Many people think you have to be flexible to do yoga. In fact, this is probably one of the most common reasons people don’t do it, but yoga can actually help stiffness tremendously. Regular yoga practice can improve joint flexibility and reduce tension. You don’t have to do handstands and you don’t need to be able to touch your toes, anyone can do yoga at their own intensity and their own pace. Read on for our 5 Easy Stretches for Flexibility if You’re Feeling Stiff!
1. Reclining Pigeon
Stretches: Hamstrings, Hips & Glutes
You start by lying on your back, with both feet on the floor and your knees bent. Lift your left leg and place your ankle on your right thigh. Reach through your thighs and place your hands behind your right thigh. Gently pull towards you until you feel a stretch. Repeat on the opposite leg.
2. Cat-Cow Pose
Stretches: Back & Neck
Start on all fours, place your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. To do the cow pose, inhale and push your stomach towards the floor, arching your back, while keeping your chin and chest up. To do the cat pose, exhale and draw your stomach up to your spine and bring your chin to your chest.
3. Downward Dog
Stretches: Hips, Hamstrings & Calves
Start on all fours and place your hands slightly above your shoulders. Stretch your elbows and relax your upper back. Tuck your toes under and lift your knees from the floor. Stretch your pelvis up to the ceiling and lengthen your spine. Straighten your legs and relax your neck, eventually bringing both heels towards the floor if possible.
4. Low Lunge
Stretches: Groin, Glutes & Hips
From the downward dog position place your right foot beside your right hand. Lower your left knee to the floor behind your hip. Inhale and lift your chest away from your thigh, bringing your arms alongside your ears and hold. Repeat with the opposite leg.
5. Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
Stretches: Shoulders, Hips, Neck & Spine
Start by sitting on the floor with your legs straight out. Bend your knees so both feet are flat on the floor. Lower your left knee to the floor and place your left foot under your right leg. Move your right foot over your left leg. Twist towards your right thigh and place your left elbow on the outside of your right knee. Keep your forearm raised and turn your head to look over your right shoulder. Hold for 60 seconds then release and repeat on the other leg.