Watching people perform wonder struck movements such as twisting the foot over the head, grabbing ankles like its nothing, doing a full-split while smiling, and things like that make several individuals yearn for a flexible body. Being supple and flexible not only helps us turn into a pretzel with ease, flexibility is also helpful in avoiding injury and restricting damage to various muscle groups and joints in the body. In addition, easily stretched muscles achieve full range of motion and can help prevent balance problems, backache and arthritis in people. Incorporate the art of yoga into your daily lifestyle, a wonderful combination of stretching and relaxation that amplifies your flexibility and improves your balance.
Practice these eight yoga poses to enhance your flexibility and well being:
Standing Forward Fold Pose (Uttanasana): Stand upright on a yoga mat with feet close to each other. Take a deep breath and raise your arms overhead. Upon exhalation; bend forward at the hip, reaching your arms to the floor and keeping your back straight. Place your palms beside each foot on the ground. Rest your nose and forehead on the thighs. Keep breathing and hold the pose for 30 seconds.
Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana): Come on your knees and palms on a yoga mat. Keep your knees under your hips and wrists aligned with your shoulders. Keep your palms parallel to the floor with fingers spread and toes curled inwards. Exhale and lift your knees away from the yoga mat. Slowly, raise your thighs off the floor, straighten your legs. Bring your body into an upside down ‘V’ position. Align your head with your upper arms, but do not let it hang. Gaze softly at the navel. Remain in this pose for 15-30 seconds.
Child Pose (Balasana): Kneel on the ground and keep your feet hip-width apart. Sit back with your posterior on your heels. As you breathe in, lean forward draping your torso over your thighs. Rest your chest on the thighs and forehead on the floor. Keep your arms extended to the front. Hold the pose for 30 -60 seconds.
Crescent Pose (Anjaneyasana): Begin with downward facing dog pose. Upon exhalation; step your right foot forward and bend your right knee at 90-degree angle. Straighten your left leg behind and align your heel with your toes. Square your hips to the mat and keep them parallel to the floor. Raise your arms up and keep them perpendicular to the floor. Hold the pose for 15 seconds.
Chair Pose (Utkatasana): Begin in mountain pose. Inhale; raise your arm up toward the ceiling and keep them perpendicular to the floor. Lower your hips to the ground and shift your weight onto your heels. There will be a slight bend in your knees and upper back. Hold the pose for 30 seconds.
Half Spinal Twist Pose ( Ardha Matsyendrasana): Sit tall on a yoga mat with legs stretched in front of you. Fold your left leg and place the heel beside your right hip. Cross your right leg over your left knee. Place your left hand on the outer edge of your right knee and keep your right hand behind your right hip. Turn your torso and head to the right and look over your right shoulder. Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds.
Hero Pose (Virasana): Kneel on a yoga mat and spread your feet 2-3 inches apart. Keep your thighs perpendicular to the floor. Upon exhalation; slightly lean your torso forward as you sit on your hips. Keep your heels alongside your hips and align your feet with your shins. Rest your hands on your thighs and hold the pose for 30 seconds.
Butterfly Pose (Baddha Konasana): Sit on the ground with stretched legs and arms by your side. Grab the heels and bring them near to your pelvic region. Touch the outer edges of your feet together. Let the knees drop open wide at your side. Hold the feet with your palms and move the knees up and down. Remain in this pose for 20-30 seconds.
Practice these eight yoga poses to increase pliancy which is a key component in maintaining the overall health and well being.
Author Bio: Manmohan Singh is a passionate Yogi, Yoga Teacher and a Traveller in India. He provides yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, India. He loves writing and reading the books related to yoga, health, nature and the Himalayas. For more information about him visit his website.