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Yoga for PhYsical 
f itness Overview You have been observing that you and members of your 
family generally stretch their bodies immediately after 
waking up in the morning. Have you ever thought why do we 
do this? We generally do this instinctively without knowing 
its importance. In fact, stretching is very important as it 
gives flexibility to our body which becomes stiff after long 
hours of sleep or inactive. Our body may become stiff also 
after continuous activity for long hours. That is the reason 
we experience difficulty in moving our body after walking, 
playing or indulging in physical activities continuously for 
a long time. That is why sports persons are very often seen 
stretching their body before and after the sports events as 
it makes their body flexible. 
Stretching and flexibility are inter-related. Stretching 
enhances flexibility. In this chapter, we shall discuss 
flexibility and contribution of Yoga in improving it.   
w hat is Flexibility ? 
Flexibility is the ability to move the joints and surrounding 
muscles to its maximum. Raising our hands and rotating 
our shoulder in a circular motion backward and forward to 
its maximum is an example of flexibility. 
Flexibility is an important component of physical fitness. It 
is crucial for our body to perform even the most basic activities 
such as walking, bending, squatting, running, etc.
Unit 3
Page 2


Yoga for PhYsical 
f itness Overview You have been observing that you and members of your 
family generally stretch their bodies immediately after 
waking up in the morning. Have you ever thought why do we 
do this? We generally do this instinctively without knowing 
its importance. In fact, stretching is very important as it 
gives flexibility to our body which becomes stiff after long 
hours of sleep or inactive. Our body may become stiff also 
after continuous activity for long hours. That is the reason 
we experience difficulty in moving our body after walking, 
playing or indulging in physical activities continuously for 
a long time. That is why sports persons are very often seen 
stretching their body before and after the sports events as 
it makes their body flexible. 
Stretching and flexibility are inter-related. Stretching 
enhances flexibility. In this chapter, we shall discuss 
flexibility and contribution of Yoga in improving it.   
w hat is Flexibility ? 
Flexibility is the ability to move the joints and surrounding 
muscles to its maximum. Raising our hands and rotating 
our shoulder in a circular motion backward and forward to 
its maximum is an example of flexibility. 
Flexibility is an important component of physical fitness. It 
is crucial for our body to perform even the most basic activities 
such as walking, bending, squatting, running, etc.
Unit 3
44 Yoga : A Healthy Way of Living
There are individual differences in flexibility. Many 
factors such as age, gender, genetics and lifestyle are 
responsible for this variation.
Activity
Think about the activities we perform in day-to-day 
life. Prepare a list of those activities which require 
flexibility. Example of some activities are given below. 
Add more activities to them.
•  Picking up a book from the table.
•  Walking
•                          
•                          
•                          
•                          
•                          
Benefits of Flexibility 
There are a number of benefits of flexibility.
• Flexibility improves the range of motion in muscles and 
joints, thereby improving performance of motor activities. 
• It reduces the risk of injury and pain. 
• It improves overall balance of the body.
Activity
Let us understand the importance of stretching and 
flexibility by reading the following case: 
Ravi was a student of class X. He was a good player 
of football. But he could not go to play for the last few 
months as he was preparing for the examinations. After 
remaining indoors for a long time he went out to play 
football one day. 
Page 3


Yoga for PhYsical 
f itness Overview You have been observing that you and members of your 
family generally stretch their bodies immediately after 
waking up in the morning. Have you ever thought why do we 
do this? We generally do this instinctively without knowing 
its importance. In fact, stretching is very important as it 
gives flexibility to our body which becomes stiff after long 
hours of sleep or inactive. Our body may become stiff also 
after continuous activity for long hours. That is the reason 
we experience difficulty in moving our body after walking, 
playing or indulging in physical activities continuously for 
a long time. That is why sports persons are very often seen 
stretching their body before and after the sports events as 
it makes their body flexible. 
Stretching and flexibility are inter-related. Stretching 
enhances flexibility. In this chapter, we shall discuss 
flexibility and contribution of Yoga in improving it.   
w hat is Flexibility ? 
Flexibility is the ability to move the joints and surrounding 
muscles to its maximum. Raising our hands and rotating 
our shoulder in a circular motion backward and forward to 
its maximum is an example of flexibility. 
Flexibility is an important component of physical fitness. It 
is crucial for our body to perform even the most basic activities 
such as walking, bending, squatting, running, etc.
Unit 3
44 Yoga : A Healthy Way of Living
There are individual differences in flexibility. Many 
factors such as age, gender, genetics and lifestyle are 
responsible for this variation.
Activity
Think about the activities we perform in day-to-day 
life. Prepare a list of those activities which require 
flexibility. Example of some activities are given below. 
Add more activities to them.
•  Picking up a book from the table.
•  Walking
•                          
•                          
•                          
•                          
•                          
Benefits of Flexibility 
There are a number of benefits of flexibility.
• Flexibility improves the range of motion in muscles and 
joints, thereby improving performance of motor activities. 
• It reduces the risk of injury and pain. 
• It improves overall balance of the body.
Activity
Let us understand the importance of stretching and 
flexibility by reading the following case: 
Ravi was a student of class X. He was a good player 
of football. But he could not go to play for the last few 
months as he was preparing for the examinations. After 
remaining indoors for a long time he went out to play 
football one day. 
Yoga for Physical Fitness 45
But he could not play well. He also experienced pain 
in his leg muscles for the next few days.  
Now, answer the following questions: 
• Identify the probable cause of pain in Ravi's leg 
muscles.
• Suggest some ways so that Ravi should not face this 
problem in future.
Now the question is — Can flexibility be enhanced?  
The answer is yes. Flexibility can be enhanced by yogic 
practices.
y Ogic Practices tO e nhance Flexibility 
Yogic practices especially asanas are useful for developing 
flexibility as the asanas involve stretching. You have learnt 
some yogic practices in Unit 2.
Before starting yogasanas practise some yogic micro- 
activities like neck bending, neck-shoulder rotation 
and Surya namaskara to prepare the body to perform 
yogasanas.
Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation) 
Surya means ‘sun’ and namaskara means ‘salutation’ or 
bowing down. It consists of 12 postures. The postures 
practised during surya namaskara act as a good link 
between warm up and asanas.
Regular practice of surya namaskara  helps in maintaining 
good health. It improves physical strength, endurance and 
flexibility thereby improving overall physical fitness.
You have learnt surya namaskara in Unit 2. Perform 
surya namaskara according to the technique given in Unit 
2 of this book.
Page 4


