Stretching is very important for flexibility, range of motion and injury prevention. I recommend incorporating stretching into your day routine as well as your daily workouts. It is as important to health and body functioning as regular exercise. Stretching relaxes your muscles and increases blood flow and nutrients to your cartilage and muscles. It also can improve energy levels, prevent muscle soreness, correct posture and increase flexibility.
Remember gentle consistency is best, and use a mat or other cushioned surface when you are positioned on the floor. This practice is not a test to see how flexible you are – pushing yourself to extreme stretching can be harmful. Consistent stretching will improve your flexibility. As you stretch, breathe deeply. This will increase oxygen to help brain function and release toxins and metabolic byproducts through the exhalation.
Here are my favorite basic stretches. Gently hold your pose for a count of about 30.