If you think you are inflexible, you are not alone. Flexibility is determined by several factors, including gender, age, genetics and exercise history among others.
When I first started yoga, half-splits were a torture, let alone full splits. But at the ripe age of 29 (going on 30!), I found myself being able to do splits on certain days. That’s when my mindset completely changed about this ‘flexibility thing’ – I believe it can be improved with consistent practice!
Most of the time, my flexibility yoga routines tend to be done at home. A home yoga practice is really the best way to focus on areas of improvement – I can’t expect to work on specific poses during a scheduled class with fixed routines.
These are 9 yoga routines that are available free on YouTube that I’ve used to help me on days when I just need a full body stretch. Many of these are beginner friendly, and I have added in two intermediate sequences for those of you looking for more of a challenge.
Remember to keep practising to maintain your hard-earned flexibility!
9 Yoga Routines for Increased Flexibility
Total Body Stretch – At Home Exercise Routine to Improve Flexibility | Blogilates
Difficulty Level: Beginner-Friendly, though you may wish to make modifications for harder poses
Duration: 10 minutes
The Blogilates channel has a whopping 4.6M subscribers. Though not a dedicated yoga channel, Casey Ho, owner of Blogilates, posts everything related to fitness – from challenges to pilates to stretching to clean eating and more.
I like several of her videos but only came across this video recently. Since then I’ve used it for my morning wake-up routines and also when I just need to move my body after sitting down for too long.
This video focuses on calming and relaxing the body through breath.
- Casey starts off with a seated one-legged forward fold before going to a straddle forward fold, an awesome stretch for the inner thigh and lower back.
- Prep poses such as double pigeon are then done before Casey goes into lying splits on the side. She then goes into cobra, downward dog reps.
- Finally, after more hip flexor opening stretches, the sequence ends in extended pigeon pose, which happens to be one of my favourites.
This is so short and sweet, yet so perfectly effective for creating openness in the whole body and calming us down. This is a great video to use at any point in your day when you need a good pick-me-up yoga stretch.
Relaxing Beginners Yoga for Flexibility Stretch Routine| PsycheTruth
Difficulty Level: Very beginner friendly, more therapeutic than hard-core stretching
Duration: 20 minutes
There are days when I wake up and just don’t feel like moving. On these days, the last thing I want is to run or do a heart-pumping yoga routine. This video is so easy to wake into, it is not only relaxing, but it also gives time between gentle stretches to really wake your body up.
This gentle routine is so therapeutic and is made for beginners. I felt completely relaxed yet well stretched after.
- The video starts off with a good few minutes of breathing meditation, really great for intention setting and relaxing the mind.
- I particularly love the gentle neck stretches; Many sequences tend to skip this part of the body but we actually put a lot of tension and stress on the neck.
(Tip: use these neck stretches intermittently during the day, it helps a lot with maintaining focus and relieving stiffness)
- Other poses are really gentle on the spine and legs, perhaps except for pigeon pose
Full Body Yoga Stretch for Flexibility & Sore Muscles | SarahBethYoga
Difficulty Level: Beginner Friendly
Duration: 20 minutes
This is a slow full body stretch session, highly recommended for after long sessions of sitting or when your muscles are stiff from inactivity.
In this video, Sara Beth takes us through foundational poses which can be done by anyone with any level of yoga practice.
- Warm-ups consist of child’s pose, cat and cow stretches, downward dog, ragdoll and hamstring stretches
- It progresses into hip openers with lizard pose, half splits as well as cow face pose variation
- Finally, we end off in supine cooling down poses
I would say this is one of the easier stretches that is accessible even for non-yogis. Try it when you need a simple and gentle stretching session.
Full Body Yoga Stretch | Fightmaster Yoga
Difficulty Level: Best for beginners who have a certain level of hip flexibility
Duration: 20 minutes
Previously, I wrote about Fightmaster Yoga in my post “9 Completely Free Yoga Resources To Help You Deepen Your Practice” and I am coming back to her again for flexibility stretches.
This video is filmed right by the beach, much like many of Leslie Fightmaster’s recent videos. I love the change of scenery, though it would have been great to have the sound of waves in the backdrop rather than just a voiceover.
In any case, this yoga sequence starts off in supine position, working immediately on the hamstrings and hips. Though there is less of a warmup, I like that many of the yoga pose really work to open the body, while also strengthening our muscles that help reduce back pains in the long term.
If you are already doing yoga or would like to try out flexibility sequence that also tones your body, do give this sequence a try.
