Strong joints are important. Whether you’re hoping to get the most from your exercise routine or you’re trying to prevent joint-related issues, strengthening the joints can be beneficial. Thankfully, strong joints can be achieved easily through regular yoga practice. In addition to increasing flexibility, the holistic thera-py can build strong, durable joints through a few simple postures. In this article, we explore exactly how to strengthen your joints with yoga. Before beginning, it’s worth picking up some flexible yoga leggings to practice in.
If you’re hoping to strengthen your knees, Cat to Cow Pose is ideal. To practice the asana, begin on all fours with your shoulders directly above your wrists and your hips above your knees. Take a deep breath in and arch your back toward the ceiling. You are in Cat Pose. As you exhale, lift your chin and arch your back toward the mat. You are in Cow Pose. Hold the position for a few seconds before alternating back to Cat Pose. Repeat the sequence for a few minutes whilst breathing deeply. In addition to building strength in the knees, Cat to Cow Pose stretches the neck, chest, shoulders, and lower back. With this in mind, it can benefit those suffering from back pain and headaches.
Most people have heard of Downward Facing Dog. The posture is one of the most renowned asanas of all time, and for good reason! In addition to improving blood flow, the pose strengthens the hips when prac-tised regularly. To practice the asana, stand tall on your mat with your feet shoulder-width apart. Next, hinge at the waist and lower your upper body toward the ground until your hands are securely on the mat. Your body should now form a triangle. Tight hamstrings may prevent beginners from touching the ground; to make the pose a little easier, try bending your knees slightly throughout the asana. Next, move your head between your upper arms and spread your fingers for additional balance. You are in Downward Dog. For best results, breathe deeply whilst practising the pose and hang your head gently between your shoulders.
Strengthening the hips, Seated Spinal Twist is another favourite amongst yogis. Additionally, the pose works to realign the spine and release built-up tension. To practice the asana, sit on your mat with your legs out in front of you. Bending your right knee, place the bottom of your right foot flat against the mat. Next, bend your left knee and bring your left foot under your right leg. If you can, place your left heel against your right buttock. Place your right palm on the mat just behind your right buttock. Finally, place your left elbow on the outside of your right knee. You are in Seated Spinal Twist. With each breath, twist your upper body a little further to deepen the stretch. Hold the posture for around 30 seconds before switching sides.
Strengthening the hips, knees, and shoulders, Bridge Pose is ideal for those hoping to strengthen the key joints. Additionally, the posture increases blood flow by creating a tourniquet effect. As you bend, the pose gently compresses the body; as your release the stretch, fresh blood flows through the body to cleanse your system. To practice the asana, lay flat on your back with your knees bent. Allow your arms to relax and drop gently to the sides of your body. Next, tuck your chin into your chest and lift your buttocks and back off the floor to create a bridge. You are in Bridge Pose. Hold for 30 seconds before lowering yourself back down to the mat.
Engaging the hips, Mountain Pose is ideal for building strength and increasing flexibility. To practice the posture, stand tall with your feet in line with your hips. Distribute your weight evenly through each foot, ensuring you are not shifting your centre of gravity forward or back. Next, engage your thighs and draw your tailbone forward. Remember to keep your legs straight but your knees unlocked. Next, take a deep breath in and lengthen your spine as much as possible. As you exhale, draw your shoulders down and back and reach your fingertips toward the floor. On your next inhale, bring your arms up and reach your fingers toward the ceiling. Finally, bring the palms of your hands together whilst still reaching your arms upward. You are in Mountain Pose. Hold the asana for around 30 seconds whilst breathing deeply.
Stretching the shins, ankles, and quads, Half Frog Pose strengthens the joints in the lower body. To practice the asana, begin on your stomach. Next, bend your elbows and prop yourself up on your forearms. Your forearms should now be parallel to one another. Turn your left arm until your fingers point towards the top left corner of your mat. Bending your left knee, slowly reach your left arm back to grab ahold of your left foot. To increase the stretch, gently pull your foot in towards your bottom. You are in Half Frog Pose. Hold the posture for 30 seconds before repeating on the opposite side.
Whether you’re currently experiencing weakness or you’re hoping to prevent it from occurring, practice the postures above to strengthen your joints. If you’re a beginner at yoga, it may be a good idea to attend a local class. There, an experienced instructor can advise you on the best way to practice. Not only will this help you to achieve the best results, it will also prevent unnecessary strains or sprains. Before heading to your local yoga class, consider picking up a spacious yoga bag to transport your equipment.