GAIN FLEXIBILITY WITH YOGA!
Yoga is not only for flexible people! Find out how yoga can help you gain flexibility, not to mention all the other benefits: tips from our yoga teacher, Lola.
Misconceptions: Yoga is for flexible people. Wrong!
The idea that you have to be flexible prevents many people from embarking on the adventure of yoga. I reassure you, absolutely anyone can do yoga! It's not about being good or bad. Whether or not we touch our feet with outstretched legs, the benefits will be there!
Yoga postures aim to relax many parts of the body that are knotted, stretched, blocked... or simply that we never or little move in our daily life. The interest is that we will work the flexibility of the spine but also that of the hips, knees, ankles, wrists, certain muscles contracted naturally (psoas, hamstrings ...) .... This is the opportunity to (re)discover your anatomy!
IT'S UP TO YOU TO TRY
To really gain flexibility, it is important to listen to your body and not force yourself beyond your limits. The benefits will come from regular practice, even 10 minutes a day! Here are some postures that will help you in your practice:
Maintain your nasal breathing during your postures. If you have enough time, repeat each complete exercise three times before moving on to the next.
|Child's posture (balasana)||The sitting shoemaker (adho mukha baddha konasana )|
|One of the best postures to concretely stretch the spine!
Place yourself in the child's posture: knees apart the width of your bust,
buttocks well glued to the heels. Then put your brick in front of you.
Stretch your arms out well and reach forward. With your back straight,
lower your forehead onto the block. You should feel your head stretch forward (not down)
and your buttocks stay well on your heels. It should not come off.
Stay in this position for a few minutes, breathing up your ribcage.
If you find it too hard to keep your buttocks down, place a blanket
between your calves and thighs. A blanket or pad under your ankles
can also be helpful.
Sit on your mat, resting on the front of your pins (the two small bones of the buttocks).
Bend your knees, join the soles of your feet and bring your heels back towards your pelvis.
Drop your knees to the sides. Lean on the outer edges of your feet and place your hands
in front of you on the floor. Open your chest so that your shoulder blades tighten, and tuck
your belly button towards your spine. Then, as you breathe in, anchor yourself to the ground
to elongate your torso, starting at your waist. As you exhale, begin to bend forward from your hips,
bringing your chest (rather than your head to your feet). With each inhalation, lengthen your spine;
and with each exhalation, slightly increase the bending, breathing gently through your stomach.
The important thing is not to go very low, but to keep your back as straight as possible. Hold
the posture for 3 x 1 minute, then straighten up with your hands when you inhale.
Tip: The most important thing is not to go very low, but to keep your back as straight as possible:
If your back is round, you are probably leaning on the back of your pins. Raise your pelvis
by sitting on a brick or blanket.
|Dog upside down (adho mukha svanasana)||Dog head up (urdhva mukha svanasana)|
|This posture will also allow you to see your progress in the world of yoga through
its strength in flexibility. Energy flows everywhere because the whole body is solicited.
Begin on all fours with your knees under your hips, arms outstretched,
hands under your shoulders, fingers spread out. Pushing on the base of
your thumbs and index fingers, lift your knees off the floor and raise your
tailbone by tilting it backwards to extend a straight back. Keep your knees bent,
making sure they are aligned with your third toes and concentrate on stretching your
back by pushing on your hands (imagine pushing the floor away from you).
Turn your upper arms outward to bring your shoulders down towards your spine.
Bring the front ribs towards the thighs and relax the neck. After a few breaths in this position,
turn your attention to your hips. Raise and open the hamstrings and check that the pelvis is tilted back,
then gently push the heels towards the mat, one after the other, to stretch the hamstrings in a walking motion.
Check that your body weight is well distributed between both legs. Take five to ten breaths and then,
on an exhalation, gently lower your knees and rest in the child's posture (balasana).
If your heels are not touching the ground keep your knees bent and concentrate on stretching your spine.
Lie on your stomach with your feet pointing backwards and the tops of your feet flat on the floor.
Place your hands on both sides of your waist, forearms vertically, fingers spread out toward the front.
As you breathe in, with your belly held and belly button tucked in, lean on your hands to lift your head,
torso and legs off the floor. The tips of your toes rest on the mat. Swing your arms outward so that the inside
of your elbows are parallel to the end of the mat. Chest open and shoulders down, shoulder blades meet.
Your buttocks should be firm but not overly tight. Straighten your head, looking forward or upwards,
but be careful not to tilt your head backwards, which would compress your neck. Take regular abdominal
breaths for no more than 30 seconds, then exhale as you return to the ground, or push your navel upwards
to execute the Dog upside down.
The head-up dog is often performed before or after the head-down dog, to easily switch from one posture
to the other. Swing the weight of your body forward or backward towards your hands,
while you swing on the tips of your toes.
Practicing on a daily basis allows you to work in depth. Forget the competition and think only of yourself. You will become flexible over time and faster than you think. Keep an open mind and remember that exhalation allows for relaxation, and relaxation makes you more flexible.
Drink water before and after class, avoid during.