Stretching Yoga Poses

Stretching Yoga Poses and Full Body Stretch through Yoga

Yoga is a form of physical exercise having spiritual and meditative essence. Yoga is undoubtedly an easy and effective method to workout. You can perform the stretching yoga poses before any exercise. Yoga stretching exercises are easy to execute and yoga stretches the full body.

Stretching Yoga Poses

Benefits of Stretching Yoga Poses

Stretching helps in improving the flexibility of the body by easing the joints. Stretching yoga poses help to enhance flexibility.

Stretching yoga poses ease stiff muscles and helps relieve tension throughout the body. After doing full body stretch yoga you can perform all your exercise regime without the worry of any injury to your body.

Also, yoga relaxes body and mind because it comprises physical movement coupled with systematic breathing.

Stretching yoga poses will enhance your exercise routine. It improves flexibility and keeps you active and healthy.

Yoga stretches for beginners

Most people start with a 15 minutes yoga stretch for beginners. It is advised not to exclude yoga stretching exercises from your routine. Instead, you can just begin with a 15 minutes yoga stretch for beginners and feel your body, mind and soul enriched.

Some exercises strain your muscles but stretching yoga poses makes your muscles flexible than ever.

Importance of Flexibility

  • The full body stretch yoga stretches every inch of the body, reducing the tightness of muscles and thus prevents stiffness.
  • Increased flexibility would mean a greater range of motion for your body. It helps you achieve a better motion of joints with less effort as you age.
  • The tightness of muscles makes it difficult to maintain posture whereas flexible muscles improve posture.
  • Pain in your back, neck and shoulders is common due to changes in lifestyle. It is caused due to the stiffness of muscles. Yoga poses for stretching reduces such body pains.
  • With stretching yoga poses your risk of injuries is reduced. This is because your body becomes more flexible.
  • Stretching yoga poses help you reduce tension in your muscles. As a result, your body and mind become relaxed. It reduces stress levels.
  • Yoga stretches for flexibility aids better blood flow in your muscles. This improved circulation helps your muscles to recover more quickly.

Yoga stretches for kids

Yoga is beneficial for people of all ages. You can suggest yoga stretches for your kids under your supervision. This will inculcate a good habit from their early years.

Stretching Yoga Poses

Stretching Yoga poses for the lower back

Lower back pain is a common problem faced by everyone. Our busy lifestyle makes us sit for long hours. This causes pain in the lower back. By doing yoga stretches for the lower back we can get rid of the pain. The yoga stretches for the lower back would not only help ease the pain but also prevent it from occurring.  Here is a collection of stretching yoga poses that help win all the lifestyle problems and reduces stiffness of the body:

Embryo Pose

Embryo’s pose is one of the stretching yoga for beginners. We tend to sit for long hours during work. This causes pain and stiffness in our lower back. This stretching yoga pose is very helpful in relieving lower back pain. The Embryo’s pose helps you stretch to relax your back muscles. It also helps us open the shoulders. This stretching yoga pose is considered a very effective method to loosen the tightness in the lower back.

Embryo Pose
  • The first step is to stand on your hands and knees as a tabletop. 
  • Untuck your toes and bring your legs together.
  • Try to sit with heels on your hips.
  • Move forward with the help of your hands, so that your chest rests on your thighs and your forehead to the ground.
  • When your forehead is on the ground, put your hands down along the legs, so that the hands reach your feet.
  • Your palms should be facing up.
  • Hold this stretching yoga pose for 10 breaths.

Bridge Pose

The bridge pose is one of the best stretching yoga poses for flexibility of the lower back. It is a stretching yoga for beginners. This pose helps stretch the tight hip flexors. It helps to strengthen the core. It is a full body stretch yoga.

Bridge Pose
  • The first step is to lie on your back with feet on the ground and knees bent.
  • Put your arms beside your body with your palm facing down.
  • Your feet should be apart from each other almost equal to the hip’s length.
  • Try to bring your feet close to the body like you are walking backwards.
  • While exhaling, press your palm to the ground.
  • When you inhale, lift your hips towards the ceiling.
  • Hold this stretching yoga pose for 8 slow breaths.
  • At last, lie on your back coming down one vertebra at a time.

Pigeon Pose

The pigeon pose is a stretching yoga pose which is helpful in lower back pain. It flexes the back, glutes and hips. Thus, it is a full body stretch yoga.

Pigeon Pose
  • The first step is to stand on your hands and knees, also called the tabletop position.
  • Place your right leg on the mat such that the upper thighs and shin face the mat.
  • Place your left leg straightened behind you while untucking the toes.
  • The left leg should be in line with the left hip.
  • Then, you would feel a stretch through your right outer hip and lower back.
  • Place your chest lifted and inhale deeply.
  • Walk with your hands forward to the top of the mat with your palms facing the mat, exhaling while doing so.
  • Hold this stretching yoga pose for 8 slow breaths.
  • If you find difficulty, you can lower your forearms to the mat for comfort.

The Cat/Cow pose

This is one of the easiest stretching yoga poses. Thus, it can be performed by anyone. It is a one of the good yoga stretches for flexibility of your lower back, it is a full body stretch yoga.

The Cat
  • The first step is to get on your hands and knees.
  • Bend your back, lift your chest and arch your shoulders back.
  • Hold this position for 4 breaths.
  • Return to normal position.
  • By tucking your chin in your chest, raise your back.
  • Hold this position for 4 breaths.
  • Return to normal position.
  • Repeat the same exercise.

