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Many people think that they need to be flexible to begin doing yoga. That's like thinking that you will be able to swim without taking swimming classes. Most of us are not born flexible. But it is important to remember that each time you practise yoga poses, your flexibility is only going to increase. Yoga is a wonderful tool to improve joint flexibility. Regular practice of yoga can have superb restorative effects on your joints, muscles, organs and mind.
Yoga expert Akansha Jhalani says 'Each yoga pose leaves you with a feeling of bliss and also helps you with physical fitness. Do not push yourself to get into a certain pose. The journey taken in attaining the pose is what will benefit you.'
Below are eight yoga poses that particularly improves flexibility.
Padmasana or lotus pose: The lotus pose is a cross-legged yoga posture that improves flexibility of the hips. Because of the hours spent sitting on a couch, chair or car we eventually tend to lose the natural flexibility and agility that allows us to sit cross-legged. Practising padmasana can help you prevent the decline in flexibility and range of motion. This posture also reduces muscular tension and brings blood pressure under control.
Dhanurasana or bow pose:The bow pose gives a full backward bend to the entire length of the spine building both strength and flexibility in the back. This posture stretches the neck, shoulder, arms and legs and expands the thoriac region of chest. Dhanurasana regulates the pancreas and is recommended for people with diabetes.
Konasana or angle pose: This posture helps stretch the sides of the body and the spine increasing its flexibility. It also tones the arms, legs and abdomen. This asana can aid those suffering from constipation. Konasana also helps in relieving back pain or sciatica pain. People suffering from spondylitis or severe back pain should avoid doing this pose.
Trikonasana or triangle pose: Unlike most yoga asanas, trikonasana requires keeping the eyes open in order to maintain body balance. This asana stretches and opens the hips, groin, hamstrings, calves, shoulders, chest and spine. It also helps improve digestion and reduce stress, anxiety, back pain and sciatica pain.
Paschimottanasana or forward bend: This yoga asana is a good posture for reducing belly fat and weight from the hips. It gives flexibility to the leg muscles and hamstrings. The liver, kidneys, pancreas and ovaries are some organs that can reap in the benefits of this posture. Additionally, this posture also regulates blood pressure.
Tadasana or mountain pose: 'Tada' means mountain in Sanskrit. The hands in this posture form a peak, hence the name tadasana. Flexibility of spine increases with tadasana. Regular practice of this asana can help correct posture and increase height.
Veerbhadrasana or warrior pose: This pose strengthens the arms, shoulders, thighs and back muscles all at one go. It improves balance in the body and helps improve stamina. This asana is extremely beneficial for people with frozen shoulder.
Bhujangasana or cobra pose: This asana improves flexibility of the upper and middle back. It also opens up the shoulders and tones the abdomen. This asana is extremely useful for people with asthma.
'Hold these poses for 10-12 seconds or as per comfort level. You can practise these yoga stretches for 15-20 minutes at least two times a day for increasing your flexibility rate,' advises Akansha.
Image source: Getty Images
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