Yoga. If you haven’t already given into the hype, it might be on your list of things to do in the near future. Getting into the activity can have a huge number of benefits on the way you look and feel, helping you to destress, build strength and work out your body like never before. What about those people who lack flexibility, though? While yoga might look like a sport for the already supple, it can be picked up by practically anyone; the trick is to know which moves to use to your advantage.
- Chest and Back Stretcher
First things first, you need to focus on opening up your upper body. So much of what is essential to yoga is focused in this area, so making sure it is flexible and supple can help you out a huge amount. Sitting on a chair with your feet planted on the floor, raise your arms to shoulder height whilst keeping your elbows bent. Next, draw back your elbows to the center of your back and breathe deeply. In the opposite direction, move your arms into your chest and curl them around your body as if you were giving yourself a hug. A few repetitions of this complete movement can open up your chest and back and help to give your muscles a good stretch, too!
- Standing Body Twist
Moving your attention downwards, it’s time to get more of your body involved in the movement. Stand facing a chair with your feet a hip’s width apart, placing your right foot on the surface of the chair. Keeping your right hand resting on your right hip, bring your left hand across to touch the side of your right knee. Following the movement back to the center, bring your left hand back to rest on your left hip and place your right hand on your right knee. Repeat the movement on the opposite side and breathe deeply.
- One Leg Stretch
Giving your hamstrings a good stretch can really make all the difference to your flexibility, so it pays to get in there early with this one. Using a yoga mat, lie faceup on the floor, positioning yourself in a doorframe. Keep your right leg resting against the ground and move your left heel up to rest against the wall. Hold this pose for 20 to 30 seconds, breathing deeply while you do so. After your left leg is stretched out, you can turn your attention to your right leg.