Practicing yoga has kept yogis strong and limber for thousands of years. But, why? How can simple movements be so effective for the body?
Well, yoga does these amazing things: it not only supports flexibility, but also strength. So, as you’re stretching, you’re also supporting. For those with certain joint concerns, this can be a blessing!
When practicing yoga, the body goes through its entire range of motion, which allows movement to joints that may normally not be used. Because yoga doesn’t neglect joints, it can provide full body support.
If you’re looking for improvement, then check out these poses below that specifically target the joints and their full range of motion.
1. Forward Fold
Forward fold is a simple pose with an array of benefits. Start standing up straight with your feet firmly planted into the ground. Bend from the hip and hang your torso with arms straight. Feel the stretch along the side of your hips, your back and your neck. Don’t forget to breathe!
2. Bound Angle Pose
Bound Angle Pose is perfect for anyone wanting to stretch the hip joints. In a seated position, simply bend the knees and touch the soles of your feet together. Feel the stretch in the hip joints. For a deeper stretch, hold the ankles and pull your torso over your feet. Remember to listen to your body and not overstretch.
3. Seated Spinal Twist
This one will focus on a good back stretch. Sit in a seated position with legs extended. Starting with the right side, bend your right leg over your extended left leg and place your foot on the outside of the knee. Pull in your bent knee as close to your chest as possible. Place your right hand on the ground behind your back and bend your left elbow to meet your right knee. Twist with ease and hold the pose for five breaths.
Remember, with all of these poses--and yoga, in general--consistency is the key to results. Aim to practice on your mat for at least 20 minutes every day, if not more!
As always, it is recommended to consult your doctor before making any drastic changes to your workout routine when there are specific concerns at play.