Benefits of Yoga Stretching Poses

Most exercise forms, whether yoga or pilates, incorporate stretches. Yoga back stretches, as the name implies, help to stretch the spine, while some yoga poses help to stretch the hamstrings, hips, calves and ankles.

Other yoga exercises are helpful in providing a stretch to the shoulders, chest or neck.

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The Mermaid Side Stretch is one of the popular pilates stretches, and helps to stretch the muscles of our sides.

  • Yoga stretching poses have many benefits. By stretching different specific groups of muscles such as the back, legs, arms, shoulders, or neck, they help to tone and strengthen those muscles. Hatha yoga stretches are especially beneficial because it is a very vibrant form of yoga, requiring greater muscle power.
  • The stretches also help release of toxins in those specific muscle groups. This in turn leads to release of stress and fatigue. You will find that after a hard tiring day, if you practice a few specified yoga positions, you will actually feel the tension draining away. This leaves you feeling fresh and re-energized.
  • Another benefit of yoga stretches is that they help to burn off fat from the muscles. They are often recommended for those who wish to reduce belly fat, or fat from the thighs, arms and legs.

  • Yoga stretches also help to tone and massage internal organs in the chest and abdomen, such as the lungs, heart, liver, pancreas, spleen, stomach, intestines and kidneys. The functions of these organs are improved. This has many indirect benefits. For example, the lungs take in more oxygen, the heart is able to pump better and carry more oxygen-rich blood to all part of the body, the stomach, intestines, pancreas, liver and spleen release more digestive enzymes, while the kidneys do a better job of expelling waste and toxins.
  • Most yoga stretches, and especially hatha yoga stretches, also help to increase concentration. Since these yoga positions are quite difficult to perform, they require great concentration and patience. Both these qualities help in reaching meditation.

What yoga stretches are good for you? While most yoga poses include stretches, there are a few basic yoga stretches which you can do even if you are a beginner. These will stretch multiple muscles and organs, and provide an over-all benefit.

These are:

  • Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
  • Downward Facing Dog Pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
  • Upward Facing Dog Pose (Urdhva Mukha Dog Pose)
  • Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana or Nagasana)
  • Plow Pose (Halasana)
  • Cat-cow stretch Pose (Bidalasana)
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