If you’re just planning on getting started out with yoga, then chances are that one of the key take outs that you want from this particular practice is increased flexibility.
In fact, statistics show that this is the primary reason why people take up this form of exercise in the first place.
Improving your flexibility can be beneficial for a whole host of different reasons, with some of the primary ones being relieving chronic pain, relieving sports injuries, and strengthening the muscles.
All of these are great reasons for diving into yoga, and it’s also considered to be a super beginner friendly practice, with a whole host of poses for those just getting started out, and ones which are more advanced.
That’s why we’d urge you, if you’re only just getting started out with yoga, that you don’t rush ahead and try out some of the more advanced techniques right away, as you could potentially hurt yourself in the process.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of the very best beginner friendly poses that can help you to increase your flexibility.
These are great foundational poses that can set you up for success, so that you’re more prepared to take on advanced poses. To find out more, simply keep reading below, as we take a closer look.
1. Reclined Hand To Big Toe Pose
This is one of the best poses when you’re still just getting started out with your yoga practice, but you want to start pushing the boundaries a little, and test out your flexibility.
This one is great for stretching a number of different muscles in your lower leg, groin, hamstrings and hips. If you can’t quite reach as high as you’d like with this pose yet, don’t worry as with practice this will come over time.
- You want to start this pose out simply by lying on your back with your knees bent, with both of the pads of your feet touching the ground underneath.
- After you’ve done this, you can then go ahead and start bringing your knees toward your chest.
- Following on from this, you’re going to want to grip your big toe with your index finger, then bring it upwards in a straight position, towards your body.
- After you’ve brought this leg upwards, you can then try to extend the other leg so that it’s flat against the floor, with your calf and the back of your heel on the ground. Again, don’t worry if you can’t do this right away, it’s okay to keep it bent too if it’s too much of a struggle.
- Lie like this for approximately ten breaths, then you can go ahead and rest that leg back gently against the ground, and you can then repeat it with the other leg.
2. Half Moon Pose
For some, this pose will come more naturally than others. That’s because of the length of our backs, and the length of our legs, which will vary from person to person. But with some practice, everyone can get a good grip on this pose.
It’s a great way to stretch out your glutes, and strengthen your calves.
- To get started out with the half moon pose, you’re going to want to stand up straight, and have your feet hip width apart.
- After you’ve done this, you’re going to want to bend your toes away from the surface of your body, so that they’re both facing outwards slightly.
- You can then go ahead and bring your knees down, so that you’re in a full squat position that’s super close to the surface of the ground.
- After you’ve done the hard bit, all you have to do is bring your elbows inward, so that they’re inside the area between your knees, and place your hands so that they’re against your heart. You can then very gently begin to push your knees away from one another using your elbows, make sure to be very slow whilst doing this, as you could lose balance.
3. Cow Face Pose
This is a beginner pose within yoga that some of you out there might not have heard of before. It’s great for practicing flexibility, and can help you to get in tune with your whole body.
Judging by the pose in the image, you may feel as though it’s the upper body that’s mostly getting flexed here, but it’s actually fantastic for the lower body too.
This is particularly true for the outerpoints of your thighs, which are being passively stretched whilst performing this pose. You’re going to be twisting and contorting your body slightly with this pose, so as always make sure to go at your own pace and what feels comfortable.
- In order to get started with cow face pose, you’re going to want to sit in a comfortable cross legged position on the floor.
- After you’ve done this, you’re going to want to bring your foot up toward it so that it reaches your left thigh. Make sure that your right leg is pointing upward whilst you do this to make things easier.
- You can then put your left foot to the outside region of your right buttock area.
- At this point, you’re going to want to take a deep breath inwards, bringing both of your arms upwards so that they’re twisting to your right side, eventually placing your right hand on the floor beneath you. Follow on from this by putting your left elbow on your right knee, on the outside region.
- Use your left hand then to press down on the surface of the ground, and turn your head so that you’re looking right.
- You’ll then want to take some deep breaths in and out, and as you do so, make sure that you’re lengthening your spine as much as you can with each inhalation.
- You’re going to want to repeat this process for approximately ten sets, taking deep breaths in and out each time. Finally, after you’ve done this, you can then go ahead and repeat it once more on the other side.
4. Eye Of The Needle
Chances are that if you’ve dabbled in yoga at all in the past, that you’ve come across this popular pose. This one is called the eye of the needle, and it’s a great beginner friendly pose that can help to improve your flexibility.
This one in particular is fantastic for your lower hip regions, and can help you to achieve more flexibility in this particular area.
As you go along with this pose, over time, you’ll be able to conduct deeper stretches.
- To get started with this pose, you’re going to want to lie comfortably on your back, with your knees both bent. Make sure that your feet are both placed firmly on the ground.
- After you’ve done this, you can go ahead and place your right ankle on top of the opposite thigh, so that it’s slightly opened. After you’ve done this, you can then start bringing your left foot off of the surface of the floor, bringing your thigh on this side up to the surface of your chest.
- Follow on from this by bringing your knees as close as you can to your chest region. If this isn’t very far, don’t worry, your flexibility with this pose will increase over time.
- Reach your hand so that it’s moving through that region between your legs, and grab on to your left thigh.
- Bring your left knee even closer towards your chest region.
- Do all of this for approximately 5 to ten breaths, then you can go ahead and repeat the whole process with the other leg.
To sum up, there are a whole bunch of yoga poses out there that can help you to achieve a healthier lifestyle through flexibility.
We would however, like to recommend that if you are a beginner, that you get started out with some of the poses listed above, rather than trying more of the advanced ones first, which can result in injury.
In addition to this, make sure that you’re taking each of these poses listed above at your own face, and that you’re not pushing your body too hard too quickly. We hope that you found this article helpful.
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