3 Tips to Increase Your Flexiblity

Do you constantly feel like like you can't practice yoga because you're not flexible? Flexibility is not a requirement for yoga, but a side effect of yoga! It is so important that you don't feel discouraged if you are not the most flexible in the room. Everyone's bodies and abilities are different and it doesn't make your yoga journey less than anyone else's based on your flexibility. Today I want to share 3 tips you can incorporate into your everyday yoga practice (and life) to increase flexibility:

1) Stay in a stretch longer than you think you should: One of the biggest problems I see with people who claim they don't have flexibility in a pose is that they aren't willing to stay in long enough to find out! I always recommend a minimum of 45 seconds in each stretch. For example: If you are practicing a seated forward fold, the longer you stay in the pose, the more your hamstrings will release allowing you to push forward. If you are in pain of course listen to your body but if you can stay, be patient enough to give your body the proper amount of stretching time it needs. 

2) Connect your breath to your stretch: Did you know the way you are breathing can affect how deep you can go into a stretch/pose? On your inhale you should always be creating length and then on your exhale you always want to push a little bit further into your stretch. If we take the forward fold example again: When you are inhaling you want to lengthen through your body extending over your legs and on the exhale you want to fold into the pose. This type of breathing can help you achieve instant flexibility in your body! 

3) Be Consistent: If you only stretch once or twice a week, your body will never increase in flexibility. Try to make stretching a regular part of your day (like drinking water or watching tv). Always make time to stretch even if it is just for 10 minutes. I love to stretch while I am sitting at my desk, watching tv, or even cooking dinner. There is always time for a little stretching! Only have 5 minutes? Pick 5 poses and stretch in them for 1 minute each. 

I hope these 3 tips will be helpful for you in increasing your flexibility! Try them out and make sure to share them with a friend!