One of the great things about yoga is the improved range of motion all that stretching is giving you. Over time and consistent practice, you should be noticing yourself become limber, and your muscles less tight.
Whether you love spending a little time on the mat (it's well worth perusing our best yoga mat guide, if you haven't already), or you're just coming to yoga for the first time, one of the best things about it is that yoga allows us to spend time out of the chair and on the floor. The human body isn't really built for prolonged periods of sitting, which can lead to tight hips and slouched posture, cardiovascular issues and other problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle.
Fortunately, yoga instructor Karen Kirkness (opens in new tab) took over our Instagram account with a yoga flow which spends a lot of time in a crouched position, helping loosen up those tight hips.
"Really gently load your crouch, deep in the flexion," says Karen. "If you're here to explore more range of motion, I can offer you some rotation. If something feels really juicy and interesting, stay with it, linger, or change your pace. Very soon you're going to really start feeling this in your legs."
Follow the 30-minute yoga flow below:
Watch Karen's yoga flow below:
Why do this workout?
Crouching and squatting is a primal "resting" movement without sitting, which has shown to be way healthier for our body. Researchers from University of Southern California found squatting was healthier than sitting, with tribe members who squatted more than they sat showing no signs of the Western sedentary issues even though they rested for around the same amount of time.
Deep squat positions provide lots of muscle activity in your hips, legs and lower back, undoing some of the damage of all that sitting and lengthening the muscles in your hips and lower back, promoting good spine health and helping you with everyday movement.
In addition, it'll help your squatting in the gym. Being stretchy enough to stand up quickly is associated with a longer life according to Brazilian researchers (opens in new tab), and stretching promotes good blood flow, limiting the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and is currently Fitness and Wellbeing Editor at TechRadar, covering all things exercise and nutrition on Fit&Well's tech-focused sister site. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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