8 Easy Yoga Moves For The Inflexible Girl
What’s worse than not being able to catch your breath when running up a flight of stairs? Bending over to tie your laces and realising that you cannot reach your toes! Yep, that’s when you know that old age might creeping in a lot earlier than you expected it to.
Being inflexible can be quite the bummer, especially when a lot of things require a certain level of flexibility… get your mind out of the gutter, we’re talking about yoga of course!
Sun salutation, warrior pose, the lotus — you’ve heard all of the fashionable yoga terminology in movies, but have never dared to try any of them IRL. Mainly because the smallest tasks like scratching your back seem like your reaching for Narnia.
But there’s good news! We got yoga instructor Supreet Sapra to tell us all the poses that to get started with even if you don’t have a flexible bone in your body.
1. Camel Pose or Ushtraasana
Camel pose opens up your chest and stretches the full length of the torso, hips, and shoulders. Start by getting on your knees shoulder distance from the floor. Keeping your palms on your lower back for support, lean backwards. Breathe in and out while holding the pose, making sure you keep lifting your chest towards the ceiling.
Once you get used to the pose, reach your fingertips on the soles of your feet and place them there. Hold for 30 seconds or 10 breaths.
This pose can be difficult at first, so support your lower back and slowly lift your chest upwards. Do this gradually with each breath.
2. Cat – Cow Pose Marjariasana
The cat cow pose stretches out your spine and neck, elongating it and reducing any stiffness present. Begin on all fours, keeping knees and hips in one line directly beneath your shoulders. Inhale and arch your spine, while looking up to the ceiling. This opens up your chest.
Exhale and round your spine up towards the ceiling, dropping your head toward the floor. Repeat this for 10 counts or a minute.
3. Cobbler Pose
The cobbler pose is great for opening up your hips and inner thighs. This pose is the starting point for increasing flexibility especially in the hips, groin, and thighs. Begin seated on the floor, with the soles of your feet joint together. Bend your knees as much as possible, while holding your feet with both hands and reaching forward.
4. Cobra Pose or Bhujangasana
The cobra is an excellent way to open up your shoulder, chest, and torso, especially if your back is strained and stiff. To do this pose, begin by lying on your belly, put your legs together, and keep your arms at your side. Place your palms on the sides of your chest and face your elbows in. Lift your head and chest off the floor, squeezing your glutes so that the pressure doesn’t come on your lower back.
Make sure you look up and try raising your chest towards the ceiling slowly. Hold the pose for 30 seconds or 10 breaths.
5. Cow Face Pose or Gomukhasana
The cow face pose is one that opens your entire shoulder region, while stretching the triceps too. Lift your right arm and reach behind, keeping your left hand around your lower back. Hold your hands together and keep still for 30 seconds or 10 breaths. If your hands cannot reach each other, then use a strap or a towel.
You can do this either standing or seated.
6. Downward Facing Dog or Adho Mukha Svanasana
This pose you are probably familiar with as it is the most widely-used yoga pose. The downward facing dog basically stretches out your back, hamstrings, or shoulders. It also helps in tightening the core and building upper body strength.
Begin on the floor. Keep your knees directly under your hips, and balance with your hands forward from your shoulders. Turn your toes forward and raise your knees off the floor. Lengthen your spine, making sure your head is between your arms and your neck is relaxed. Feel your hamstrings stretch when you gently touch your heels to the ground. Hold for 30 seconds or 10 breaths.
7. Side Lunge Pose or Scandasana
A great hip-opener pose, the side lunge stretches out the hamstrings and strengthens your core. Begin with a wide leg forward bend and bend your left knee into a half-squat, keeping your right leg straight. Drop your hands to the floor for support and slowly shift sides. The deeper the lunge, the more your flexibility will increase. Hold on each side for about 10 breaths.
8. Standing Forward Fold Pose or Uttanasana
This pose stretches out your thigh and calf muscles and also gives a stretch to the lower back. Stand straight and when exhaling bend in downward direction towards your feet. Keep your legs straight and if it feels comfortable, touch your palms to the ground.
By bending your hip, you’re lengthening your spine. Hold this position for a few seconds and inhale while slowly pulling yourself back up to the initial position.