04 Oct Using Yoga to enhance flexibility
Using Yoga to enhance flexibility
Yoga is a way of life. Using Yoga to enhance flexibility starts with following essential life principles in daily life. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali elaborates key guidelines. Follow these life basics for peace of mind and mental flexibility. Five crucial rules to live yoga as a way of life—
- Ahimsa or Non-Violence of words thought, deeds and action
- Satya always speak the truth
- Asteya is non-stealing
- Aparigraha, stop hoarding things. Use only things you require
- Brahmacharya moderation in all things
Using yoga to enhance flexibility requires dedication and hard work. Self-discipline and daily yoga practice is the key.
For beginners in yoga simple stretches or Sahajbhava asanas will help for flexibility- Poor lifestyle choices, and due to neglect, one feels pain and stiffness in the body (especially in the joints) which gradually diminishes the flexibility of the body. Always start your daily yoga practice with Sahajbhava Asanas. This technique readies the body, creates awareness of the breath and helps to keep the mind attentive.
Simple Sahajbhava Asanas (Warm up or stretching exercises) but powerful yoga practice to enhance flexibility. Mindfulness is the key.
Head and Neck yoga stretches:
- Gently inhale; now slowly drop your head towards your left shoulder (without lifting the shoulder.) Exhaling, bring the head back to the centre. Repeat the same on the other side. Now, return to the centre.
- Inhaling, tilt the head backwards without moving the shoulders or your body. Move upward after titling backwards gaze at the ceiling. Exhaling, bring the head down tucking the chin into the throat cavity. Inhaling, come back to the centre.
- Inhaling, turn the head to look towards the right side. Exhaling, come to the centre. Repeat the same on the other side.
Shoulders yoga stretches:
- Your hands will be by your sides. Inhaling, try to lift the shoulders towards the ears and form a “cup”. Now exhaling, relax both the shoulders.
- Staring position will be hands on the side. Practise shoulder rotations both at once or do it individually.
Hands & Elbow yoga Stretches:
- Clasp your hands in front of the chest; interlacing the fingers and palms facing towards the chest. Now inhaling, stretch those outwards, keeping hands parallel to the floor. Exhaling, bring them towards the chest.
- Interlacing the fingers above the head and palms facing down. Inhaling, slowly stretch them upwards, keep the elbows straight elbows. Exhaling, bending the elbows bring the hands down.
- Form a Namaskara Mudra at the back. Breathe normally. Maintain the posture for 5 seconds.
Wrists yoga exercises:
- Raise hands in front, keep them at shoulder level. Make a fist and rotate just the fist–first clockwise and then repeat the same with anti-clockwise movement.
- Keeping the arms straight at shoulder level and flap the palms up and down.
Trunk yoga exercises:
- Stand straight, with 20-24 inches distance between the feet and hands on the waist. Gazing ahead, try to bend the trunk to the right, while inhaling. The hips and legs should be fixed, try to curve the spine. Now, exhaling return towards the centre. Repeat the same on the other side.
- Gazing ahead, inhaling try to bend backwards, while arching the spine. Keep the hips and legs stationary, only curve the spine. Exhaling, come back to the centre and bend forward. Finish the round by inhaling and return to the centre.
Knees yoga exercises:
- Stand erect, back straight and eyes gazing straight ahead. Gently tighten both the knees and then relax them. Repeat the same few times.
- Stand erect, back straight and eyes gazing straight ahead, balance the body on the left leg. Now, exhaling bend the right knee. Inhaling, bring it down.
- Now repeat, the same on the other side bending the left knee.
Ankles yoga exercises:
- Stand erect, back straight and eyes gazing straight ahead. Stretch your right leg in front of you and rotate the right ankle thrice in a clockwise direction then thrice in an anticlockwise direction.
- Repeat the same with the left leg.
Every yoga asana inspired by nature improves flexibility. Recommending few yoga asanas that can enhance your flexibility from the comfort of your home.
- Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations)
- Talasana (Palm Tree Pose)
- Parvatasana (Mountain Pose)
- Yastikasana (Stick Pose)
- Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Spinal twist)
- Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
- Chakrasana (The Wheel Pose)