Not only does yoga keep us flexible, but it eradicates tension from both our minds and our bodies, enabling us to delve much deeper into meditation. In the practice, "flexibility" is a belief and a physical state that transforms both mind and body.
In physiological terms, "flexibility" is simply the capability of moving joints and muscles through a full range of movement. It's what we're all born able to do, though something that the majority of us now cannot do as teenagers and as adults. A chiropractor in Lincoln, Nebraska, Dr. Thomas Green, said, "our bodies get lazy, muscles atrophy, and our joints settle into a limited range."
There are so many benefits to be gained from stretching in yoga. These include the lubrication of joints, better circulation, improved healing, and enhanced mobility. All of these hold relation to the healthy stimulus of fascia. Of every bodily structural component, fascia is the only one that should be stretched. Author of Anatomy of Hatha Yoga, David Coulter, undergoes a reflection of this in his asana definition, describing it as "a careful tending to your internal knitting."
This little lesson in physiology can be applied to a simple, yet, exceptionally strong posture: Paschimottanasana. Let's start with the asana anatomy.
The name of this pose combines three words: "Paschima," the Sanskrit word for "west"; "uttana," which means "intense stretch"; and "asana," or "posture." Since yogis traditionally practiced facing east toward the sun, "west" refers to the entire back of the human body.