Advice on flexibility training

I have never been able to sit on the floor with my legs crossed, but then again I have never really tried to work on my flexibility to do that either !
My legs just stay stuck up in the air and won't "just go down on the floor" like more normal people's legs seem to do ( at least everyone else in class anyway).

So I found a video on YT about training my legs to sit "criss cross apple sauce" and I also found some useful blogs online from professional yoga experts.

The guy in the video says to sit on the floor with my legs out and feet meeting in the each other in the middle and to place some weight on the knees to try and eventually push them down.
Here is the link to the video ( at 5:30)

I try sitting like you see in the picture here:

(with my feet in closer to my body), and the pain is far greater than in the method he says to use where the feet meet in the center.

I am not sure if it matters which way I do it. After I sit as I do in the second picture and stand up I feel like a grandma with aching hips who can barely walk. I read that this is normal and will hurt for a while as my body get used to it.
The problem is the first method feels like a very light stretch, where the second one is really strong.
Is anyone able to advise if there is a correct way? Do I need to make an appointment with a Yoga instructor so he can assess my issues?
Many Thanks.

Improving flexibility is a valuable goal that can enhance overall well-being and performance in various physical activities. Here are some advice and tips for effective flexibility training:

  1. Warm-Up Before Stretching:

    • Always begin flexibility training with a proper warm-up. Engage in light aerobic activity or dynamic stretches to increase blood flow to the muscles and prepare them for more intense stretching.
  2. Consistency is Key:

    • Flexibility gains come with consistent practice. Aim to incorporate flexibility exercises into your routine at least 2-3 times per week. Regularity is more important than the intensity of each session.
  3. Gradual Progression:

    • Start with gentle stretches and gradually progress to more advanced stretches as your flexibility improves. Avoid pushing yourself too hard too quickly, as this can lead to injuries.
  4. Target Major Muscle Groups:

    • Focus on stretches that target major muscle groups, such as hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, hips, shoulders, and back. This approach ensures a comprehensive improvement in overall flexibility.
  5. Include Dynamic Stretching:

    • Dynamic stretches involve controlled movements and are excellent for warming up and improving flexibility. Examples include leg swings, arm circles, and hip circles.
  6. Static Stretching After Workouts:

    • Perform static stretches, where you hold a stretch for 15-60 seconds, after your workout or physical activity. This helps relax the muscles and improves their length.
  7. Use Proper Technique:

    • Pay attention to your form and technique during stretching to avoid unnecessary strain. Focus on maintaining good posture, and ensure that you're feeling the stretch in the targeted muscle group.
  8. Breathe Deeply and Relax:

    • Incorporate deep, controlled breathing into your stretching routine. Breathe in slowly through your nose, and exhale through your mouth. Relaxing into the stretch can improve its effectiveness.
  9. Utilize Props and Tools:

    • Yoga blocks, straps, or foam rollers can assist in achieving proper alignment and provide support during stretches. These tools can be especially helpful for beginners.
  10. Explore Different Types of Stretching:

    • Incorporate a variety of stretching techniques into your routine. This may include static stretching, dynamic stretching, proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF), and ballistic stretching.
  11. Listen to Your Body:

    • Pay attention to how your body responds to each stretch. It's normal to feel mild discomfort, but avoid any sharp or intense pain. If a stretch is too uncomfortable, back off and try a gentler variation.
  12. Hydration and Nutrition:

    • Staying well-hydrated is essential for overall muscle health and flexibility. Adequate nutrition, including a balanced intake of vitamins and minerals, supports muscle function and recovery.
  13. Seek Professional Guidance:

    • If you're new to flexibility training or have specific concerns, consider seeking guidance from a fitness professional or a qualified yoga instructor. They can provide personalized advice and ensure you're using proper form.

Remember that everyone's body is different, and progress may vary. Be patient with yourself, and celebrate small improvements along the way. If you have any existing health conditions or concerns, consult with a healthcare professional before starting a new flexibility training program.