Practicing yoga is not complicated. Stretching your arms up after a long day of work is an example of a yoga pose. Yoga promotes mindfulness through stretching to refocus your body’s alignment and appreciate how these positionings are essential to the body.
Most of the basic yoga poses feel very familiar. Thus, our body naturally bends into these poses. With proper breathing awareness, you can create series of poses, as examples below, that your body can respond naturally.
These poses may look simple at first, but surely they will strengthen and increase your flexibility. In this article, let’s discover how stretching is essential to yogis and learn poses, especially yoga stretches, to relieve tensions on the body.
PS. Are you curious about how music can influence your yoga practice?
Why Stretching Is Important?
Stretching can be time-consuming and, at times, may feel uncomfortable. But before exercising or doing a workout, warming up the muscles is essential. With this, you can make a better range for your activities and prevents the risk of injury.
Other exercises and stretching sequences in yoga can also help your well-being to become better. It supports you to concentrate more on the stretching at that point and helps relieve tension and stress symptoms. Advantages of stretching: improved mobility, better posture, prevents the risk of injuries, increased balance, enhanced, blood circulation and helps you stay awake naturally.
When muscles are free of tight, they don’t counteract and make you feel dysfunctional, as some may express it. You can move freely when your muscles are loosened up, especially if you’re preparing to do some workouts.
Types of Stretching
Sure, there are plenty of stretching techniques, but the two major styles are dynamic and static. Dynamic stretching involves more active or energetic ways to stretch, while static stretching has slower movements that separate one muscle group at a time. Let’s have a better look below.
It involves active movements that isolate the muscle groups and joints through a complete range of motion. Examples of these stretching are arm circles, leg pendulums, and spinal rotations.
In this style, keep stretching to the best of your ability for a certain period; usually, it takes 15-20 seconds per stretch. It involves holding your knees to your chest, tilting your neck backward, and more. Professionals recommend repeating each static stretching not more than four times.
Best Time for Stretching
Experts said adults should stretch all the major muscle groups at least two times a week every one-minute exercise. Really, there’s never a wrong time to try and loosen up. So when’s the best time?
– After sitting for an extended time
– After exercising
– Before working out to help you warm-up
– Whenever you feel fatigued
Unless you suffer from hypermobility where your joints work beyond regular movements, it’s risk-free for everyone to do some stretching. If you have hypermobility, take it seriously and consult your physical therapist to identify which stretches and exercises are the safest and which to avoid.
9 Yoga Stretches to Make You Loosen Up
It’s nice to practice some yoga sequence before or after work, and also, you can incorporate these stretches throughout the day. Stretching is really beneficial for office workers who sit in front of their desk or front of their computers for an extended time, resulting in back pain or neck pain. Simple stretching for a few minutes at your office can alleviate stress, boost productivity, and, best of all, make you feel better.
1. Neck Rolls
Remove your shoes before doing these stretches; if you are wearing any, close your eyes, and slowly let your chin drop to your chest. Start rotating your neck gently, moving the right ear to the right shoulder, head backward, and do it to the left side.
Relax your shoulders and avoid rushing through any parts of tightness that you may encounter. Complete three to five rolls and then change directions and do another set of three to five rolls.
2. Cat-Cow Stretch
Place your feet flat on the floor and put your hands to your knees. As you breathe in, arch the back and face upward while you breathe out, round your spin, and make your head drop forward. Do three to five breath sequences. This stretching is adapted from the cat-cow pose.
3. Seated Forward Bend
Move your chair back from the desk and place your feet flat on the floor. Interlock your fingers behind, stretch your arms to the extent of your ability while moving your interlocked fingers down.
Bend at the waist, moving your interlocked fingers behind your back. Rest your chest on your legs and slowly release your neck. This stretching is adapted from the standing forward bend pose.
4. Seated Eagle
Seat in a cross-legged position; if you can wrap your right foot over your left calf, do it (optional). Bring your arms open to either side, straight to the floor. Move your arms forward while crossing the left arm around the right side and make each palm touch.
Raise your elbow while holding the shoulders slide down behind you. Repeat this process with the left arm around the right. This stretching is altered from the eagle pose.
5. Seated Spinal Twist
Slowly turn as you sit sideways in your chair. Place both of your feet flat on the floor. Gently turn towards the chair’s back, touching the back of the chair with both hands firmly.
Gradually turn yourself 180 degrees so you can face the opposite side of the chair and do another turn on the other side. This stretching is based on the half lord of the fish pose.
6. Wrist Stretch
Get up and twist your hands so that your wrists face your computer and your hands face the side of the desk. Move away from your desk while your hands are straight as you flat your palms. Stop if you feel pain.
7. Standing Pigeon
Get up and move the right shin over your desk straight to the edge of your desk. Do a forward bend around your right leg, resting at your hips. Repeat this process on the other leg. This stretch is altered from the pigeon pose.
8. Wide Leg Inner Thigh
Sit up and spread your legs as possible. You can use props like pillows for an added comfort. This stretching is meant to really loosen your inner thighs up, so go ahead and try this stretch if that’s what you want to achieve.
Flex both of your feet and shake your quads to make your knees safe. Do three easy, deep breaths, and remember that we inhale and exhale through the nose in yoga practice.
9. Wide Leg Side
Bring your right upper arm down onto your right leg. Then raise your left arm and get to it toward the right arm. This loosens up the core of the body and the side, from the hip up to the underarm. Keep this for three breaths works, and repeat it to the other side.
If you’re a beginner at yoga, it’s best to be guided by a professional instructor before doing any advanced or unique yoga poses and positions alone or at your workplace. Suppose you’re interested in developing better legs, more flexible hips, calves, and enhancing your hip mobility. In that case, you should consult with an expert yoga instructor about yoga stretches that are advantageous for the body.