Try touching your feet with your hands without bending your knees. If you cannot do it, you need to work on your flexibility. So, how about trying yoga for flexibility? Yoga is the best way to keep your limbs, joints, and back flexible. It can also help you boost your immunity. But, which yoga poses should you try? In this article, we discuss the 9 effective poses that can improve your flexibility and immunity. Spare 15 minutes a day and see the results for yourself. Check them out!
In This Article
What Is Flexibility?
You know that your limbs might get jammed if you are sedentary. You’ve heard and probably said to yourself that you must work out or do some stretching to become flexible. But do you know what being flexible actually means?
Flexibility is also called limberness. It refers to a comprehensive range of movement or mobility in an individual joint, or in all of the joints. It also adds length to the muscles that cross the joints, and this induces the bending motion.
Flexibility is extremely essential simply because if our limbs and muscles don’t move in their full range of the movement, they sort of rust and give rise to a chain of issues, pain being one of the first signs.
What Is Immunity?
Immunity is extremely essential to keep diseases and problems at bay. It is simply the body’s capability to form a shield against harmful microorganisms so as to prevent them from entering the body. Immunity not only acts as a barrier against these organisms but also eliminates pathogens. It also has this innate ability to create pathogen-specific resistance.
How Does Yoga Help To Instill Flexibility And Boost Immunity?
A 2019 study conducted by a team of researchers from Husson University, US to understand the holistic benefits of yoga had 19 college athletes participating in an 8-week program. The graph below addresses the common beliefs the participants had about yoga and provides data on improved flexibility, awareness, and coordination as a result of the program as per the relevant sport.
Athlete's Most Common Beliefs About YogaSource: Athlete Perspectives on 8-Weeks of Yoga Practice
Yoga, in Sanskrit, means to join or to focus. When one practices yoga regularly, one’s physical gains are strength, immunity, flexibility, and pliability (muscle suppleness). Yoga offers complete versatility for both mind and body fitness. It is an all-in-one package that includes muscular activity (that provides flexibility), and an inward self, energy, and breath awareness (that helps build immunity).
Yoga’s healing system is based on four basic principles.
- This practice believes that the human body is a holistic entity and comprises of interrelated dimensions that cannot be separated from each other. It also believes that the health or illness of one dimension directly affects the other aspects too.
- The second belief or principle is that all individuals are unique, and their needs are unique too. This must be acknowledged, and the practice must be tailored to suit one’s needs.
- The third principle states that yoga is self-empowering, and the students are their own healers. Yoga engages the student in the healing process of the body and plays an active role in their journey to health. The healing through yoga comes from within, and therefore, a sense of autonomy is established.
- The fourth principle is that the state of mind of the individual is crucial to the healing process. If a person practices with a positive mindset, the healing is quicker as compared to when the person practices with a negative mindset.
The meaning and principles behind yoga make it abundantly clear that this method works on both strength and immunity. It not only heals but also prevents diseases and disorders while prolonging the life of the limbs and the muscles.
Yoga For Immunity & Flexibility – All It Takes Is 15 Minutes
Have a look at these 9 effective yoga poses for immunity boost-up.
- Virabhadrasana II
- Setu Bandhasana
1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Though this asana seems incredibly simple at the outset, it requires a great deal of alignment to perfect it. It is important to get it right as this asana is the base for many other asanas that follow. This pose works on all your muscles as it corrects your posture and makes your body flexible and pain-free, especially if you have a sedentary desk job. It aligns your skeleton and brings it back to a neutral stance. This asana also works on your nervous, digestive, and respiratory systems, making sure they are regulated and work well, thereby strengthening your immunity.
To know more about this asana, click here: Tadasana
2. Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
This asana is also called the Chair Pose, and it is both fierce and powerful as each and every part of your body is involved in it. It takes a great deal of strength and stamina to form an imaginary chair with your body. As you do this, you achieve a sense of stability and also fight the resistance of gravity. As you practice this asana regularly, you become stronger, more flexible, and more immune.
3. Virabhadrasana II (Warrior 2 Pose)
This asana is also called the Warrior II Pose. It requires focus and strength, and as your body strives to achieve it, it becomes both flexible and immune. This asana gives the legs a good stretch and also stretches the groins, lungs, chest, and shoulders. Regular practice of this asana also helps improve stamina.
4. Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
The Vrksasana or the Tree Pose strengthens the spine as it improves both poise and balance. Practicing this pose also aids neuromuscular coordination. Although this asana is more of a balancing pose, it aligns the body and prepares it for hardships. Eventually, with practice, flexibility and immunity are improved.
