Spending just 10-minutes a day stretching the body not only increases flexibility but increases blood circulation, joint and muscular mobility, as well as mindfulness - by keeping the mind calm while it listens to the sensations within the body during each stretching posture.
With all those factors in mind, stretching out every day provides the body with the following benefits...
1. Improved posture:
Increased flexibility helps to reduce strain that tight muscles can place on the surrounding joints, which, in-turn, causes poor posture. Increasing flexibility brings back the balance the joints and muscles need to function correctly together, keeping the body free from too much resistance.
2. Maximum range of motion:
Not only during your yoga practice, but in everyday life. Improved flexibility helps with simple daily chores like bending down to pick up what the dog left behind, reaching up to get something out of the cupboard (probably chocolate), or even sweeping the floor.
3. Stress reduction:
Stress reduces blood flow, creating muscular tension which often results in those dreaded muscular knots. Whereas, having a good ole stretch actually increases blood flow - relieving tension and allowing the mind to be focused on the sensations the body is feeling...aiding in mindfulness, boosting your mood and creating a delicious sense of peace.
4. Helps fight illness as well as preventing injury:
Increased flexibility preps the body for quick, unexpected movements and strains the body can go through not only throughout the day but during physical workouts. It can also help the body fight illnesses such a diabetes and heart disease - due to increased blood circulation and flexibility of the arteries.
5. Reduced aches and pains:
Increased flexibility releases the very muscles that may be causing unnecessary stain on surrounding joints. For example, increased flexibility of the lower limbs, hamstrings, quads and hips flexors all aid in the reduction of back tightness, pain and strain.
6. Improved sleep:
As we sleep our muscles tighten up due to the fact that we spend up to 8 hours lying in bed completely stationary. Keeping the body supple by spending just 10-minutes a day on stretching it all out before or after a nap can dramatically reduce discomfort, tightness or even cramping while we snore away.
Complete beginners - I'd recommend you start with a class like "Stretch" - Day 10 from the 30 day yoga challenge, or why not challenge yourself to completing the whole 30-day yoga course, that will definitely be a game changer! ;)