Baddha Konasana (Bound angle pose)

This stretching yoga pose is for relieving compression of lower back and hips. This pose can be done at the end of a 15 minutes yoga stretch for beginners. It provides great relaxing for your inner thighs and groin.

Baddha Konasana
  • The first step is to sit on the mat.
  • Achieve a butterfly position by bending the knees and joining the feet together.
  • Stretch your spine by sitting tall and inhale while doing so.
  • Move forward with your hands while exhaling.
  • Fold your hands over your thighs.
  • Hold this stretching yoga pose for 8 breaths.
  • Inhale and sit back to your starting position.

Janu Sirsasana

This is one of the best stretching yoga poses if our concern is about opening up the hamstrings. This pose relieves the tightness in hips and glutes. This pose helps a person in the ability to forward bend and improves the overall range of motion thus making it a full body stretch yoga.

Janu Sirsasana
  • The first step is to sit on the mat.
  • Stretch the right leg forward.
  • Bend your left knee to touch the left feet on your right inner thighs.
  • Stretch your spine by sitting tall and inhale while doing so.
  • Extend your hands above your head.
  • Tug your navel inside to engage your core.
  • Lengthen your arms and chest forward to hold the bottom of your right feet while exhaling.
  • Try to bend and touch your chest on your leg or as down as possible.
  • Hold this stretching yoga pose for 8 breaths.
  • Repeat the same on the other side.

Knee Raise

This is a very simple and effective stretching yoga pose. It can also be done as a part of stretching in all kinds of workout. 

Knee Raise
  • The first step is to lie on your back.
  • Pull your right knee to the chest, keeping your left leg straight.
  • Make a downwards push motion from your knee
  • Make a pull-up motion from your hands.
  • Ensure that your shoulders are on the floor during the entire workout.
  • Hold the stretching yoga pose for 8 slow breaths.
  • Repeat the same exercise for the other leg.

Downward Dog position

This stretching yoga pose is a very common exercise. This is one of the stretching exercises for beginners. This yoga stretching exercise opens both your hamstrings at the same time. It helps stretch your Achilles and ankles. 

For complete effect do make sure that your heels are glued to the ground. With time you can slowly increase your stretch deeper. This stretching yoga pose strengthens your shoulders and upper back. It increases the blood flow to the brain as your heart is over your head during bending. It is a full body stretch yoga.

Dog position
  • The first step is to get into a tabletop position.
  • Put your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees beneath your hips and inhale.
  • While exhaling lift your knees off the floor.
  • Place your butt towards the ceiling and contract your thighs.
  • Put your knees to the floor and straighten the knees as much as you can.
  • Press on your fingertips and keep your head between your arms.
  • To help open your shoulders, you can raise your arms on a block or chair.

Seated Forward Bend

The seated forward bend is a good stretching yoga for beginners. This is one of the stretching yoga poses for flexible hamstrings and spine. It is a stretching exercise for beginners as it is very easy to complete. It can be done as a part of stretching before you go for heavy exercises. It is also a full body stretch yoga pose.

Stretching Yoga Poses
  • The first step is to sit on your mat with your legs placed in front.
  • Press your heels forward and inhale while lowering your thighs on the ground.
  • While exhaling stretch your hands along your legs.
  • Reach as far as possible, try to grab your big toe.
  • If you find it difficult try reaching your feet.
  • Do not stretch more than the capacity of your body.

People having tight hamstrings would find it difficult to stretch in the given manner. However, they can improvise by placing a towel below their feet. They can also roll a blanket and place it below their feet for comfort.

Tree pose

The tree pose is a stretching yoga pose for your thighs, torso, groin and shoulders. It is a full body stretch yoga for balance as you stand on one leg. It helps your balancing ability by focusing your mind.

Stretching Yoga Poses
  • The first step is to stand on the mat with your hands by your side.
  • Shift your weight on your right foot. Lift the left foot above the ground.
  • Hold your left foot and place it on the inside of your right leg.
  • Try to put your left foot above or below your knee joint.
  • Stare at a point in front of you which is fixed.
  • Hold both your hands together with palms facing each other on your chest.
  • Try to hold as long as you can.
  • Repeat on the other leg.

Safety tips for all yoga beginners

  • While doing a yoga pose you must feel your body’s comfort.
  • Avoid doing a pose in which you encounter pain or discomfort.
  • Do not try to master any pose at once. You can start learning the pose and gradually improve.
  • Initially, you might be able to do a pose for a lesser number of breaths than mentioned. This is absolutely fine. You must not stretch beyond your comfort level.
  • You can gradually improve on your timing. Do not try to be in a hurry to achieve perfection in one go.

Although stretching yoga poses increases flexibility and avoids injuries. You might injure yourself if you stretch more than required initially. You must consult a professional or a doctor before starting stretching yoga exercises if you are:

  • Pregnant
  • Menstruating
  • Have Asthma
  • Have any cardiovascular or respiratory concerns
  • Taking any medication
  • Have digestive issues
  • Have any pain or injury
  • Having high or low blood pressure
  • Already suffering from existing joint and muscle ailments

Conclusion

Flexibility is an important part of your physical health. Your muscles tend to become tense with a lot of factors like age, stress, incorrect posture. The muscles tend to tighten even with lack of exercise.  All these are reasons which limit your flexibility.

Yoga stretching exercises are the solution to all your flexibility problems. You must do full body stretch yoga in your routine. Yoga stretches for kids must be encouraged for helping them develop a liking towards yoga. 

The mantra is to start with stretching exercises for beginners and gradually you can increase the amount of time and number of breaths for the pose. Practice these Stretching Yoga Poses and stay healthy.

Want to know how to do yoga at home? Read this post.

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