1. Gate Pose:
The gate pose is one of the most common poses used for stretching your spine during yoga practice. It helps to release tension in your lower back and improves posture and flexibility. You may have heard about it before when you were doing some yoga class or even from other yogis but never really thought much about it until now!
Gate pose is done lying on your stomach with your legs crossed behind you and both feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on either side of your head and place them against each leg so that they are resting against the top of the thighs. With a slight bend in your knees, lift up into a sitting position while keeping all of these muscles engaged throughout this movement. Hold for 15 seconds then slowly return to starting position without lifting up off the ground or bending down any further.
Repeat 10 times.
2. Side Stretch:
In order to stretch out your sides, you need to lie on your back with both arms extended straight ahead and your palms facing forward. Keep your chest up and keep breathing normally throughout this stretch. Slowly move your right arm toward the ceiling while keeping the left hand still on the floor. Now slowly bring both arms together and rotate them around 90 degrees clockwise (away from you) while maintaining a relaxed breath pattern throughout this action.
Hold this position for 15 seconds then slowly return back to the starting position. Repeat with your other arm and then perform the same exercise but rotate your arms counter-clockwise (toward you). This will be done in 3 sets of 15 seconds on each side.
3. Triangle Pose:
The triangle pose is one of the most common poses to stretch out the sides of your body and the front of your hips. Start off in a standing position with your arms at your sides and your feet together. Slowly move your right leg out to the side while lifting it up a few inches off of the floor. Bend the left leg slightly and keep your body upright while keeping both hands at your sides.
Now slowly lean forward from the hips without bending either of your legs and reach for your toe. Hold this position steadily for 15 seconds then return to starting position without dropping your leg down or moving it back. Hold this position for 15 seconds and then switch legs and repeat this process with the other leg. You will be doing this in 3 sets and each leg will get 2 sets of 10 seconds.
4. Downward Facing Dog:
To perform this pose, you will start off in a hands and knees position with your fingers pointing toward your toes and your back flat. Now slowly push your hips up towards the ceiling and arch your back with your head between your arms. Hold this position steadily for 15 seconds then slowly move back into the hands and knees position while making sure to keep all of your muscles engaged throughout this movement. Hold this position for 15 seconds then slowly release back into a seated position.
Hold this position for 15 seconds then repeat these steps as many times as you need in order to feel the effects of this pose.
5. Child’s Pose:
To perform this exercise you will start off in a sitting position with your legs extended straight out in front of you and your arms at your sides. Gently bend your knees and place the soles of your feet together as you slowly push your bottom back between your feet and extend your arms forward toward the floor. Now slowly bring your forehead toward the floor while keeping both hands on the outside of each foot. Hold this position for 15 seconds and then slowly rise back up to the seated position while making sure to keep your arms forward and your body in straight line.
Hold this position for 15 seconds and then repeat this process as many times as you need in order for you to feel the effects of this pose.
If these exercises were performed correctly, you should feel your muscles becoming more flexible than they were before you started. It is important to keep in mind that the most important part of any exercise routine is listening to your body. If you feel pain, you should always reduce the amount of pressure that you are applying. Pain does not lead to gain it only leads to injury and no one wants that.
When doing any stretching routine it is also important to remember not to bounce. Any good stretch should be held for at least 15 seconds before the muscle is relaxed. If you were able to hold the stretch for this long then you have reached the muscles maximum potential for that day and any more could cause injury rather than improve flexibility.
Now that you know how to improve flexibility, you can try some of these exercises out for yourself. Remember that the key to becoming more flexible is to listen to your body. Do not push yourself too hard, or else you might end up with an injury. If any of these exercises cause you pain then stop doing them immediately and try again when you are feeling better.
As with anything else, flexibility can be improved over time with dedication and hard work. Do not get discouraged if you do not see fast results, just keep trying and eventually you will get there. You will soon be able to perform stretching routines without any problems at all.
Sources & references used in this article:
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