and only a flexible body can stretch to great extents.
Flexibility can be obtained by ways like flexibility exercises or yoga stretching exercises. Exercises like stretching help in achieving flexibility, but most of the exercises as we all know include jerks and rapid movements which can sometimes cause tension, fatigue and damage to the tissues, joints etc. the chances of muscle soreness and injuries is also more. Stretching exercises do not contain any jerky movements but consist of very gradual movements.
Though almost any type of exercise works towards increasing flexibility but, for most forms the increase in flexibility is too nominal to be considered. Yoga stretching is the most effective in increasing flexibility of the body. Also most of the exercises work only on the physical level whereas yoga stretching is something, which works on both physical as well as mental level. In yoga stretching the brain and body, work together and hence there is a balance of energy. Yoga also focuses on improving lung capacity, toning muscles, increasing flexibility, preventing muscle soreness; faster recovery of muscles etc. Yoga also helps in loosening the tight muscles. The stiff hamstrings can also be released through practice of yoga. But, for the right practice of yoga and to enjoy the excellent benefits of yoga poses that are said to unite the bodily soul to the cosmic soul of the universe, it is essential to have a flexible body. The basic yoga poses intend to increase the flexibility of the body so that it is capable of performing the more complicated poses with hoards of benefits.
Accumulation of lactic acid can contribute to muscular fatigue, but yogic stretching can help release of lactic acid from the muscle cells into the bloodstream so that the muscular contraction is not hindered.
Yoga involves the movement of the entire body and when this happens a sense of harmony and balance is seen. So the opposing muscles are also trained together and so flexibility is obtained faster as these opposing muscles do not work against each other but work with each other.
Few flexibility exercises of yoga may include the following:
Forward/ backward bending
There are a variety of yogasanas for improving flexibility. The intensity of the asanas should be increased with time and practice and not at once. So include yoga as a regular part of your workout program and be flexible.