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Easy Seated Yoga Stretches to Increase Your Flexibility Stat

Scrolling through Instagram could easily give you the false impression that all yogis are bendy AF. (It's one of the most common myths about yoga.) But you don't have to be a contortionist to practice yoga, so don't let that keep you from trying. No matter how inflexible you are, you can suit your own needs by starting with beginner poses and modifying when necessary. Sjana Elise Earp (who you may know as @sjanaelise on Instagram) put together this series of yoga stretches that will allow you to improve your flexibility, whether you're an experienced yogi or starting from square one. (Here are four tips for increasing your flexibility.) Since consistency is key when building flexibility, practice these yoga stretches on a regular basis for the best results. (Since they're super chill, the perfect time is right before bed.)

How it works: Hold each pose as indicated, focusing on taking deep breaths.
You'll need: A yoga mat

Easy Pose

A. Sit in a cross-legged position with one foot in front of the other, hands in prayer position in front of the heart center.

Hold for 3 to 5 breaths.

Easy Pose Side Bend

A. Sit in a cross-legged position with one foot in front of the other, hands in prayer position in front of the heart center.
B. Place left hand on the floor a few inches away from left hip. Bend left elbow while reaching right arm up and over to the left, stretching through the right side of the body, spiraling gaze up toward the ceiling.

Hold for 3 to 5 breaths. Switch sides; repeat.

Easy Pose with Forward Fold

A. Sit in a cross-legged position with one foot in front of the other.
B. Clasp hands behind back, knuckles pointing down, and straighten arms to press hands back, stretching chest open and letting head gently fall back. Hold for 1 breath.
C. Unclasp hands and walk them forward in front of legs. Bend forward, lowering on to forearms.

Hold for 3 to 5 breaths.

Single-Leg Forward Fold

A. Sit with right knee bent and left leg extended to the side, right foot pressing into left inner thigh.
B. Fold forward, sliding hands along the floor to hold onto the left foot, ankle, or calf.

Hold for 3 to 5 breaths. Switch sides; repeat.

Wide-Angle Seated Forward Fold

A. Sit in a straddle position, legs extended out to the sides as wide as possible with knees facing up and feet flexed.
B. Reach arms forward and lower forearms onto the floor, folding as far as possible without allowing knees to roll forward.

Hold for 3 to 5 breaths.

Half Lord of the Fishes

A. Sit with right leg extended out in front, left knee bent with left foot resting to the right of the right thigh.
B. Reach toward the ceiling with right hand, palm facing left.
C. Lower arm to press right elbow to the left side of the left knee, twisting upper body toward the left and looking over left shoulder with the crown of the head reaching toward the ceiling.

Hold for 3 to 5 breaths. Switch sides; repeat.

Supine Twist

A. Lie faceup on the floor.
B. Bend the left knee in toward the chest, then twist left knee toward the floor to the right side of body. Keep both shoulders square on the floor.

Hold for 3 to 5 breaths. Switch sides; repeat.

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