One of the most common misconceptions about yoga is that it’s a requirement to be uber flexible in order to step foot onto a mat. While flexibility certainly results in those ultra-bendy people you see on your Instagram feed, it’s not a prerequisite for practicing yoga. Being a beginner in anything can be daunting, but almost all yoga classes can be modified for beginners and anyone who claims to not have an ounce of flexibility in them.
Looking for a beginner-friendly way to start practicing yoga? Download Yoga Wake Up to find gentle, audio-guided yoga and meditation practices that you can do from bed!
Flexibility has a huge impact on our health — from the way our body feels during everyday movements to lowering the risk of injury, it’s a key part of our overall wellbeing. Flexibility improves our posture, lowers muscle tension leading to reduced stress, improves blood circulation, and creates a greater range of motion.
In yoga, the stretching involved in flowing from pose to pose helps to increase flexibility over time. It’s also one of the best activities to do if your goal is to improve your flexibility — most people begin to see noticeable gains in their flexibility in as little as three to four weeks of practice!
No yoga experience? No problem! Download Yoga Wake Up to find hundreds of gentle, beginner-friendly yoga and meditation sessions that can be done from the comfort of your own bed, or anytime.
Another method that improves flexibility but doesn’t require any specific level of flexibility to start, is the Feldenkrais Method. The Feldenkrais Method uses gentle movement to help people increase their ease and range of motion, improve flexibility and coordination, and create more efficient movements. The method is based on principles of basic physics and an understanding of human development, allowing people to become more aware of habits and tensions and the way that they move.
Interested in trying The Feldenkrais Method? Check out the Feldenkrais Flow on Yoga Wake Up, a twisting, rolling, floor-based movement session that uses Feldenkrais principles to release tension and relax. Users say it’s “perfect after a long day of sitting at a desk”, and “the most fun yoga session they’ve experienced!”.
Remember, yoga is about much more than flexibility. It’s an opportunity to reduce stress, get in-tune with your body, and practice mindfulness in a way that works for you. So, the next time you see someone twisting their legs behind their head in a cute yoga outfit, remind yourself that that isn’t a representation of yoga.