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Mar 16

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Yoga for the Inflexible

Yoga for theInflexible!

Do you think you can’t bend or do you have a hard time being flexible?

Many think of yoga as complicated poses involving all kinds of twisting and bending – something that is very intimidating to those who are very inflexible. “I’m just not flexible enough!” is one of the top excuses for not doing yoga. While many of the advanced poses do require flexibility,  even the most inflexible can participate in basic poses like these below – and they may even help improve flexibility.

Yoga for the Inflexible

Seated Spinal Twist:

Spinal twists increase flexibility in the lower back and are great for those who work in an office all day long or need to release tension in the back. They also help improve breathing. While traditional spinal twists, such as the one in this article do involve some flexibility in the legs, feel free to add personal variation – it’s completely appropriate to do this pose just by sitting cross-legged or, if you can cross your legs, with them straight out in front of you. The most important part is keeping your back straight.

Cat-Cow:

Cat-Cow is one of the most basic, restorative poses in yoga. It’s typically used to start or end classes and is focused on strengthening the spine as well as breathing. It feels great on the back and neck as a long day and can be easily modified.

Downward-facing Dog:

Downward-facing Dog is one of the most recognized yoga poses and is a great place to start when the goal is increased flexibility. While the goal is straight legs and lots of length between hands and feet, it’s also an easy pose to modify. If you can’t comfortably hold the pose with your heels on the ground, keep your legs bent. Or, try a half dog, bracing your arms against a wall instead of the floor.

Cobra:

Cobra is another basic yoga pose that encourages flexibility in the spine as well as strength through the arms. Those who have trouble completely lifting off the mat can begin with a baby cobra by simply lifting less of the abdomen off the mat. As with any yoga pose, it’s all about doing what is comfortable for you. The cobra is also a great way to build flexibility to do more difficult back bends.

Child’s pose:

Tight hips? Spend some time in child’s pose. Though it’s considering a resting pose and often used between more difficult moves, it’s great for beginners to get a taste of deep forward folds, to relax after a rough day, and open their hips. Personally, I enjoy spending a few minutes in child’s pose each night after work to release any tension in my back and hips and to use my breath to relax.

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