Yoga Stretches

Yoga stretches are one of the best ways to begin restoring your body to better health and improve flexibility. They make you aware of your physical limits, but as you consistently practice those limits will lessen.

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Stretching feels good, your body naturally craves it. When you awaken in the morning what’s one of the first thing your body wants to help it wake up? A good stretch, you do it instinctively. It feels great so why not remember to stretch once in a while throughout your day! Making it an everyday routine is the best thing you can do for your body.

Light Yoga
In the beginning, start with simple stretches. You can begin by lying on the floor (or your bed), stretch your arms by reaching over your head, and stretch your legs at the same time. This is light yoga that can really aid in relaxing your body.

You can take this stretch a bit further by stretching your arms above your head and intertwine your fingers, and by turning your palms up you will feel an even greater stretch in your arms. At the same time stretch your legs and point your feet toward the floor. This will give you a wonderful full body stretch. Hold for a count of 10 and then relax by letting your body melt into the floor. This is an easy tension reliever for the end of a busy day.

Stretching is Good for Any Fitness Level
If you go to the Chair Yoga and Yoga Sun Salutation pages, on this website, you will find illustrations to help you begin learning these stretches. The illustrated yoga postures can be adapted for any fitness level, if you take my advice and do not push beyond your limits. All you need to do is perform the stretches to the best of your ability.

    Please note: Yoga Sun Salutation may be a bit advanced if you have never practiced yoga, but if you are in good shape it will be easy to master. It is a combination of both stretching and strengthening. Also be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise practice, especially if you have any special health concerns.

Fits Well with Any Exercise Routine
You can use yoga stretches in combination with your existing exercise routine. Even if you are in great shape these stretches can be a beneficial addition, and will maintain your flexibility, therefore, enhancing your workout.

Yoga can be a perfect warm-up to any exercise program, whether it is strength training with weights, aerobics, cycling, or running. You need strong flexible muscles to avoid injury. Performing light yoga stretches before and after exercise is the best way to maintain healthy muscles and joints.

When doing yoga stretches there are important points to remember:

    1. You should only stretch to the point when you feel a slight pull, DO NOT push yourself further. In time you will notice you can stretch further with little effort.

    2. Begin with holding the stretch for a count of 10, then as you become more experienced increase the hold to a count of 15 or 20.

    3. DO NOT quickly jerk your body into position or force your body into a bend or twist. Yoga stretching is training your body through fluid movements without pushing beyond its limits.

    4. Remember to breathe! Do not hold your breath. Take breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try to keep a natural rhythm to your breathing.

Keep these simple rules in mind and relax and enjoy every stretch, your body will be grateful!

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