More Yoga Poses For The Non-Flexible
If you read last week’s article, you know that there are certain yoga poses you can do to enjoy the health benefits of the exercise—even if you lack flexibility. Whether you’re preparing to take a class for the first time or simply enjoy yoga on your own, these poses can help you to relax, wind down, gain flexibility, and reap numerous health rewards.
Bridge Pose “Setu Bandha Sarvangasana.” This exercise is great for tight hip flexors since it opens up the core—your chest and abs, all the way down to your hips. Lie down on your back and bend your knees, making sure to stack your knees over your ankles. With your feet flat, lift your hips up towards the ceiling. Make sure your arms press down into the ground as you do this—alongside your body—as you open your chest towards the sky.
Locust Pose “Salabhasana.” This pose is great for posture since it helps to strengthen the upper back. Lie down on your stomach and lift everything except for your hips off the floor—that includes the chest, arms, and legs. Palms down, extend your arms behind you and lift your head up toward the ceiling.
Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose “Viparita Karani.” This exercise is great for athletes since it helps to reduce lactic acid build-up after a hard workout or competition. 5-8 minutes is all it takes to improve circulation, whether you’re an athlete or an office employee at the end of a long day. Lie down and send your legs straight up into the air, allowing them to rest on the wall in front of you. Keep your legs straight the entire time.
Warrior 2 “Virabhadrasana II.” To build strength in your legs and open up tight hip flexors, try this exercise on a regular basis. Stand in mountain pose and step your right foot forward into a lunge position (make sure you’re in a wide stance). From there, angle your left foot in slightly, making sure you’re pressing into the floor on the outermost part of that back heel. Your right knee should be stacked directly over the front ankle. Arms should be straight with your right arm facing forward as your left hand extends backward. Look over your front hand and pull your shoulders down. Repeat on both sides.
Wide-legged Standing Forward Bend “Ardha Uttanasana.” It’s good for the inner thighs and hamstrings, and you’ll see why. With your feet wider than hip-width apart, hinge forward from the hips while keeping your back flat. If you can reach the floor, do so, or hold onto the side of a table or a yoga block placed on the floor.
Plank Pose. This exercise is well known as one of the best core exercises out there—and the best thing? No flexibility required. Take a push-up position on your elbows and brace your abs. Keep your feet at about hips-distance and hold your body as straight as a board.
Thread The Needle. For an extra hip-opening stretch, lie on your back and lift your knees up to 90 degrees. Cross your left ankle over your right thigh and place your hands behind the right knee. Hold this position as you stretch both the glutes and hips—then repeat on the other side.
Always consult your physician or other health care professional before beginning any new exercise routine.