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March Newsletter: Best Yoga Poses to Improve Flexibility

Woman stretches on the beach for her next yoga class.

These Yoga Poses Will Help You Become More Flexible

Do you struggle to stretch, struggle with back or leg pain, or find bending uncomfortable? Yoga can help you become more flexible if your muscles and joints are too tight. These five yoga poses ease stiffness and improve mobility and range of motion.


The gentle stretching involved in cat-cow improves flexibility in your back, neck, abdomen, chest, and hips. Follow these steps to perform the pose:

  • Start on the floor on all fours in the tabletop position.
  • Transition to the cow portion of the pose by inhaling, then dropping your abdomen to the floor while raising your head toward the ceiling.
  • Exhale, round your back, and drop your head to perform the cat portion.
  • Perform 10 repetitions of the pose.

Downward-Facing Dog

Downward-facing dog stretches and strengthens the muscles in your hands, arms, feet, calves, hamstrings, and back.

  • Remain on your hands and knees after finishing the cat-cow pose. Keep your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Inhale.
  • Exhale and raise your hips toward the ceiling while straightening your legs. Your body should form an upside-down "V" shape. If straightening your legs is too uncomfortable, bend them instead.
  • Hold the pose as you inhale and exhale several times.

Reclined Big Toe Pose

Poses like the reclined big toe pose loosen tight fibers in muscles that could be causing pain. The pose stretches your groin, spine, inner thigh, calves, and hamstrings. Practicing yoga offers other benefits too. During yoga sessions, your body releases hormones that enhance relaxation and reduce the effects of stress.

  • Perform the reclined big toe pose by lying on your back with your knees bent. Inhale.
  • Exhale and pull your left knee toward your chest, then slowly raise it toward the ceiling. Holding onto a strap or belt looped around your left foot can help you maintain this pose.
  • Hold the pose for 5 to 10 breaths, then repeat with the right leg.

Head-to-Knee Pose

The head-to-knee pose stretches muscles in your legs, ankles, hips, and back. The Yoga Journal notes that the pose counteracts the effects of sitting, eases low back pain, and can help you recover from playing sports.

Perform the pose by following these steps:

  • Start in a sitting position with your legs extended in front of you. Bend your left knee and place the sole of your left foot on the inside of your upper right thigh. Your left knee should be pointed toward the side.
  • Inhale while lengthening your spine.
  • Exhale and bend forward and try to reach your right foot with your hands.
  • Hold the pose for five to 10 breaths before repeating with the other leg.

Child's Pose

The child's pose stretches the back, shoulder, and ankle muscles and improves flexibility in your hips and pelvis. Use these steps to perform the pose.

  • Kneel on the floor with your knees apart.
  • Slowly sit back on your heels.
  • Extend your arms in front of you as you lower your body toward the floor.
  • Touch the floor with your head. If you can't quite reach the floor, use a bolster or pillow to support your head.
  • Inhale and exhale for five to 10 counts.

Yoga Offers a Proven Way to Improve Flexibility

In addition to causing stiffness, tight muscles may affect your balance and posture and increase your risk of falls and injuries. Making yoga part of your daily routine keeps your muscles loose and flexible and helps you avoid these problems. Yoga offers an effective way to enhance flexibility, according to several research studies. College athletes who performed yoga in a study published in the International Journal of Yoga in 2016 saw improvements in flexibility and balance after a 10-week yoga program.

In another study published in Age and Ageing in 2016, researchers noted that yoga was responsible for small improvements in balance and medium improvements in mobility in people 60 and older.

Would you like to improve your flexibility with yoga? Our instructors can teach you poses that will loosen your tight muscles. Contact our studio for information about our yoga classes.


International Journal of Yoga: Impact of 10-Weeks of Yoga Practice on Flexibility and Balance of College Athletes, Jan – June 2016

PubMed: Age and Ageing: Yog-Based Exercise Improves Balance and Mobility in People Aged 60 and Over: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, 1/2016

Mayo Clinic: Child’s Pose, 3/1/2023

Healthline: How to Reap the Full-Body Benefits of Cat-Cow, 2/8/2019