According to a 2012 survey by Yoga Journal magazine, flexibility is the number one reason people in the United States do yoga on a regular basis. And while not every posture in yoga is guaranteed to make you long and limber, there's a good chance you'll leave class feeling more flexible than when you walked in.
"All day long we do things that compress our spine and make our muscles shorter," says Brigitte Bourdeau, a certified health coach and yoga instructor in New York City. "Yoga is a great way to reverse that, to stretch out and become more fluid, and to counteract all of the hunching over and the slouching and the bad posture."
Can't make it to yoga class? Try these five stretches at home. They'll do wonders for your whole body, either as part of a full routine or by themselves.