How often should I practice yoga to become flexible?

4 min read

“Too stiff” to practice yoga? My teacher used to say that’s like saying you’re too dirty to take a shower. Just like a shower will clean you, yoga will increase your flexibility. So, how often should you practice to increase your flexibility?

You’re probably not happy with this answer. You want something concrete and tangible, especially if your goal is to become more flexible. It’s the truth. Those who practice yoga casually for four weeks will find that they are more flexible. Some people will need four years to achieve the same results.

You can take part in the 30-Day Yoga Challenge for free if you want to get your practice going (and improve your flexibility). You will become more flexible by committing yourself to the practice.

Even the most rigid yogis can increase their flexibility with a few words, some tips, and a couple of poses.

Flexibility is not a destination but a journey.

Focus on small victories rather than your ultimate goal. Focus on your ankles first if you are struggling to reach the ground in a forward folding.

When your body is ready, then reach for your toes. Next, get your toes. Then, finally, reach out for the floor. Celebrate small victories to avoid frustration and to motivate yourself.

Every day is different.

Genetics, weather conditions, hydration levels, gender, and physical fitness are all factors that influence your flexibility.

You may find that your muscles are more supple and open deeper the next day. You may roll out your mat expecting to see the same results the next morning, but you haven’t slept well or had a stressful workday. Your hamstrings aren’t moving.

Every day is different. You are different every day. Remember to take each day as it arrives and that wherever you are, you’re supposed to be.

Flexibility is patience; flexibility is kindness.

In 1 Corinthians 13:4, it is beautifully stated, “Love is patient, and love is kind.” This is also true of our journey to flexibility. It doesn’t boast, it doesn’t envy, and it’s not proud.

Come from a place where you love yourself. Be patient with yourself. Be patient with yourself. Do not be jealous of others. Focus on small wins and let go of what isn’t working for you.

Let’s move on to the physical now that we have set up our mental and emotional bodies for success.

Yoga Poses that will help increase flexibility

You can practice this pose daily and also measure your flexibility. This pose can be easily modified by adjusting your knee bend or first practicing with blocking. Once you feel comfortable, you can begin to move the top thighs forward as you push the heels down.

Hold for five breaths once you have reached your maximum for the day. As your flexibility increases, straighten your knees and get your palms toward the Earth.

Low Lunge / Anjaneyasana

Low Leg Lunge has been a foundation pose in many Vinyasa Sequences for a good reason. This pose is a good way to stretch the hip flexors (psoas), which are often tight from the 18 hours of walking, running, biking, and sitting that we do each day.

You can also release a tight lower back by opening this muscle. All are connected in our glorious body! Hold your pose for five breaths and then switch sides.

Intense Side Stretch

Intense side stretch is another delicious pose that will increase your flexibility if you practice it often. This pose will improve your flexibility, especially in the shoulders and chest.

You can modify this pose to suit your flexibility level by adjusting the distance you extend your chest/torso. Beginners can benefit from this pose by simply hinging at the hips, opening the chest outward, parallel to the mat, and over the extended leg instead of down. Hold for five breaths, then switch sides.

While everybody is different and everyone’s flexibility journey is unique, it’s fairly safe to say that the more you practice–dynamically and passively–the more flexible you’ll become. As you explore the special abilities of your body, keep these mental and emotional tips in mind.

Please share your progress with us by taking a before-and-after selfie of you doing those splits or getting your nose to your knee in your forward fold seated.

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