Mobility is just as important as strength is. But most of us neglect to take into consideration how mobile or immobile the body can be. Our range of motion can be restricted depending on how stiff our body is. One of Yoga’s incredible gifts is how it can effectively increase mobility. But just as your body is different from others, so is the time needed for it to develop mobility.
With regular practice, increasing your range of motion is possible. Increase your mobility through these series of Yoga poses that suit any fitness level:
Child’s Pose. This pose allows the neck, shoulders and spine to relax promoting better flow of blood in the head, releasing tension especially on the shoulders.
How: Sit on your heels and bring your body forward. Let your torso rest between your knees and your forehead on the ground. Stretch your arms forward with your palms on the mat. This is a good resting pose you can do whenever you feel you needed.
Forward Fold. Gravity aids in better blood circulation to the head. Allowing the head to hang freely relaxes the neck, opening more space for more movement.
How: Stand tall. Tune in to your pelvic floor. Inhale as you lift your hands, palms together. Exhale as you slowly lower your body forward. Reach for the ground. If you can’t touch the ground, just reach as far as you can or hold your elbows. Do not force the body into anything that is painful.
Cat-Cow Stretch. This stretch helps improve strength of the abdominal muscles and is a good warm up for the spine.
How: Plant your palms and knees on the floor. Your palms should be vertically aligned to your shoulders and your knees aligned to your hips. Start with cow. Inhale as you arch the back, bring your shoulder blades more closely, curl your toes under and stare at the sky. Cat pose is exhaling while you release your toes and round your upper back, focusing on your belly. Close your eyes as you perform this transition to really feel the internal stretch.
Downward Facing Dog. A good stretch to release the calves. This pose is a gentle inversion promoting better flow of blood throughout the body.
How: Start with your hands and feet planted on ground. Make sure your hands are shoulder width apart and your feet are hip width apart. Lift your hips upward to make an inverted V position with your body and spread all your fingers for more stability.
Seated Twist. This twisting pose is great for loosening tense muscles in the back and mobilizing the spine.
How: Start off by sitting with crossed legs. Inhale as you lift your right arm up to the air and exhale as you reach it down to your left outer thigh and look to your left, twisting the body gently. Do the same technique using your left arm to your right outer thigh.
Cobra. This pose awakens the energy source from within while opening the shoulders, chest and back.
How: Lie down on your belly and plant your hands on the floor near the ribcage. Elbows are bent and feet are hip width apart. Glide your upper ribs and chest forward to lift them off the floor.
To be able to move around and do things easily requires mobility. Develop your range of motion safely through these easy poses. You won’t develop just the mobility you desire but also enjoy the other benefits Yoga extends to those who practice with good intentions and an open heart.