When many of us think of yoga, we automatically think of the breathing and meditation aspects of yoga. However, yoga is one of the best forms of exercise to tone your entire body with many poses also focusing on creating flexibility by creating longer muscles. Beginners yoga for flexibility will not only improve your muscle quality but also strengthen muscles to avoid niggling pains.
In the following article, we will have a deeper look at how yoga can benefit beginners looking to tone their bodies and improve overall flexibility. Improved flexibility can help you avoid muscle strains while ensuring that muscles are always stretched. Now, you can avoid potential injuries, which leads to long-term issues.
Benefits Of Yoga For Strength Training And Flexibility
One of the biggest benefits of yoga is to improve the overall strength of the body and promote a better lifestyle. Since it is primarily designed to improve your lifestyle, you will notice a healthier you, which leads to more positive effects during the day. However, yoga has a lot of benefits for strength and flexibility, as you can see here.
- Improving Body Flexibility
Being flexible can help reduce stubborn injuries from doing everyday tasks, while also releasing endorphins that lead to a positive mindset. Since there are not many activities we do daily to improve flexibility, yoga can be handy in loosening up those muscles. You don’t need to perform hours of yoga and some of the effects are almost instantaneous.
Studies have shown that people doing yoga daily can find an increase in flexibility in the first eight weeks of starting. With a 35% increase in flexibility, you have more activities that you can do and your levels of resistance will also be increased significantly.
- Improved Hip Hinge Movement
Let’s face it, almost any activity that involves you moving will require that you need to move your hips. As we grow older, the hips tighten, making it harder to perform certain activities and also lead to more risks. Yoga can loosen the hip flexors to ensure that you avoid these potential injuries for longer in life. Many yoga exercises will also strengthen hip muscles to avoid potential pain.
- Overall Strength Gain
You don’t need to spend hours in the gym lifting weights to improve the strength of your muscles. Since yoga poses will put a lot of strain on the muscles, they will inevitably be forced to deal with the tension. The more the muscles work, the stronger they will become, leading to better strength that allows you to perform daily activities.
- Promoting Good Posture
You might have taken a stroll through a mall or any public area and noticed the way many people slouch forward when walking. The forward slump is often caused by sitting at a desk and working all day without strengthening the back muscles. Fortunately, yoga targets the back and abdomen muscles in such a way that you will be comfortable walking with an upright posture. All of this will snowball, leading to strength increases in all muscles around the hips and abdomen.
- Improved Breathing
If you spend some time in the gym, one of the first things that any expert will mention is your breathing. When lifting weight, it is important to inhale as you put tension on the muscle and exhale as you release the tension. Breathing is something you need to work on and since one of the focuses of yoga is breathing; you can do this much faster. For your next strength training session, you will notice your breathing significantly improved.
- Mental Health Improvements
There are many studies the suggest how yoga can improve your mental health. Nowadays, depression is one of the leading causes of people just giving up in life. However, yoga promotes a healthy lifestyle and releases dopamine. The combination of dopamine and serotonin can create a positive mindset, leading to an optimistic outlook on life.
Best Yoga Workout For Flexibility For Beginners
As a beginner, it can be intimidating when you don’t know where to get started. However, there are a few basic yoga routines that almost anyone can perform. While we will discuss the specific poses that work best for beginners, the following routine could be best-suited for beginners looking to start their first week of yoga.
|Monday||Breathing Exercises (Pranayama)||20-minutes, twice a day|
|Tuesday||Full Body Stretch||30-minutes (morning)|
|Wednesday||Active Vinyasa||30-minutes (afternoon)|
|Thursday||Full Body Stretch||30-minutes (morning)|
|Friday||Rest Day||Rest Day|
|Saturday||Breathing Exercises (Pranayama)||20-minutes, twice a day|
|Sunday||Rest Day||Rest Day|
While this is a simplified guide for beginners to get into yoga with breathing and strength training combined, you will eventually need to scale up your workouts as your body becomes accustomed to the routines. The more you can stick to this schedule and follow a healthy diet, the better your results will be in the long term.
Sivananda Yoga is one of the best forms of yoga that one can start with as a beginner. It combines most of the basic poses you will see in the following section while adding various forms of breathing exercises. Sivananda Yoga does not completely tire out your body but can be combined with Vinyasa for a full-body workout.
Yoga Poses For Flexibility And Strength For Beginners
With some basic knowledge about specific workout routines, you might also want to know which yoga poses are the best for flexibility and strength. We have isolated a couple of the top yoga poses that could help you with strength and flexibility while improving your overall mindset. The following yoga poses are what we recommend to all beginners:
Reclined hand-to-big toe pose (Supta Padangusthasana)
The Reclined hand-to-big toe pose is one of the basic yoga poses that target the leg muscles. It specifically targets the Gluteus Maximus, stretching the muscles in a comfortable way that enables you to lengthen them. There are many adaptations of the pose, including a belt that will help stretch the muscles even farther.
Eye of the needle pose (Sucirandhrasana)
If you want to focus on your hip flexors, the eye of the needle pose might be one that looks uncomfortable. It requires some lower back strength but will stretch the muscles located in the buttocks. The pose can be held for several seconds and released, before repeating the exercise for a long period.
Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
The downward-facing dog is one of the most popular poses and focuses primarily on the back muscles. It can strengthen the muscles over time while stretching them. One of the main benefits of the downward dog pose is the benefits of relieving back pain.
Crescent Lunge (Anjaneyasana)
Moving to a more complicated pose, the crescent lunge forces you to work the hip flexors while targeting the leg muscles. It is a versatile pose, recommended in many yoga routines, but beginners might need some time mastering the pose.
Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana)
You might have come across the standing forward fold pose, which forces you to touch your toes from a standing position. One of the focuses of the pose is to stretch the muscles in the lower back and Gluteus Maximus. Additionally, it can strengthen both of these targeted areas, leading to a more comfortable life of daily activities.
Warrior Pose (Virabhadrasana)
The warrior pose is another popular pose that beginners can perform. It can be held for a prolonged period and targets the core, back muscles, and upper leg muscles. The pose is performed in sequence with many of the others on the list while offering strength and flexibility benefits.
Cat-Cow Pose (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)
If the main goal is to strengthen your spine and improve overall flexibility along with the spinal muscles, the Cat-Cow Pose is one of the favorites. It forces you to stretch out the spine while contracting the core. This will not only make your spine more flexible but improve the strength of the core muscles as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
With all the poses and routines now firmly locked in your mind, many beginners might still have a few questions. We have done a simple search to see if we can identify some of these questions to help you better understand yoga flexibility for beginners.
Since yoga targets the smaller and larger muscle groups in your body, it has the potential to help with flexibility. While you might not have immediate flexibility, you will eventually gain flexibility by sticking to a schedule.
While almost any form of yoga is great for strength and flexibility, the combination of Power Yoga and Sivananda Yoga can be very effective. Power yoga might be more daunting but will increase muscle strength more rapidly.
The logical answer is that it will depend on your body and composition. However, many studies have suggested that it takes up to eight weeks to improve flexibility. Many people have suggested that you can see improvement in flexibility in the first four weeks.
Yes, regardless of your age, one can become flexible. It might take some time to regain flexibility when you are older, but every person can regain flexibility regardless of their age. It only takes the right motivation and dedication to get started.
If you want to perform yoga for flexibility for beginners, the above-mentioned asanas and routines would be ideal to get you started. It might take some time to achieve the desired results, but yoga has always been a great way to strengthen muscles. BY strengthening your muscles and improving your flexibility, you could have a much happier life.