If you want to concentrate on increasing flexibility and strength, yoga is a great way to do it. Along with maintaining the flexibility and priming the muscle for intense physical activity, yoga is also great for mental well-being and lymphatic and digestive health.
How Yoga is Beneficial in Improving Flexibility?
It is not necessary that you should be flexible to do yoga. Yoga itself is capable of improving your flexibility. Just a little practice is required to enjoy the benefits of yoga for flexibility and strength.
Yoga stresses in achieving better mind-body connection for the overall awareness of the areas, which hold tension in the body.
Yoga helps in identifying the tight areas in the body and slowly relaxes them. For example, if you are not able to bend forward, maybe your hamstrings are responsible, not your back. Regular yoga can help to figure out the areas in the body which need attention and helps bring in flexibility and strength.
Some of the yoga asanas to improve flexibility are:
This yoga pose is also known as cobbler pose or the butterfly pose and is of great benefit in improving flexibility and strength. To perform the Baddha Konasana yoga pose, sit erect with the legs stretched out. Pull the heels towards the pelvis, and let the knees drop to the side. Lower the thighs towards the floor. Hold this pose for a few minutes. Relax and lift the knees.
This yoga asana works on both the shoulder and hip flexibility. The twisted legs reach out for the hips and the arms give you a stretch across the upper body; thus benefiting by improving your flexibility.
Sucirandhrasana is a great yoga pose to improve the flexibility of the hips. If you are a beginner, just start by crossing one ankle onto the opposite thigh. You can go further by lifting the bottom of the leg from the ground. Stop when you feel a good stretch. Practice Sucirandhrasana for improving flexibility and strength of the body.
Bridge pose is a great way to get a good stretch to the shoulders. Make sure you tuck each shoulder when the hips are lifted up to enhance your flexibility with this yoga asana.
In this yoga asana, the hands are clasped behind the back. If the hands do not reach back you can use a belt, a strap, or a towel to make up for the distance between the hands. This yoga pose helps in increasing this strength and flexibility of your back.
How is Yoga Beneficial in Improving Strength?
Yoga can actually help you improve strength. There are many yoga postures which stress on strength building, such as holding the plank position for long or the downward dog position, or upward dog position.
If done correctly nearly all the yoga poses build core strength in the deep abdominal muscles.
Few of the yoga poses, which help improve strength are:
Navasana is a yoga pose which engages your core completely and also requires sufficient core strength. This yoga pose strengthens the abdomen and spine. The abdominal muscles get toned and tightened if Navasana is done regularly. Navasana also strengthens the lower back muscles.
Utkatasana involves sitting on an imaginary chair. This yoga pose helps stabilize the knees and strengthen the thighs. It might seem easy to do this yoga pose, but an immense effort is required to sustain the pose. Utkatasana is a perfect asana to make the legs and ankles strong.
Padanguathasana involves bending your torso towards the feet making your palm touch the toes. This yoga asana benefits by strengthening your bones, spine and legs.
This is a back bending yoga asana and strengthens the vertebral column and arms. To perform it, you need to lie down on the floor, with the torso facing downwards. Raise your head towards the back and raise the legs upwards along with the arms rising parallel above the ground. Salabhasana works on increasing the overall body strength. Salabhasana strengthens the body and relieves the fatigue and tension.
This is a lower body strengthening asana, which works on legs, knees and the ankles. While performing this yoga asana, the legs are stretched wide apart. The right foot is turned out and then you bend on the right hip and horizontally stretch your arms making a vertical line. The face is turned upwards. The pose also strengthens the hips, calves and the buttocks.
The Multiple Benefits of Yoga
The following yoga benefits helps you in deciding a regular yoga routine is actually very good for you.
- Yoga promotes the hip hinge movement.
- Yoga improves flexibility of the body.
- Yoga provides strength training.
- Yoga also promotes good posture.
- Regular yoga improves heart, lymphatic and mental health.
Yoga is a multipurpose beneficial exercise routine, which is often overlooked by the athletic community. A regular practice of Yoga can help you become more flexible, stronger and much more balanced. With this article, hopefully many become aware of the yoga benefits for flexibility and strength.