Deep Stretch Yoga Class | Five Parks Yoga
Difficulty Level: Beginners who can already do basic hip opening stretches
Duration: 20 minutes
Five Parks Yoga is hosted by Erin Sampson, who films her classes in Colorado and Costa Rica, which explains some of the great scenery. She also hosts yoga retreats in Costa Rica, for those of you who are interested in wellness retreats.
Erin may not sound like the typical yoga teacher who has a soothing voice like music, but her classes have their unique appeal. She keeps it very real and accessible, and explains certain movements in a practical, easy to understand manner.
In this class, Erin progresses from a super easy warm-up consisting of neck and upper body stretches before going into deep hip openers such as double pigeon and lizard poses. The poses are well sequenced to help you work slowly on the kinks and knots in your body.
Gentle Beginner Yoga Flow | YOGATX
Difficulty Level: Beginner Friendly
Duration: 30 minutes
YOGATX is fast becoming one of my favourite channels for gentle yoga flows, which I prefer on days when my muscles are just recovering from previous workouts.
This video is taught by Cole Chance, where she takes us through a 30-minute full body deep stretch. It is a very well-balanced yoga class; I like the way she balances flexibility stretches with strength and toning ones while keeping a good pace for flowing between poses.
The poses in the yoga sequence are meant to help with back pain, sciatica pain, neck and shoulder pain.
- Starting off the class is a contemplative meditation, helping us to calm our minds and get ourselves ready for the practice
- Warm-ups consist of seated side stretches, table-top poses for the legs and core
- We play around with several rounds of downward facing dog and plank poses
- After sun salutation variations as well as strengthening standing poses, Cole leads us with creative hip opening stretches (those feel so good!)
- Finally, to end off the class, we do a quick breathing exercise to cool down the body
Total Body Yoga – Deep Stretch | Yoga With Adriene
Difficulty Level: Beginner friendly
Duration: 45 minutes
As usual, Yoga with Adriene’s videos tend to be one of my favourites as they are usually all-rounded classes that balance relaxation with flexibility and a good workout.
This class’s focus is on flexibility, so expect to stretch that fascia and muscles deeper than usual.
- Adriene takes us through a relaxing supine sequence with hip and lower back stretches to start with. A good amount of time (14 minutes) is spent on this warming up section
- In the next section, the poses are mostly seated poses stretching the side body
- Moving on, we work our legs and hamstrings with lunges and their variations
- Finally, we cool down with more hip stretches, working both inner and outer thighs as well
I fall back on this video class whenever I get completely sore from back to back flights; it is such a life saver.
Yin Yoga Fusion Yoga For Flexibility | Boho Beautiful
Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Duration: 25 minutes
Juliana and Mark, founders of Boho Beautiful, are really inspiring. I found them through YouTube but am an avid follower of their travel and wellness stories around the world.
This video is slightly different from the others in that it is based on Yin Yoga, an active type of yoga focusing on deep stretches held for longer period of time (2 minutes each for this class)
Before going into the holding stretches, Juliana leads us through a yoga flow sequence to warm up the body.
The class is not for complete beginners; best for people who have done yoga for a while or are familiar with modifications of advanced poses.
Vinyasa Flow Yoga for Flexibility (Intermediate) | Yoga with Kassandra
Difficulty Level: For intermediate students, or beginners who have a good endurance level
Duration: 1 hour
Yoga with Kassandra’s classes tend to be focused on flow and yin yoga, two complementary styles of yoga. I usually go for her flow classes, and this recommended video is one of them.
Although this class is titled “intermediate”, most of the poses are still accessible to beginners who have some level of endurance. There are several poses which may be slightly more intense than the other videos recommended, including
- Side angle bind
- Wild thing
- Revolved triangle
- Straddle side stretches
For those who are just starting out, I suggest building up your stamina by doing only as much as you can and increasing the time spent on this video as you progress.
How do you feel after doing these stretches? If you like these routines, you may also want to check out these other sequences for your practice
- Beginner Yoga: 11 Important Standing Yoga Poses for Flexibility and Strength
- 20 Beginner Yoga Stretches for Lower Back Pain
- 7 Quick Morning Yoga Routines to Wake Up and Energize You For the Day
The YogaMad is founded by Mila, an avid yogini who is passionate about inspiring others to live their best lives while finding mind-body-soul balance. She has a background in business consulting but has left the corporate world in her quest to live out her dreams as a yoga nomad.