To know more about this asana, click here: Vrksasana
This asana allows full range of motion in the lower body as it gives the hamstrings, quadriceps, and groin a good stretch. The Anjaneyasana also opens up the chest, heart, and lungs. It is said to generate heat in the body, and thus, works amazingly well for those finding it hard to cope with cold weather. The opening up of the lungs throws out all the mucus, giving the lungs a good cleanse.
6. Vasisthasana (Side Plank Pose)
This asana gives the back of the legs and the wrists a good stretch. It works towards developing inner strength. It is important to correctly align your body when you practice the Plank Pose. Your muscles and organs get stimulated, and their functioning is improved.
7. Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
The Setu Bandhasana opens up the chest, heart, shoulders, the spine, the back of the neck, and the hip flexors. Also considered a mild inversion, in this asana, your heart is placed over your head. It, therefore, manages to give you all the benefits of an inversion. It provides relief from stress, fatigue, and insomnia, regulates blood pressure, and stimulates the thyroid glands. It also massages the knees and shoulders, thereby rejuvenating the practitioner.
8. Matsyasana (Fish pose)
The Matsyasana or the Fish Pose strengthens the back and abdomen. It imparts a curve in the neck that is significantly advantageous to the thyroid. This asana roots you to the ground as it lifts up your spirits and rejuvenates you. This asana obviously induces flexibility to the spine, but it also improves immunity. They say that if you practice this asana regularly, you will never suffer from a stroke.
9. Balasana (Child Pose)
The Balasana is an effective pose in yoga to improve immunity. It tones the abdominal muscles, thus improving the process of elimination of waste as well as the procedure of digestion. It stretches your lower back and spine as it completely relaxes your body.
To know more about this asana, click here: Balasana
Infographic: Top 5 Yoga Poses For Better Flexibility And Immunity
A sedentary lifestyle can lead to reduced flexibility and immunity, affecting your overall well-being. Thankfully, performing a few simple yoga poses each day can help you get back that lost control. While there are many poses to choose from, we have highlighted the 5 top yoga poses you should practice daily to improve your flexibility and immunity in the infographic below. Check it out!
A sedentary lifestyle takes a toll on your flexibility in the body. Fortunately, the yoga poses listed above may help increase movement range and improve immunity and physical fitness. These, in turn, improve our power of adaptability. They also work on the posture, skeletal alignment, legs, wrists, knees, groins, shoulders, chest, lungs, hamstrings, quadriceps, spine, heart, neck, hip flexors, etc. Yoga for joint fluidity and flexibility also helps boost stamina, improve agility, relieve stress, reduce fatigue and insomnia, manage high blood pressure, etc. So, make it a point to spare yourself 15 minutes every day to improve your limberness and look extremely fit.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to improve flexibility with yoga?
It may take around 10 weeks to improve flexibility with yoga (1).
Is daily yoga enough exercise?
No. While it is good to do yoga daily, it may not be enough to stay fit. You must consume a balanced diet and follow a healthy lifestyle to improve your health.
Can yoga blocks or other props be used to assist with flexibility yoga poses?
Yes. Using them may also help achieve better pose and provide more comfort.
What is the hardest flexibility pose?
Taraksvasana or the Handstand Scorpion is the hardest flexibility pose. It requires extreme agility, balance, and flexibility.
At what age is it hard to be flexible?
It is hard to be flexible after 60 years of age as muscles tend to weaken with age, which hampers overall flexibility.
Is yoga safe for everyone?
Yes, it is a safe form of physical activity for people to practice and reap benefits in the long run.
What happens if we do yoga wrong?
It may lead to postural deformities and acute pain.
Can practicing yoga poses help alleviate stress or improve mental health?
Yes, yoga can help with overall improvement of mental, physical, and emotional well-being.
How can I track my progress with flexibility yoga poses?
You can use progress tracking applications or keep an account of your progress.
- Yoga helps improve flexibility and boost immunity to help achieve a healthy body and mind.
- Yoga poses like tadasana and matsyasana can help improve your muscle strength and posture.
- You can include balasana in your workout routine to detox your body, improve digestion, and relax the body.
Start your day off right with this 20-minute yoga routine! Stretch and increase your flexibility with the easy-to-follow yoga session in the video below.
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- Impact of 10-weeks of yoga practice on flexibility and balance of college athletes