It’s a fact that some people are naturally more flexible. However, if you appear to be doing the robot dance with stiff, jerky movements every time you move, then you might need to get some looseness and flow into your limbs. Yoga is all about greater flexibility and the benefits of this go way beyond trying to bend into a position that resembles a pretzel.
Yoga is less focused on aerobic style cardio and more centred on stretching, breathing and creating a supple, flexible physique. Without exercise, flexibility decreases with age, but yoga can remedy this tightness, bringing many benefits.
Enhances functional movement
When you’re not exercising you are still moving using your core, and working your body with multi-joint and multi-planar movements. These everyday functional movements can be enhanced with exercise that extends flexibility. If your range of motion is improved then this is going to have a knock-on effect on your mobility and ultimately your quality of life too.
Have you ever had a back problem or some other mobility issue? Did you feel older than your years because of it? Deft, easy movements that come from a well-oiled, lithe body symbolize youth and vitality. Regardless of how yoga might actually positively impact the aging process and your health, being flexible definitely makes you walk with a youthful spring in your step.
Frees up the mind
While yoga can do wonders for the body, it is a practice that is intrinsically linked to the mind too. Deep relaxation and focus allows tensions to be released and for a sense of mindfulness to be brought to the exercises. This awareness and being in the present can de-stress the mind too, leading to greater flexibility in the way you think and feel, which in turn can lead to transformation.
Keep muscles active
There’s a saying that if you don’t use something then you lose it. In terms of your muscle power this could be true. Flexibility in yoga is inspired by stretching exercises which work the muscles and stop the body from becoming too rigid. Not only can joints become tight but muscles can atrophy with a decrease in muscle mass. Flexibility inducing workouts keep the body awake.
Hydrates the body’s tissues
You might associate exercise with perspiring and losing fluids but stretching slows down dehydration in the body longer term. Exercises which promote greater flexibility also stimulate lubricants in the tissues and retention in the connective tissue fibers, which stops the body from becoming ‘dried up’ and negatively impacting mobility through adhesions forming in the body.
The lubrication of the joints that comes from flexibility stretching exercises really gets the body’s systems moving and activated. By stimulating the fibrous connective tissue around the muscles and increasing the flow of oxygen, stretching really boosts circulation. This helps release lactic acid build up too from lack of oxygen in the muscles, so that muscle movement is not constricted and muscular fatigue is alleviated.
Creates a sense of balance
As you stretch and breath in your yoga practice, your body works as a whole mechanism, so that there is a physical integration in how your muscles work together. This is how you become more flexible. Along with this comes a sense of stability and balance, both mentally and physically.
Is it time you limbered up and got flexible in 2014? Join our yoga class today!