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 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 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.

Permanent link to this article: https://inspiringwordsfromtheheart.com/yoga-for-the-inflexible/


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  1. 1

    I work with older people with intellectual disabilities. These exercises sound perfect and I could even combine them with the gentle aquarobics I do with them!

    1. 1.1

      Thanks for sharing!

  2. 2

    I think downward dog is a pretty basic yoga move and i got it down but sometimes I find it so hard to stay up. I sweat a lot during yoga and even with a mat I feel like I am gonna slide and fall flat on my face. I think people misjudge the strength it takes to do yoga properly! It isn’t easy at all. I keep trying though. 🙂

    1. 2.1

      Do you go barefoot on the mat? I would use the special socks for yoga if I were you…I wouldn’t like the feeling of gonna slide and fall on my face! OH my!

  3. 3
    Lena P.

    Awesome, thanks for the tips. I love yoga but I’m still a beginner. I’ll have to try these out. 🙂

  4. 4
    laurie damrose

    I like yoga ,it really helps keep me more flexible.

  5. 5

    Hubby and I would love to try Yoga but we’re both so stiff. I love these moves and will try them!

  6. 6
    Richard Hicks

    I will have to try these. I am one of those who is not very limber

  7. 7
    Jennifer George

    These moves might help my back

  8. 8
    denise low

    Thank you for sharing. Sounds great.

  9. 9

    Yoga is such an amazing exercise! Thanks for the post :]


  10. 10
    Terri Irvin

    I have been practicing yoga for years and I am much more limber than younger women who don’t practice it. It keeps you young!

    1. 10.1

      Wonderful to hear Terri! Thanks for sharing the benefits you have seen for yourself!

  11. 11

    I’ve been doing some yoga lately. I’m surprised at how sore I was the first time.

  12. 12
    Jennifer Red

    Thank you for this article, i will be sure to try some, not being as flexible usually stears me away from yoga but this might actually work for me.

  13. 13
    Sarah L

    I like the seated spinal twist since I’m in my chair for long hours (tho I do get up & stretch every hour).

  14. 14
    Dotty J Boucher

    I am just learning a bit about yoga, I have been watching some youtube videos , I want to get healthy and become more with my body.

    1. 14.1

      I am new to yoga too Dotty!

  15. 15
    aaron reck

    I think this is very important. I like to use my yoga mat. I suffer borderline personality disorder and bipoloar and this helps with a lot of the tension and anxiety. It is not enough. But, it does help.

  16. 16
    Jessica Cyr

    Ive been doing yoga for 3 months and i love it , i am not that flexible however i am seeing a change in my body with practicing each day 🙂

  17. 17
    Samantha Michelle

    I love doing Yoga. I love feeling the tranquility. I am not flexible but I love these poses. I love reading new tips 🙂

  18. 18
    Divyajit Vaghela

    Thanks for sharing, tried and it’s started being useful.

  19. 19
    ellen beck

    I have never done much yoga but am finding aas I age the old saying is true “if you dont use it you lose it” I might have to give a few of these a try. I used to be super athletic!

  20. 20
    simple nature decor

    Good stuff you shared on Dream Create and inspire, thanks for coming to my party,I love Yoga,I have been doing it for years, just started Hot Yoga and its pretty intense. Stop by and visit me at Simple Nature Decor http://www.simplenaturedecorblog.com Maria

  21. 21

    These sound like good exercises to try. I’ve taken books out of the library with pictures for regular exercises, and it works well, but I’m always wanting to try something different.

  22. 22
    leslie ross

    These would be great for me elderly mom. TY

  23. 23
    Sarah L

    I have RA and do most of my exercising in the warm water pool since my knees don’t like cooperating.

  24. 24
    Renee Rousseau

    I find this to be very inspiring! Like anything in life: you have to start somewhere!

  25. 25
    Renee Rousseau

    Yoga is definitely on my must try list. You seemed to have pegged my current level of expertise!

    1. 25.1

      Well that’s my level too Renee and I am beginning slowly but it does help with flexibility and so much more.

  26. 26
    Marnie G (Derrick Todd)

    Wow! This is great. I’ve found that as I’m getting older I’m really becoming less and less flexible.

    1. 26.1

      Me too Marnie G

  27. 27
    Deb E

    I do yoga everyday. Some days I’m stiffer than others and know I will have arthritis to deal with (hereditary from mom) in my future. Yoga would be my go to therapy then as well. I’d try swimming too if I had convenient access to a place to swim.

    1. 27.1

      Thanks for sharing Deb E. There is a pool close to me so I try that and it helps. I too have arthritis ( inherited from my mom too ) and need to keep stretched out.

  28. 28
    Jerry Marquardt

    I would like to try Yoga for the reasons that I am not very flexible with my bad hip. I appreciate your post.

    1. 28.1

      Go slowly Jerry…stretch only to point you can and in time you can get more flexibility.

  29. 29
    Cristy Ridey

    I have MS and can not do traditional yoga. Thank you for an alternative way.

    1. 29.1

      Your welcome Cristy.

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