Yoga Stretching Flexibility Techniques


It has been proven that stretching help increase flexibility of the body and performance of the muscles and decreases the risk of muscle injuries. Traditionally stretching was done during cool down; after a workout, but it is now recommended that one should even do stretching as an activity in itself apart from cardio or strength training. It should take not more than 10 minutes to complete a full body stretch. Stretching is known to enhance the range of motion of the body parts. People who stretch more are known to have a high degree of flexibility. Some of the benefits of stretching are as given below:

Increase in the range of motion of the body parts
Increased physical fitness
Reduced risk of injuries during work out
Decreased muscular soreness and muscular tension
A few stretching techniques are listed below:

Forward /Backward bending: Stand upright with both legs together. Raise both your hands above your head. Slowly bend downwards to touch your feet with your fingertips. Hold this position for a few seconds and slowly go back to the starting position. Repeat 3-4 times. This increases the flexibility of the body.

Side bending: Stand with legs apart and arms stretched wide apart and palm facing downwards. Bend towards one side with the hand on that side touching the foot on the same side and the hand on the opposite side curled over your head and pointing in the same direction as the other hand. Feel the stretch on the waist and hold the position for a few seconds. Repeat for other side. Repeat 8-10 times. This also increases the flexibility of the body.

Cobra pose: Lie flat on your stomach with hands beside your chest, legs straight. Slowly raise the upper part of your body with your face towards the ceiling. Try to maintain an angle of 70 degrees between the ground and the upper part of the body. Hold this position for a few seconds. Feel the stretch at your abdomen and the lower back. Concentrate on your breathing. Draw your breath in as you stretch, and exhale as you come down. Slowly go back to the starting position. Repeat 3-4 times. After a few days, try to hold the stretch for as longer times. This is a yoga pose and is known to relieve back pain and work on the tummy.

Calf stretch: Stand on a step on the front half part of your feet. Raise yourself and try to shift the weight completely on the toes. Feel the stretch on the calves. Slowly lower yourself and go slightly below the starting position and again feel the stretch on the calves. Return back to normal position. Repeat 3-4 times. This strengthens the calves.

Apart from the above, there are various other techniques for various parts of the body. One is free to select the exercises one feels comfortable with. A judicious mix of these would make the body more flexible and boost the immunity.

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