Why is Flexibility Important?
We watch dancers, gymnasts, and yogis . . . and wonder, how do they get their bodies to move with such grace into those incredible positions? It’s called . . . flexibility!
As kids, we stretched out muscles daily . . . riding bikes, running through neighborhoods, climbing trees, and playing outside. As adults, our lives become more sedentary and we search to find time and ways to stretch our muscles and keep them flexible.
And, why is it important to keep our muscles flexible?
Flexibility . . .
- improves our posture, which opens the space around our hearts and organs,
- builds strength within our muscles which makes everyday movements more enjoyable,
- gives us more energy, and
- reduces the risk of injury.
That’s some pretty impressive benefits for just a few stretches! And, you don’t even have to do them all at one time!
Practicing yoga poses (asanas) will help us gain flexibility. To get started, we’ve listed seven yoga asanas. Each asana may be practiced alone, or in a sequence of two or three poses, or all together in a sequence. They are gentle stretches from which we can increase our flexibility the more we practice.
Each time we practice, notice how our body feels. Are we able to reach a little further? Breathe a little deeper? Each practice moves us closer to our goals.
The asanas in the Flexibility section may be practiced standing or sitting. We gain a greater range of movement if standing, however, it is most important to start moving and to start where you are today.
So let’s stand (or sit) tall . . . as if a string is being pulled up our spine, through the top of our head up toward the sky. Our shoulders are back and down. Our heart is open . . . shining up and out.