Flexibility is not necessarily something you are born with. Yes, some individuals are capable of achieving stretches and poses seemingly without trying, while others have to work for years to see similar results, but that just means you have to reflect on your body’s abilities and be more self aware. You should not feel discouraged that you have to put more work in, just think of it from a positive perspective: once you hit the results, you will be so proud and deserving.
Flexibility is not dexterity, one has to work for flexibility and maintain the slow growing process. It is important to note the benefits of flexible muscles and a flexible mind.
- Decreased Injuries.
Injuries happen most often in a gym setting when our bodies are not warmed up, when we jump into a series of exercises without proper stretching. Stretching is basically synonymous with flexibility. One cannot exist without the other. The more you stretch, the more flexible you become, the less injuries you will acquire because your muscles will be malleable and balanced.
- No Pain!
Pain is a huge thing we are dealing with on a day to day basis, and since it was introduced into the medical system some 70 years ago for doctors to gage your level of discomfort, we have become more acquainted with the idea of “oh my lower back ALWAYS hurts.” This is not healthy nor should is be normalized because it is a constant. We must work on our bodies, on taking pressure off of certain muscles groups, on stretching and increasing flexibility in order to relieve pain and aid in the decrease of future pains.
When we stretch and release and become more flexible, our brains and minds becomes more flexible by affiliation. We gain an understanding for our physical being and develop a sense of empathy. We crush our ego when we are confronted with issues, and how we handle this is entirely up to us.
- Improved Posture and Balance.
When working on flexibility, both posture and balance acquire strength. Stretching of any muscle groups will by association elongate the back muscles, which will allow for better posture. Taking part in yogic exercises also increases the body’s balancing abilities, which effect our ability to focus as well.
- Strength increase and improvement.
When you stretch and become more flexible, you also gain muscle and become stronger. One is linked with the other, that is just how to body works. Your muscles become more pliable, but they also gain mass, and thus, not only do you feel better, but also your performance is increased in terms of working out.So now we know the benefits of FLEXIBILITY, but how do you work on it? Yoga. Yoga is the answer. It increases flexibility, it boosts your mood, it makes you feel better overall. You can see your improvements, and it is gratifying. Simple poses such as:
Forward fold: target the hamstrings and lower back
Touching of the toes: target hamstrings, calves, entire back
Downward Facing Dog: targets the entire body, the back muscles, hamstrings, thighs, shoulders, neck and even navel.
Plank pose: strengthens scapula, shoulders and arms, works on flexibility of the hamstrings and calf muscles, and teaches the importance of utilizing navel muscles
Puppy Dog pose: Shoulders, entire back, front of neck and chest
Spinal Twists: Abdominal muscles, lower back, shoulders, and pectoral muscles
Triangle pose: Obliques, hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes
These are just a few to keep in mind. Do your own variation of these, and you will see improvements week by week. 12 minutes of YOGA per day is all you need. Whats 12 minutes in the grand scheme? Check out Findagym.ca for a list of gyms near you, offering the classes you are interested in, that will boost your flexibility. Search Montreal, Quebec, Ontario, Toronto, to name a few.