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             29 November, 2020

Category:  Articles » Health & Fitness » Yoga


Yoga Stretching Exercises and Beyond

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2008-06-11 05:58:34     
Article by T. T. Renning

Yoga is an age old science with millions of followers worldwide. It is known to help an individual develop physically as well as spiritually. It boosts the immunity of the practitioner and makes the body very flexible. Yoga stresses on a combined mental and physical development. All the yoga poses are nothing but stretching exercises and each is said to act not just on the physical body but also on the development of the mind and soul. There are a variety of stretching exercises in yoga each exercise stretching a group of muscles and thus, strengthening them. The yoga stretching exercises are so effective that they are a part of almost all forms of workout and sports training.

During any workout, it is recommended that yoga stretching exercises be performed right after warm up and also after the work out is over. Stretching after warm up reduces the chances of any cramps and after work out it has a soothing effect. It is said that you can't relax your body well unless you stretch it. Try it out by holding your hand out and trying to relax it. You will find that you cannot relax it completely. Now try stretching your arm in any way and then try to relax it. You will find that you will feel much more relaxed in this manner. This is the principle on which yoga stretching works. The more you stretch, the more you will relax.

In general, it is highly recommended that every person should practice yoga stretching exercises at least 15-20 minutes a day irrespective of his/her profession. The basic level exercises are so simple that they can be performed even in the office or any public place. Following are few of the basic exercises:

-Neck rotation and neck sideway stretching
-Forward bending (upper part of the body)
-Back bending (upper part of the body)
-Calf stretching
-Hamstring stretching
-Side bending (upper part of the body)
-Spinal twist
-Lunge stretch
-Quad stretch

For best results, the stretched pose should be held for at least 15-20 seconds and repeat 4-5 times. But it is important to note that these stretches are known to have positive effects only if they are challenging for the muscles. So, if an inflexible person practices these exercises, the results would be seen in a short time but if a highly flexible person practices these, the results might not be impressive. The best yoga stretching exercises for any person are the ones that challenge the muscles of his body to the next level of flexibility. It should also be remembered that these exercises should carefully be performed in the prescribed order as they may prove harmful if done in the wrong way. So, it is best to start these exercises under the guidance of a good yoga teacher. With regular practice, the results of these yoga stretching exercises will speak for themselves.
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