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Yoga, they say, is not about touching your toes;it's about what you learn on your way down. Whoever said this might be referring to the pull you feel in your hamstrings when you tried touching your toes for the first time. It's tough.
Often in our lives we get so busy that we rarely have an exercise routine, let alone maintain one. The result is not very good. The agility of the body goes for a toss, and without constant use and practice, the joints and muscles stiffen up. It can be really frustrating to realize how inactivity has made you loose even the basic range of motion. Try to bend forward at the hips, squat down deeply, and clasp the hands behind the back. Difficult, isn’t it?
Why do I need to be flexible?
Flexibility is not something you can live without. It is a basic requirement and its known benefits include
1. Reduced risk to Injury. Tight muscles often lead to an abnormal walk and gait which makes a person prone to injuries. Also, the weak muscles are not used to weight bearing so any abnormal amount of load gets transferred to tendons or ligaments, which will surely give way to injury.
2. Reduced body pains. Improved flexibility automatically improves your posture. A better posture ensures you do not experience that neck pain or the stiff neck.
3. Increased agility. Once your body supports you, you do not need to postpone that hiking trip or the mountain biking you wanted to try out. Being active is fun again.
4. Improved Sleep. With just 15 minutes of pre-sleep yoga, you are bound to sleep well. This could be the cure to your long standing insomnia as well.
How to Yoga?
Yoga is a perfect exercise regime. The poses are designed so as to allow both strength training as well as ensure a good circulation. Here are a few poses which you can do to improve your flexibility
1. Supta Padangustasana
You will have to stand on the floor, holding your big toe with your hand extended to the opposite side.In case your hamstrings are tight, hold a strap looped around the left sole.
This is a complete straight forward bend. It is a simple way to stretch your hamstrings. Make sure to keep your legs straight and try to touch your knees with your head.
3. Utthita Trikonasana
Reach to the ground with your legs straightened as much as possible. The trick here is to straighten up your front leg, even if it means your hand can't reach the floor. However, ensure that you do not put any pressure on your leg. Use a block if required.
4. Upavistha Konasana
This is a wide-legged position with a forward bend. It is a good way to stretch the insides of the thighs and the spine. It is not advisable in back injuries.
Our body is the one temple we reside in for our lives. Being entrapped in a body that is not flexible can feel much of a burden. As children, we are always occupied in a myriad activities and it ensures we maintain a range of motion. The responsibilities of adulthood take a lot of it away. Yet, not all is lost. With a routine and an everyday will, you can manage to get back your flexibility; and it does NOT take years.
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