When you started your yoga practice, you likely had weight loss or tension release in mind. You may not have expected to stick with yoga as long as you have or to want more out of your yoga practice. One of the benefits you may want to gain from your yoga practice is to improve your flexibility. If this is your goal, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are some tips to get you started.
Increase Bends and Arches
One of the easiest ways to improve your flexibility through yoga is to increase the poses that use bends and arches. For example, downward facing dog is a great pose to start with. You start off with your body in a bent position making a reversed V shape with your body. Your rear is the point of the triangle or V. You are stretched at your arms and at your legs. This helps improve flexibility over time by being able to increase the stretch and the move by bringing your hands and feet closer together over time. You can do this technique with other poses and asanas as well. Some of these include any of your forward or reverse bends and your rocking boat and bridge techniques.
Move Away from the Wall
Some asanas have you using a wall as a wall sit or as a backup for your legs. The problem with this is that you don’t really work your leg muscles or back muscles. This means you do not get the flexibility you are looking for or want. The wall gives your body a backup so you are resting against the wall rather than using your muscles fully. Move away from the wall and start using your own muscles and body to hold the position. You will notice more flexibility and you will also be working your core.
Use Bricks and Straps
When you first start out working on your flexibility you may get discouraged quickly, especially with yoga. What you will find is that you aren’t able to keep your legs or arms stretched as much as you thought. Instead of getting discouraged, use bricks and straps. With straps you can start with a certain length on the strap and shorten that length overtime or remove the strap completely. With bricks you can start with them in the highest position on their side and slowly move the brick to the other side, laying down, and finally removed once you are able to stretch to the full extent of the move.
If you use these tips to help with your flexibility, then you will start to see improvement. Though flexibility does come with routine yoga practice and with changing your routine as needed, it will come with patience. Just remember that it will take time and work.