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Don’t Think You’re Flexible Enough for Yoga? Read This.

Updated: Oct 8, 2022

Your practice on the yoga mat helps you build flexibility in mind and body, so you can be more flexible off your mat, too.

Woman in bright pink yoga top and blue yoga pants in Forward Fold on a teal yoga mat on a wood deck with green trees in the background
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold). Photo © Copyright by Laura Brown Photography.

Sometimes people tell me they won't try yoga because they’re not flexible.

If that's you, pause right there. Because that’s part of the point of practicing yoga—to become more flexible in mind and body.

Yoga helps you gain flexibility in the mind and body. The flexibility you learn on your yoga mat is the same flexibility that benefits you off your mat in your everyday life. You become more agile and responsive to change and going with the flow.

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For example, if your partner cancels dinner date plans because they have to work late, the flexibility you learn on your mat can help you have a more flexible response to needing to figure out something different for your evening plans. If you sign your kid up for soccer but they don’t want to play and, instead, they decide to roll themselves up in the curtains in the gym (true story), the flexibility (and patience!) you learn on your mat can help with that, too.

When it comes to flexibility or pretty much anything, you have to start somewhere, so why not start where you are right now? In a yoga asana (poses) practice, I often think about how flexible my hamstrings are when in a Forward Fold, such as Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold).

Practice It: Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)

  • Stand with feet hip-distance apart and your arms at your sides.

  • Inhale as you float your arms to either side and then up toward the sky. On an exhale, float your arms to either side and from your hips, fold forward, placing your hands on something, such as the ground, your feet, your legs, a block or a chair.

  • Keep the crown of your head facing down.

  • If your hamstrings or low back are super tight, keep a soft bend in your knees.

  • Breathe here for a few moments. To come back to standing, bend your knees and roll up to standing one notch at a time, stacking hips over ankles, shoulders over hips and head over heart as your shoulders roll back and reset.

Over time, your hamstrings start to lengthen and you'll notice that your hands reach further down your legs or to the ground. This extra inch of space represents growth and moving forward.

The practice of flexibility (and yoga) takes time and nurturing, but it's so worth it. Try it and let me know how it goes! Take a yoga class with me and check out my Stand Up for Your Self-Care YouTube Channel.

Note that this website and the Stand Up for Your Self-Care YouTube Channel are for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Speak with your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine or wellness plan.

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