Are you shying away from yoga just because you can barely touch your toes without bending your knees? Well, don’t be discouraged by your inflexibility; you don’t need to be flexible to do yoga. In fact, being very bendy doesn’t make you better at yoga at all.
Those with stiff bodies will encounter a few challenges performing postures at the outset. But that is why all postures have variations. For beginners or first-timers, postures can be altered for them to be able to practice and eventually move on to the final posture. For example, in the asana called Padhasthasana, the final posture is bending forward while standing, and touching the palms to the ground and forehead to the knees, while keeping the knees straight. Beginners are asked to bend forward as much as they can, without bending their knees, and instead of placing their palms on the ground, they are allowed to hold the shin bone, or back of the knees.
While doing yoga regularly — two to three times a week for a few months — can increase flexibility, it also depends on the type of yoga being practiced, the practitioner’s anatomy and exercise history. If a person had been stretched to the limits by other exercise forms, and hadn’t achieved any flexibility, there may be little scope for improving on this aspect.
But it’s important to remember flexibility isn’t the only benefit of yoga, which boosts fitness and brings a sense of calm and focus to your life.
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