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Is Yoga Good for Flexibility or Mobility?

So the short answer to this is that yoga is definitely more for your flexibility. Which helps your mobility. Confused? Yeah that’s probably because the words flexibility and mobility get thrown around interchangeably, but they actually mean 2 different things.

The difference between flexibility and mobility is that flexibility is passive range of motion and mobility is active range of motion.

What does passive range of motion and active range of motion even mean?

Passive range of motion means an outside force is bringing your body into a shape. It is your flexibility. It is typically easier.

Active range of motion means that your body is doing it itself. It is your mobility. It is typically harder.

A great example of this is tree pose:

If you were to grab your foot and place it on your thigh – that is your passive range of motion – your flexibility. An outside force (your hand) is forcing your leg into a particular range.

If you were to make this active, or more about your mobility – you would use just the leg to place the foot for tree pose. No help from your hand.

If you give this a try chances are the mobility version is going to be harder and you won’t get the foot as high. Ideally we want our passive and active range of motion to be similar in their ranges of motion for healthy strong stable joints.

So, is yoga good for flexibility or mobility?

The answer is both, but more primarily flexibility, which in turn will help your mobility. And it also depends on how it’s being taught and what the teacher is cuing you to feel.

Personally, I bring a lot of active mobility into my yoga classes because it’s an amazing compliment to the passive flexibility that yoga is focused on. Both are good. You need passive flexibility to have good mobility.

If you want to see this in action for yourself, click the link below and sign up for one of my group zoom yoga classes or dive in deep and join my group zoom mobility class. If you’re a brand new student of mine, your first class is on me! Just click the link below, find a class you want to join, click and sign up!

And as always if you have any questions about this post, yoga, mobility, or anything at all feel free to drop a comment or shoot me an email at kateformanyoga@gmail.com!

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