to not only lengthen the muscles but to stiffen them by adding a strength-building routine to your schedule.
What should I feel in the poses? How do I know Im stretching enough?
Never go for teeth-gritting pain. Well, any pain whatsoever.
It depends on:
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Seated Eagle Pose/garudasana Variation
Stretches: chest, shoulders
- Begin in a comfortable seated position.
- Breathe in and extend your arms to the sides with elbows bent and fingertips pointing up.
- Exhale and wrap your arms, bringing your left arm under the right one. Press firmly into your palms.
- Keep your elbows at about shoulder height. You can gently lift and lower your arms to find the stretch that works for you.
- Unwrap the arms.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Stay upright and avoid rounding forward.
- Keep your forearms away from the face.
- If you cant wrap your wrists, simply bring your hands across and place them on your shoulders as if youre giving yourself a hug.