Do you think you really know yoga stretch? Not always. Today we will present the importance of yoga stretch. Let's check!
The importance of Yoga Stretch
People usually warm-up to wake up the body and soul before doing any sports. As well, yoga needs to stretch too. Regardless of its recent popularity, yoga is an ancient classic practice that has its roots in Indian spiritual traditions. Whether you are new to yoga or been practicing it for a while, you should always stretch after or before a workout as it helps in relaxing your muscles. In other words, how far it can bend, twist and reach. Stretching in the morning is a great way to start your day by getting some movement in your body, which will help in waking up your muscles and joints as well as your mind. Stretching requires moving the body as well as breathing deeply, which relaxes the muscles by regulating the blood circulation.
For people who already practicing yoga: If you have already practiced yoga for a long time, so you don't need exercise scientists and physiologists to convince you of the benefits of stretching. You obviously know how important stretching it is. For people who never do yoga before: Well, you need to do yoga stretch so that to wake up your full body. It benefits your muscles and cells.
Try these yoga stretches
Yoga stretch increases your strength by putting your body in extraordinary positions for an extended period of time. These practices are called asanas, which can benefit your body in various ways such as it can improve your flexibility, it helps in releasing tension in your limbs, build muscle strength, helps in improving your balance and many more.
There are yoga stretching poses mentioned below that will help you to ease your stiff muscles, to relieve tension throughout your body and to exercise without causing any injury to the body. So, read below to dig deeper into the poses. We guess you need the resistance band and exercise band, in the previous articles, we presented What do the different colors of resistance bands mean. So let's start!
- Downward Facing Dog: This pose works in stretching the entire body, and it is one of the most popular poses in yoga. It stretches your calves, Achilles tendons, and hamstrings while strengthening your shoulder and arms. It opens up your shoulder and chest by evenly stretching your spine. To continue with this exercise, rest your body on your knees and palms, put your hands slightly forward of your shoulder while spreading your fingers wide. Exhale as you tuck your toes while lifting the knees off the ground, press the floor away from you as you stretch your elbow by lifting your whole body upward into an upside-down V-shape. When you are ready, hold the pose for at least 10-15 seconds while breathing deeply.
- Cat-cow: Move to hands and knees, and from here alternate between stretching and scooping the spine. Push against the ground to pull the booty and back upwards as you look to the ground, then hollow out as you look upwards, reversing the position.
- Plough Pose：The Sanskrit name “Halasana” an inverted yoga poses which stretches your lower back, neck, and shoulder while rejuvenating the nervous system. This pose is usually practiced at the end of a yoga session as it relaxes and calms the brain, heart, and nerves. It also helps in improving the flexibility of your spine. To perform this exercise, continue while lying straight on your back with your arms on the side and your legs extended. On an inhalation, lift your hips and legs towards the ceiling by using your abdominal muscles and gently lift your back and move your feet further away from the head. Beginners could use their hands to support their back with your arms with the hands close to the shoulder blades while resting the position for 8-10 breaths.
- Head to Knee Pose: The Sanskrit name “Janu Sirsasana” is a seated pose, which stretches your hamstrings, abdominal muscles, and spine. Remember to practice this asana in the morning on an empty stomach or in the evening after a gap of 4 to 5 hours from your last snack. It helps in stimulating the kidney and liver, and it also reduces anxiety and headache and cures insomnia. To perform this pose, sit straight with your legs extended forward and your hands resting on the sides. Bend your right knee by touching the heel of the feet on the center of the calf with the toes pointing up. As you inhale, bend forward by resting your forehead on the left knee while holding the toes of an extended leg. Hold this position for 8-10 breaths to energize your spine. And repeat the same pose with the left leg as well. This pose also helps in relieving knee pain.
- Seated twist: Pull that leg up so that the ball of the foot is on the ground, then twist to the opposite side so that you’re ringing out your body as you look in the opposite direction.
- Pigeon pose: Pull one leg through and send the other back behind you, making sure that you’re sturdily seated on the hip of the bent leg. Fold forward and feel the hip release. Repeat the previous three moves on the other side.
- Reverse tabletop: With feet and arms on the ground, push the pelvis and hips toward the sky to stretch everything out once more.
So, for wholesome stretching, yoga is the right choice, and it also benefits your body and mind in several ways. The poses above will help you stretch and strengthen the major muscles of your body by removing the stiffness. So, start with these amazingly effective yoga stretching exercises to see the results.
How is the muscle stretched?
Stretching the stable muscle groups of a particular joint, giving the joint more room to move. Yoga stretching exercises can make the muscles at the joints longer, thereby increasing the flexibility of the entire body. Yoga mainly stretches muscles. Yoga can stretch muscle length (this is also the principle of yoga shaping). Some people seem to be really tall after stretching. That's because the long-term practice of stretching exercises stretches his / her muscles.
Stretch muscles are less stiff and work more efficiently. Increased blood flow enables more oxygen to reach the muscles and produce energy. The stretch also activates the nerve signals to your muscles, which results in faster reaction times.
"Gradually increasing the range of motion of these movements during the warm-up will prepare the body for more intense versions of those movements during the sport itself," says an expert in Yoga. This process will raise your heart rate and increase the blood flow to your muscles, thereby stretching them up.
Should I stretch after Yoga exercise?
There is some evidence that regular static stretching outside periods of exercise may increase power and speed, and reduce injury. The best time to stretch is when the muscles are warm and pliable. This could be during a yoga class or just after exercising.
A post-yoga-exercise stretch will also slow down your breathing and heart rate, and bring the mind and body back to a resting state.
How Long to Hold Yoga Stretch?
In this kind of practice, you're maintaining the posture long enough to affect the plastic quality of your connective tissues. Prolonged stretches like this can produce healthful, permanent changes in the quality of the fascia that binds your muscles. Julie Gudmestad, a physical therapist and certified Iyengar instructor, uses prolonged asanas with patients at her clinic in Portland, Oregon. "If they hold the poses for shorter periods, people get a nice sense of release," Gudmestad explains, "but they aren't necessarily going to get the structural changes that add up to a permanent increase in flexibility."
According to Gudmestad, yoga stretch should be held 90 to 120 seconds to change the "ground substance" of connective tissue. Ground substance is the nonfibrous, gel-like binding agent in which fibrous connective tissues like collagen and elastin are embedded. Ground substance stabilizes and lubricates connective tissue.
Stretching is an important part of fitness because a proper stretching will not only make your workout better, but it will also make your muscles flexible by keeping you active and healthy. Down below are some yoga poses which you can include in your practice regularly to see the improvement. Take time for yourself in the morning with these yoga exercises, so you can be sure to enjoy the rest of the day!
You may also like,