Yoga increases static stretching. In this activity, the body supports its own weight and does not move. During yoga, clients hold poses, for extended periods of time. Beginning clients may only be able to hold postures for a short period. With practice, however, clients build the strength and balance to stay in the same position for 30 seconds to a minute.
Yoga poses also allow clients to increases dynamic flexibility. In yoga, for example, a client might sweep his or her arm in a full arc above the head. These kinds of exercises ensure that the joints can move through their full range of motion. Good dynamic flexibility, like that taught in yoga, can lessen the risk of injury.
Yoga emphasizes the proper way to breath while stretching. During a session, it’s common for clients to be encouraged to breathe in right before the stretch and breathe out while moving into the stretch. Clients are also reminded to breathe deeply while holding each pose.
Being reminded to breathe may sound odd, but there are practical reasons for it. One benefit of good breathing technique is it's relaxing effect on the body. When the body is relaxed, it’s easier to stretch. These stretches also increase blood flow, meaning the muscle and ligaments get the energy they need to stretch properly. In addition, breathing deeply helps calm the mind and allows the body to "rest" making it easier to allow gravity to help to release the body into a deeper stretch. Finally it’s quite common for people to hold their breath during stretches. This creates tension, making it more difficult to stretch.
Yoga increases functional flexibility. This is when all the muscles, ligaments, and other connective tissues of the body learn to work together as a team. Yogic stretches also emphasizes improving the flexibility of the spine, which is critical because the spine
works with so many muscle groups. When your functional flexibility increases, you’re less likely to injure yourself. Functional flexibility is also important as you grow older. As we age, the chemical structure of our connective tissues start to change, making them less supple. Although age naturally makes the body less flexible, yoga exercises can help the body maintain and even improve the range of motion needed to do everyday task.
Yoga is much more than just stretching. Poses build muscle strength and proper alignment while mediation calms the mind. Stress hormones are lowered by yoga’s breathing exercises. Additionally, the discipline helps clients develop focus. Yoga is a
way to lead the whole body-mind, body- soul to a healthy lifestyle.