We also store emotional experiences in our joints, especially the largest joints like our hips, so opening these up through stretches and yoga practice can help make us more open emotionally as well.
Increased flexibility can also improve your sex life, and allow you to get more creative in the positions you try. You may even find yourself pulling out your dusty copy of the Kama Sutra to try a few new ones. If you don’t have a Kama Sutra book – you should get one – it is the bible for many yogis.
All of these effects of increased flexibility will help improve your overall life and health. Here are a few great stretches to help you gain some flexibility. With all these stretches, hold for at least 10 deep breathes. The longer you maintain the pose, the deeper the stretch will be into the connective tissues.
Butterfly pose: Sit on the floor with your feet together, legs bent. Lean forward gently without pulling at anything, until you feel resistance. Let yourself relax into the pose, allowing your hips to open and your legs to stretch.
Forward bend: A seated forward bend is a simple way to stretch your hamstrings. Simply straighten your legs as you sit on the floor and, with your back as straight as possible, bend forward, reaching for your toes. Don’t force anything.
Side stretch: The side of your body rarely ever gets targeted, but the muscles there are important for balance and support your core muscles. To give them a good stretch, stand with your feet together, toes touching. Reach your arms straight overhead and interlace your fingers to lock your hands together. Lean slowly to the left, making sure to push your right ribs forward then return to the original position. Repeat on the right side.