The mantra of yoga – A healthy mind rests in a flexible body
Yoga has nowadays become a crucial part of a person’s life. It works on the physical as well as the mental level. No other form of exercise can offer this. Yoga also helps the body in improving the lung capacity, circulation, preventing muscle soreness, loosening the tight hamstrings and most importantly providing flexibility to the body.
Flexibility can we obtained by stretching and this stretching can we well done through various yogic poses and asanas. Unless one has a flexible body, one cannot perform the higher level yoga poses that are extremely beneficial to the mind and body. Increasing flexibility of the body is the primary aim of the basic level yoga poses.
Flexibility is of different types:
Dynamic flexibility- ability to perform kinetic movements of muscles
Static active flexibility- ability to maintain extended positions using only tension without external support
Static passive flexibility – ability to maintain extended position using once weight.
Flexibility is influenced by various factors some of which are given below:
o Body structure
o Elasticity of joints and muscles
o Type of joints and internal resistance of joints
o Elasticity of skin
o Temperature of the place where the exercise is performed
Stretching is very important for gaining flexibility of the body and this stretching can be done effectively with the help of yoga.Yoga stretching can also help to have greater strength, flexibility, and range of motion while reducing injuries, aches, pains, stiffness, and tension.
Yoga stretching is the best form of exercise to increase the flexibility of the body because it involves a progressively more demanding work out and the results are very tangible. Results can be seen within a few weeks of starting and Yoga comes with the added benefit of development of the mind. The reduced stress levels, increased spiritual consciousness help to keep one attracted towards yoga exercises for years together.
Some of the yoga stretches are as given below:
o Makarasana (Crocodile pose)-
Lie on your stomach. Stretch your hands and place them on top of each other. Touch forehead to ground. Legs should be straight Now try to stretch your hands and legs so that there is a pull on your thighs. Maintain this posture for a few seconds. repeat
o Yastikasana (Stick pose)-
Lie on your back. Straighten your legs. Stretch your hands beyond your head and fold them. Now stretch your hands and legs. Feel the pull on your thighs and forearms and spine. Maintain for a few seconds and then repeat.
o Kati Chakrasana (Waist Rotating pose)-
Stand straight with your feet together. Stretch your hands in front. Now turn to the right. Look at the tip of your hands. Do not move legs. Repeat on the left.
The above are only a few forms. There are many other types to improve stretching and thus flexibility. The type of yoga chosen may depend on the individual. Remember, a healthy mind rests in a flexible body.