I never considered myself as a flexible person, neither did I start yoga to become more flexible. In fact, before starting yoga I use to do a lot of weight training with no stretching which lead to some problems in my lower back. About 2 years in with casual yoga I was playing around at a gym after warming up and decided to try the half split. It felt so easy that I was like “oh, I might as well try the full thing.” The closest I had ever gotten to a split until that date was like a meter from the ground. So I slide my front leg to the front and boom. There I was I was doing the splits and I couldn’t believe it!
Yoga really does increase your flexibility fast even if its not your goal! Personally I no longer have pain in my lower back and my energy levels are so much higher every day compared to before yoga too.
TRAINING TYPE: FLOW SEQUENCE
SUBCATEGORY:FLEXIBILITY & STRENGTH
PLANNED TIME:10-15 MINUTES
How You Can Improve Flexibility Fast !
Start applying flexibility in your life daily. As in, on top of your stretching routine that you’ve created to yourself sit in Garland pose when waiting or for example eating. It is actually our natural resting pose but we have lost it thanks to the western invention: chairs. Do some warming up straight when you start moving and stretch your stiff parts one minute each. It really is about the constancy on how often you do it and whether you do it well each time. As you do anything, you do everything. Prioritize stretching, I’m pretty sure that each one of us have 5-10 minutes each day to take care of our bodies. 🙂
“Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape.” -Michael McGriffy
Join me on this short but effective flow to improve your flexibility! This is a sequence designed for all level practitioners. Increase your blood flow, stretch your muscles, gain clarity and improve flexibility!
6 Poses To Improve Flexibility Infographic
Big Toe Pose - Padangusthasana
You might need a block or a strap for this sequence, so keep them handy. Starting from standing in Mountain Pose, inhale, jump or walk you feet so that they are hip width apart. Place your hands on hips, pull the kneecaps up by activating legs, inhale, gaze up and lift chest and with an exhale start folding forward from your hips. Grab onto your big toes with your peace fingers. If you can not grab your toes, grab a strap, place it underneath your feet and hold onto the strap.
Remember to keep a slight bend in your knees so that they are not locked. Inhale, straighten back and look up. Exhale, move the crown of your head towards the floor, bend elbows to the sides. Bend knees if necessary. Stay for five breaths.
Extended Triangle Pose - Utthita Trikonasana
Place hands on hips. Inhale, looked up with a straight spine. Make a step to the right, right foot parallel to the edge of the mat, left heel turned inwards. Exhale, lift arms parallel to the floor and reach out over right foot and bend down. Lift left arm up, following it with your gaze. Now, there are a few different variations in here. You can either grab onto your toes with your peace fingers, place the hand on the floor, place it on a block or on your shin wherever you reach. It is important to not to put much weight on it, you should basically be able to hold yourself up without the support of the hand.
Use your core. Tuck your pelvis in opening it to the front. Open your chest and make sure your legs are straight. Engage your inner thighs and your abdominal muscles. Stay for five breaths. Inhale come up slowly. Exhale, do the other side. Inhale come up, keeping your arms to the sides.
Pose Dedicated to the Sage Marichi A - Marichyasana A
Start sitting on your mat coming into Staff pose. Exhale, bend your right knee and bring your feet close to your groin. Be careful if your knee hurts don’t force it. Keep the left leg active, toes pointing towards you. Inhale reach your right arm up to the sky and exhale, wrap it around your right leg and grab the left wrist behind your back.
If you can not reach your arm, use a strap. Make sure your both sitting bones are still on the ground. If they are rising up, stay here. If they are firmly on the ground continue with me. Exhale bring your chin towards the shin of the left leg, lengthening forward. Inhale, head up, look up. Exhale bend even deeper. Bow down, recognizing the ray of light that shines within you. Hold for five breaths. Inhale come up. Exhale release. Inhale switch sides.
Bridge Pose - Setu Bandhasana
Lowering yourself to the ground, coming to lay on your back. Bend your knees and walk your feet close to your glutes. Make sure your weight is equally distributed on both your feet and that your legs are hips distance apart. Place arms beside your body, reach fingers touching heels. Make sure your knees do not fall to the sides here. Roll shoulders slightly underneath yourself and with an inhale start pushing your hips up to the sky. Interlace fingers behind your back and press your forearms to the ground, giving yourself a slight push higher.
If it is hard for you to keep your knees together you can place a block in between them and keep pushing it whilst lifting up. Stay for five breaths. Exhale lowering down, hugging feet into chest. Rocking on your back.
Tricep Stretch in Easy Pose - Sukhasana
Sit comfortably with your spine straight cross legged in Easy Pose. Inhale, raise your right arm up and bend it so that your fingers touch in between your shoulder blades. Exhale. Inhale raise the left arm up and place hand on right elbow, and gently push your arm back. Stay here for five breaths and switch sides. Roll your neck a couple times and give yourself a hug.
Featured Video: Stretching Routine To Increase Flexibility
How You Can Become More Flexible in One Week
There are many types of flexibility exercises. Becoming flexible in a sustainable way takes time.But here are some tips on how to increase your flexibility fast and see improvements in a week. Define where do you want to become more flexible. Is it your upper or lower body? Both? More hamstrings than quads? Make a plan. Create a sequence and time to follow that sequence of stretches each week.
Biomechanist Michael Rowley recommends you to do the stretches about 6 times a week, each one for about 30-60 seconds. In this video with the contortionist Sofie Dossi where they break down what stretching does to your body. Eat well and hydrate your body properly. Being hydrated and having a well nourished body will support you in this.