As a yoga instructor, I have seen how many people use yoga as a tool for dealing with chronic pain and stiffness. This is probably because yoga encourages stretching and flexibility. However, I have also seen people use yoga as a tool for managing chronic pain and stiffness.
Yoga is one of the most effective ways to maintain flexibility, and being able to do yoga is a good indication that you are flexible enough for a yoga practice. Flexibility is not a static state that you can maintain, and you will always have to be flexible. If you are inflexible, there are many different yoga poses that you can do to help your flexibility. Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years, and it is one of the most effective ways to maintain your flexibility.
This article may contain affiliate links. For more information, see our information. One of the most common questions we are asked is: Can I do yoga if I’m not flexible? Any inflexible person can become more flexible. You may not become an acrobat, but by practicing yoga regularly, you can significantly improve your overall flexibility. If you can achieve something on the top shelf, if you can stretch well after awakening, then you are capable of more, and my goal is to show you how to do that.
Why am I not flexible?
Flexibility is based on many different factors that vary from person to person. These factors are:
- Time of day
- Wounds in the past
To use a factor as an example, think about how you feel right after you wake up. If you try to stretch right away, you’ll find that you’re pretty stiff. But over the course of the day, your body will naturally become less stiff as you move. Only two factors are taken into account (time of day and temperature). If you sit at a desk all the time, your body will adapt to that lifestyle, if you dance, your body will be shaped accordingly. The good news is: Once you’ve decided to change your body, it’s never too late. Certain factors, such as age, past injuries or genetics, are of course beyond your control. So you need to focus on the factors you can change to achieve your goals.
Importance of flexibility
We all know that it is desirable to be flexible, but why? Have we ever realized how useful flexibility is to our lives? Is it only useful because it would be great to touch toes or do lunges, or is it more important? Why is flexibility so important? Here are some reasons:
- Provides more freedom of movement
- Improves posture
- Improves physical and mental relaxation
- Relieves tension and muscle pain
- Reduces the risk of injury
- Keeps the muscle fascia lubricated so the muscle is less tense.
- reduces the risk of age-related diseases (e.g. arthritis)
Read our full article here to learn more about the importance of flexibility. But to take full advantage of flexibility, consistency is necessary. Stretching once a month does not produce results. So you need to set up a system to actively work towards more flexibility to achieve your goals. Therefore, we believe that regular yoga practice is very beneficial.
What to do if you are extremely inflexible
If you think you are extremely inflexible, the first thing you should do is not blame yourself, but congratulate yourself for deciding to become more flexible. You take the first step to improving yourself, and that means a lot. What’s the first step? Here are some suggestions I can make: Practice 2 to 3 times a week: Try starting with 15 minutes and gradually increasing this to 45 minutes or more. When it comes to flexibility, you need to give your body time to warm up. So the longer you train, the more progress you will see. Do a warm-up before your workout: If you find that you feel stiff while doing yoga, you probably need to warm up more. 5-10 minutes of walking, rowing, jogging should help. We also offer a simple seated warm-up that you can use. Drink more water: Water plays an important role in the lubrication of the joints. When you are dehydrated, your muscles are dehydrated, which leads to stiffness. Try to focus on flexibility training at the end of the day: As mentioned earlier, the time of day you practice yoga affects your flexibility. If you train straight after waking up, you will need much more time to warm up than if you train later in the day, when you have been moving more and your body has already warmed up a bit. Concentrate on the right stretches: To get results, you need to focus on the movements that will move you forward. There are many different yoga and stretching exercises, but to really make progress you need to make sure you are doing exercises that focus on flexibility.
Yoga postures to improve flexibility
Below are some beginner yoga poses to start with if you are an inflexible beginner and want to improve your flexibility.
Ragdoll is an excellent beginner’s pose that loads the whole body and releases tension. Remember to bend your knees as far as possible and let your head hang freely. You will feel a pleasant stretch in your hips, hamstrings, neck, shoulders, and back. *Tip: Shake your head with yes and no to gently release the tension in your neck and shoulders. Also, gently shift your weight from your heels to your toes to relieve tension in different parts of your feet.
Slight sideways stretch while sitting
This pose works wonders in stretching the sides of the body and releasing tension in the shoulders and triceps. It’s also great for improving your posture – a simple tip would be to sit on a blanket or bolster to help you stand up straight. *Tip: If you’re having trouble interlocking your fingers, try grabbing your wrist with your hand and gently pulling in the opposite direction to get a nice deep stretch.
Half Happy Baby
This is an excellent position to practice opening your hips gently. If I know I’m going to focus on my hips in my exercises, I like to start with the Half Happy Baby to get a feel for where my body is right now in terms of tension. *Tip: As you bend your knee, the stretch in the other hip becomes less intense. Using a belt can also be helpful if you can’t reach your foot without straining your neck.
This is a beginner’s version of the camel pose, ideal for gently opening the chest and shoulders. *Tip: Another option is to press the front of your body against the wall to stabilize yourself.
This is one of my favorite positions to practice when my hamstrings are tight. With the strap, you can control the depth of the stretch and focus on relieving pressure on one leg at a time. Don’t forget to brace your knee! *Tip: Practice small impulses (while maintaining knee microflexion) while actively pressing your heel against the ceiling for a deeper stretch.
