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Improve Flexibility With Yoga Exercises

By Edited Aug 7, 2016 1 2

Improve Flexibility with Yoga Exercises

Improve Flexibility with Yoga Exercises

Yoga is an age old form of stretching exercises that incorporates breathing exercises, various body positions and meditation for improved overall health and wellness. Stretching helps to elongate muscles and will improve flexibility, stress and tension.

By starting a yoga program at any age, you can look and feel better within your body, mind and soul. Follow a few yoga exercises to help to stretch the arms, legs, feet, abdomen, back and spine and hands so that they stay functional, limber and allow easier movements.

Many people that suffer from conditions that limit mobility can greatly benefit from yoga such as those with arthritis notice an almost immediate improvement in the pain, stiffness, rigidity and flexibility of their bones, joints, muscles and tendons.

Simple Stretching Yoga Exercises

Standing Poses

Standing straight with feet spread to shoulder width, raise the left hand to the right side above head to feel a stretch in the upper arms, shoulder and neck. Never force a stretch, simply reach as far as possible within a comfortable range. Inhale deeply while stretching and exhale while returning back to the standing straight position. Repeat on the other side.

Standing with feet spread apart to width of shoulders again, reach right arm and hand around back to left side and twist until a gentle stretch is felt through the arm and waist. Hold for a count of 10 while taking slow deep breaths. Repeat to the other side.

Bend at waist to reach for the toes, ankles or shin area to stretch the hamstrings and lower back. Breathe in and out deeply to a count of 10 and return to a standing position.

Sitting Poses

Sitting with legs outstretched in front of your body, stretch to reach the toes, ankles or shin whichever is most comfortable. Reach head down as close to knees as possible, hold while taking 10 deep breaths in and out to stretch and improve flexibility of the legs, back and shoulders.

Sitting straight up, hold abdominal muscles in tightly while reaching the left hand and arm around to the right side behind back. Place hand firmly on the floor to stretch the arm, waist, shoulder and back. Count to 10 slowly as you take deep breaths. Repeat to the other side.

While still sitting with legs outstretched, place both palms of hands on the floor with fingers facing backwards. Lift upper body off the floor using the arm strength while reaching the head backwards to look up to the ceiling. Hold this stretch for a count of 10 while deep breathing. Return to sitting position and repeat entire stretch again.

Bend knees and cross legs so that each ankle touches or almost touches the backside. Keep back straight while using the palms of the hands to press gently on each knee area. Press until you feel a gentle stretch of the knee and inner thigh area. Take 10 deep breaths as you hold this position. Return to sitting position and repeat this stretching pose once more.

Improve Flexibility with Yoga Exercises

Kneeling Poses

Yoga Exercises

Kneel on the floor and place both palms on the floor in front of your body. Lower the chest area to the hands and gently raise the head upward until a comfortable stretch is felt. Hold for a count of 10 as you deep breathe in and out.

Keeping hands firmly on the floor as you lift the upper body while you arch it and hold while deep breathing for a count of 10. Release and return to a straight back position. Repeat several times to stretch the back and neck.

With hands firmly on the floor and back straight, reach the right leg behind you and lift gently to feel a comfortable stretch. Hold to a count of 10 while deep breathing and then repeat with the left leg.

Bring the right knee in front of the body and then outstretch the right leg straight out to the right side of the body to stretch the feet, legs and buttocks. Repeat 10 times while breathing in and out slowly. Switch sides and repeat with the left leg.

Lying Down Poses

Lay down flat on your back. Lift one leg so that the knee touches the chest and hold for a count of 10 while deep breathing. Gently release and repeat with the other leg to feel a stretch in the knee and hamstring area.

Lie down on your back again, lift the right leg over the body and touch the floor with the knee. Hold this stretch for a count of 10 and take 10 deep breaths slowly in and out to stretch the legs. Repeat with the left leg stretching to the right side.

Yoga to improve flexibility and reduce pain

As you progress with yoga exercises and become more flexible, lie on back and lift legs up and over head so that the toes touch the floor. Hold for a count of 10 while deep breathing slowly in and out to stretch the buttocks, hamstrings, back and neck.

Lie down flat on your back with arms outstretched to the sides. Point toes and stretch the feet and legs as you breathe in and out, holding the stretch to a count of 10.

Lie down flat with hands placed under the buttocks. Lift legs at the same time only a few inches and hold to a count of 10. Take deep breaths in and out as you strengthen the leg muscles.

Lie on the floor with face down. Lift the upper body with both arms as you stretch the neck by looking upward. Hold this stretch for a count of 10 while taking deep breaths.

Begin to sit up by resting buttocks on the back of the feet. Lean the upper body forward and reach arms out as far as possible for a gentle yet comfortable stretch while counting to 10 and taking deep breaths. Return to upward position and repeat this back, arms and hands stretch.

Improve Flexibility with Yoga Exercises

Ending Yoga Session

Yoga Meditation for health and wellness

Sit up straight with legs crossed at knees. Place hands in lap and stay in this ending yoga position for 5-10 minutes while clearing the mind and focusing on deep breathing.

Purchase a Yoga DVD online if a more visual explanation is needed for these yoga exercises and stretches.

Continuing to repeat yoga exercises several times a week will improve your strength and flexibility while reducing pain and discomfort of many conditions. As an added bonus, yoga will assist in toning the body and aids in weight loss.

Find more information on yoga and exercise:



Photos: www.istockphoto.com



Sep 29, 2010 1:28am
wow great article Cindy, I'm just getting into yoga - this is a great resource.
Sep 29, 2010 8:30am
Thanks AJ, I think you'll love yoga the more you do it. It's addicting:)
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