Yoga for flexibility and mobility

Hi everyone, I’m just new to the forums and this is my first post.

I wanting to know which type of Yoga is best to simply increase flexibility and mobility as an athlete.
I’m not after anything spiritual, or meditation, chants etc etc.

I’ve already tried Bikram Yoga for a week and found that to be really helpful. I’m wondering whether anyone here can recommend trying any other types of yoga???

Welcome to the community.

First and foremost the subject here is asana. When the other tools of the practice are extracted (like homogenized milk), we can’t logically call it “yoga”.

Your post, to me, begs the following question…If you’ve found something that truly works for you then why the continued hunt for something? But perhaps this will just remain a rhetorical question, for now.

No sound asana practice is [I]only[/I] about flexibility/mobility. In order to be sound (read: safe) the practice must include stability as well. Otherwise it is merely contortionism and you can catch on with Cirque du Soleil.

Generally speaking, it is not so much the type of yoga but that approach, intention, actions, and commitment of the student.

I work with several athletes and I merely construct something based on their needs, overtly expressed and otherwise. Find a good teach with a practice that can and is modified and varied (rather than static or “the same”) and you’re athletics will be served. Or you can work with me:-)

many fitness clubs have yoga for beginer classes. These classes are usually slower pace but they also help you figure out which part of your body you want to work on more as well as what type of yoga you want to take. If you belong to a club that has such classes, I would recommend signing up, trying out and see which type you like most.

Where Bikram is more about holding poses, I enjoy Vinyasa Yoga where you move through poses with the breath. I find it gives me flexibility through moving in and out of poses, sometimes holding for a few breaths. While I personally enjoy a slower/lighter vinyasa flow, as an athlete you might enjoy a stronger vinyasa yoga often called “Power Yoga” where it is more dynamic, quicker, stronger, athletic. Though don’t discount a lighter class to counterbalance your athletic training.

Bikram or Flow (or whatever else) it’s really what you prefer, try different classes and see what you like better. Welcome to yoga, enjoy!

Hi, the yoga classes found in fitness gyms should be adequate, and they generally have little or less spiritual content. Bikram is rather intense and good for flexibility, but the flexibility you achieve in that heat will not mean it is available in colder environments. Just my opinion here.

Thanks for the information guys!
I guess I just need to dive in and try the local options here in Switzerland.
One thing I’ve become aware of in Yoga is the difference between simply going to 1-2 classes a week at a university/gym versus signing up with a studio, having a mentors who know you and doing it almost daily. I guess the second option is best, but only if you find something you really like. My hips and thoracic spine/shoulder area are really tight from years of computer nerdism combined with my genetics of tough stringy muscles. I think I really need something focussed that I can do 4-5 times a week to make fast progress. My goals are to be doing full lotus, the front splits and back bends by the end of the year.

I hear Yin Yoga is good for flexibility

Yoga is an excellent practice for improving flexibility and mobility, as it combines stretching, strength-building, and mindful movement. Here's a sequence of yoga poses specifically designed to enhance flexibility and mobility throughout the body:

  1. Cat-Cow Stretch (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana): This dynamic movement warms up the spine and increases flexibility in the back, shoulders, and hips.

    • Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position, with your wrists aligned under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
    • Inhale as you arch your back, lifting your tailbone and chest toward the ceiling (Cow Pose).
    • Exhale as you round your spine, tucking your chin to your chest and drawing your belly button toward your spine (Cat Pose).
    • Continue flowing between Cat and Cow poses, syncing your breath with your movement for several rounds.
  2. Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): This classic yoga pose stretches the entire back body, including the spine, hamstrings, calves, and shoulders, while also building strength in the arms and shoulders.

    • From tabletop position, tuck your toes under and lift your hips up and back, coming into an inverted V shape.
    • Keep your hands shoulder-width apart, feet hip-width apart, and fingers spread wide.
    • Press firmly into your palms as you lengthen through your spine and legs, aiming to bring your heels toward the ground.
    • Hold for several breaths, focusing on lengthening the spine and releasing tension in the back of the legs.
  3. Forward Fold (Uttanasana): This pose stretches the hamstrings, calves, and lower back while also calming the mind and relieving stress.

    • From Downward-Facing Dog, walk your feet toward your hands until they're hip-width apart.
    • Hinge forward at your hips and fold over your legs, allowing your torso to relax toward your thighs.
    • Bend your knees slightly if needed to maintain length in your spine and avoid strain.
    • You can hold onto opposite elbows and gently sway from side to side to release tension in the shoulders and neck.
    • Hold for several breaths, focusing on relaxing into the stretch with each exhalation.
  4. Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana): This pose stretches the hip flexors, quadriceps, and groin muscles, improving hip mobility and flexibility.

    • From Forward Fold, step your right foot back into a low lunge, lowering your right knee to the ground.
    • Ensure your left knee is directly above your left ankle, and your hips are squared forward.
    • Sink your hips down toward the ground while lifting your chest and reaching your arms overhead.
    • Keep your shoulders relaxed away from your ears and engage your core to protect your lower back.
    • Hold for several breaths, then switch sides and repeat.
  5. Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana): This hip-opening pose targets the outer hips and glutes, increasing flexibility and mobility in the hip joints.

    • From Low Lunge, slide your left knee toward your left wrist and angle your left shin diagonally across your mat.
    • Extend your right leg behind you, keeping your hips squared as much as possible.
    • Fold forward over your front leg, resting your forehead on your hands or a block if needed.
    • Keep your hips level and avoid sinking into one side.
    • Hold for several breaths, then switch sides and repeat.
  6. Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana): This seated pose stretches the entire back body, including the spine, hamstrings, and calves, while also calming the mind and relieving stress.

    • Sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you and your feet flexed.
    • Inhale to lengthen your spine, then exhale to hinge forward at your hips, leading with your chest.
    • Hold onto your shins, ankles, or feet, depending on your flexibility, and fold forward as far as comfortable.
    • Keep your spine long and avoid rounding your back.
    • Hold for several breaths, focusing on relaxing into the stretch with each exhalation.
  7. Supine Spinal Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana): This gentle twist stretches the spine, shoulders, and hips, promoting flexibility and mobility while also releasing tension and improving digestion.

    • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
    • Extend your arms out to the sides in a T position, with your palms facing down.
    • Exhale as you lower both knees to the right side, keeping your shoulders grounded.
    • Turn your head to the left and gaze toward your left hand.
    • Hold for several breaths, then switch sides and repeat.

Remember to breathe deeply and mindfully throughout your practice, allowing your breath to guide your movement and deepen your stretches. Honor your body's limitations and avoid pushing into pain or discomfort. With consistent practice, you'll gradually improve your flexibility and mobility, enjoying increased ease of movement and a greater sense of well-being.

Hello, hope you are doing well.

coming back to your question Yes For an Athelet Flexibility
is one of the key elements.Yoga is great flexibility training which
can improve your fitness and physical health.

if you want to boost your flexibility. here are some yoga poses which
will help you in this task.

1.Flyinf Pigeon Pose
2.Inverted Superman Pose
3.Costing Lotus Posture
4.Insect Pose
5.Yoga Loft Backbend
6.Flying Reptile Posture
7.Hanging Pigeon Posture

These are some of the best poses to increase flexibility. Hope this
will help you to improve physical health as well.

Hello and welcome to the forums! Since you've seen benefits from Bikram Yoga, you will probably also want to try Ashtanga or Vinyasa Yoga. Both focus on physical postures and can significantly improve flexibility and mobility, making them great choices for athletes. It’s always good to mix things up and see what works best for you. Feel free to contact yoga go customer support for more personalized recommendations.

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