Rotation of vertebral column in an oblique position
Twisting is an excellent exercise to release tension in the spine and improve flexibility. Try to make sure that when you roll up, you actively push the opposite shoulder into the mat. Feel free to put a pillow or block under your foot if you need to. *Tip: If this is uncomfortable, try bending both knees and then rotating them to make the exercise less intense.
Importance of training to change
I want to emphasize how important your intention is when you practice yoga. If you’re training to look like someone else in a certain pose, you probably won’t get the full benefit. But if you exercise to feel good about your body, you’ll get the results you want much faster. Take the camel pose, for example. If you force yourself to perform the full version of the pose, but you don’t have enough spinal flexibility or core strength to maintain stability while bending backwards, not only will you not benefit from the pose, but you will also expose yourself to lower back compression, which can lead to a sprain or injury. To train with the intention of getting better and feeling good, it is important to learn to adapt yourself. There are many ways to modify one pose! You can change Camel in one of the following ways:
- Use of yoga blocks under the arms near the feet to increase length.
- Put your hands on your lower back.
- Exercise on the wall
- Place a mat or blanket under your knees.
- Look forward, not up
- Practice standing, not kneeling
All of these options are great and can make a big difference in how this pose feels in your body and how effective it is in achieving your goals. For more information on these postures and their modifications, check out our guide to yoga postures.
Flexibility tips for inflexible people
Improving your flexibility when you don’t feel limber may seem like a daunting task, but you can do it. Here are some important tips to keep in mind during your trip. Know your limit: In the beginning, it is very important to understand the difference between discomfort and pain. They never want to stretch to the point of pain! Be aware of your body and move slowly. Don’t neglect your breathing: Breathing is a powerful tool to improve your flexibility. A simple factor like your breathing can signal your brain to relax your body, allowing you to release tension. Use accessories: Stands are very, very useful if you are actively working on improving your flexibility, and not just for beginners! Check out our full articles on the different ways you can use yoga blocks and straps to lengthen, strengthen and improve the alignment of your poses to get you closer to your goals. Don’t forget the show: Even if your goal is flexibility, you need to actively work on improving your strength to protect yourself from injury. There is such a thing as excessive flexibility! If you focus only on limberness, but don’t have enough strength to stabilize yourself in the poses, you could put yourself in danger. Keep a positive attitude: Improving your flexibility can be frustrating, it takes a lot of mental strength to accept where you are and let go of judgment. Focus on acceptance on and off the mat, and you’ll find that it really moves you forward. Be patient: Flexibility takes time. Be patient with the process and have realistic expectations – don’t expect to be able to do splits as early as next week – you’ll only disappoint yourself. Be kind to yourself and enjoy the journey! Don’t compare yourself: There will always be someone more flexible than you or stronger than you. Don’t compare yourself to others and focus on yourself and your journey. Which brings us to our next tip….. Celebrate your victories: See the successes on your carpet and in your daily life! Did you notice that you could go a little further in the standing forward bend, or did you just notice that you felt lighter? That’s because of your consistency and the time you put into training! Note and appreciate that I hope this has helped and inspired you to begin your journey to flexibility! Check out our other resources to help you reach your flexibility goals: Ellie is the co-founder of Yoga Rove with her fiancé Victor. She began practicing yoga early in her career as a nurse to deal with the physical and mental stress she was experiencing, and yoga soon became an integral part of her life. The goal is to help beginners develop a meaningful practice without fear. In addition to running this website, she enjoys going camping with her beloved fiancé and cuddling with her two crazy cats.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can an inflexible person do yoga?
Can you be flexible and still do yoga? The answer to this question is not a simple “yes” or “no”, it is a matter of degree. Yoga is an exercise system that is essentially designed to teach you how to move your body in a way that is comfortable for you. Unlike other exercise systems, many yoga styles allow you to choose the way you want to move, and the most common is called “flow yoga”. I used to feel very inflexible and at a loss when I first started doing yoga. My arms simply did not go up to the wall or back down from it. It felt like I was just hanging onto the wall all the time. Then I found out that I could practice yoga at home without an instructor. I use an app called Yoga with Adriene that allows me to do all the poses I would do at a studio, except with no instructor to tell me what pose to do next. It’s been great, and very helpful.
How do you make an inflexible person flexible?
You’ve just gotten engaged, but you can’t decide which engagement ring to buy. Or, you’ve just bought the engagement ring, but your boyfriend won’t wear it. You know it’s the right ring: you both love the same diamonds, and it looks amazing on your finger. What can you do to help the relationship move forward? It’s simple. You just have to make the ring more flexible. Inflexibility is a problem faced by many people today. It’s a problem not only for the inflexible themselves, but also for their friends and family. With the world becoming more and more physical, it’s important to have a flexible body. It’s something that not only improves your own quality of life, but also your relationship with others.
Can I do yoga if I’m not flexible?
There is a misconception that yoga is only for people with flexible hips and flexible bodies. This is far from the truth. You can be flexible and still benefit from yoga. Yoga poses are not all about flexibility. They are designed to help you achieve a certain state of being, which brings about physical and mental flexibility. The main goal of yoga is to help people who do not have flexibility to attain the flexibility they seek. This text is sensitive. Try generating new copy.
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