Yoga for PhYsical 
f itness Overview You have been observing that you and members of your 
family generally stretch their bodies immediately after 
waking up in the morning. Have you ever thought why do we 
do this? We generally do this instinctively without knowing 
its importance. In fact, stretching is very important as it 
gives flexibility to our body which becomes stiff after long 
hours of sleep or inactive. Our body may become stiff also 
after continuous activity for long hours. That is the reason 
we experience difficulty in moving our body after walking, 
playing or indulging in physical activities continuously for 
a long time. That is why sports persons are very often seen 
stretching their body before and after the sports events as 
it makes their body flexible. 
Stretching and flexibility are inter-related. Stretching 
enhances flexibility. In this chapter, we shall discuss 
flexibility and contribution of Yoga in improving it.   
w hat is Flexibility ? 
Flexibility is the ability to move the joints and surrounding 
muscles to its maximum. Raising our hands and rotating 
our shoulder in a circular motion backward and forward to 
its maximum is an example of flexibility. 
Flexibility is an important component of physical fitness. It 
is crucial for our body to perform even the most basic activities 
such as walking, bending, squatting, running, etc.
Unit 3
44 Yoga : A Healthy Way of Living
There are individual differences in flexibility. Many 
factors such as age, gender, genetics and lifestyle are 
responsible for this variation.
Activity
Think about the activities we perform in day-to-day 
life. Prepare a list of those activities which require 
flexibility. Example of some activities are given below. 
Add more activities to them.
•  Picking up a book from the table.
•  Walking
•                          
•                          
•                          
•                          
•                          
Benefits of Flexibility 
There are a number of benefits of flexibility.
• Flexibility improves the range of motion in muscles and 
joints, thereby improving performance of motor activities. 
• It reduces the risk of injury and pain. 
• It improves overall balance of the body.
Activity
Let us understand the importance of stretching and 
flexibility by reading the following case: 
Ravi was a student of class X. He was a good player 
of football. But he could not go to play for the last few 
months as he was preparing for the examinations. After 
remaining indoors for a long time he went out to play 
football one day. 
Yoga for Physical Fitness 45
But he could not play well. He also experienced pain 
in his leg muscles for the next few days.  
Now, answer the following questions: 
• Identify the probable cause of pain in Ravi's leg 
muscles.
• Suggest some ways so that Ravi should not face this 
problem in future.
Now the question is — Can flexibility be enhanced?  
The answer is yes. Flexibility can be enhanced by yogic 
practices.
y Ogic Practices tO e nhance Flexibility 
Yogic practices especially asanas are useful for developing 
flexibility as the asanas involve stretching. You have learnt 
some yogic practices in Unit 2.
Before starting yogasanas practise some yogic micro- 
activities like neck bending, neck-shoulder rotation 
and Surya namaskara to prepare the body to perform 
yogasanas.
Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation) 
Surya means ‘sun’ and namaskara means ‘salutation’ or 
bowing down. It consists of 12 postures. The postures 
practised during surya namaskara act as a good link 
between warm up and asanas.
Regular practice of surya namaskara  helps in maintaining 
good health. It improves physical strength, endurance and 
flexibility thereby improving overall physical fitness.
You have learnt surya namaskara in Unit 2. Perform 
surya namaskara according to the technique given in Unit 
2 of this book.
46 Yoga : A Healthy Way of Living
AsAnAs Asana plays an important role in improving overall physical 
fitness. Asanas increase flexibility through stretching. 
Different asanas increase the flexibility in different parts of  
the body. For example, Dhanurasana promotes flexibility of 
the spine by stretching muscles in abdominal region.  
Asana helps in increasing flexibility in the following ways: 
• It helps in stretching our muscles safely.
• It helps in increasing the range of motion in joints.
• It helps in preventing muscle stiffness. 
• It fastens recovery in cases of injury.
• It may increase the lubrication of 
joints and slows the ageing of tissues.
Now, we shall discuss the asanas 
which stretch muscles of different parts 
of the body and enhance flexibility. 
However, in this chapter, other yogic 
practices as pranayama, kriyas are also 
included. These practices will contribute 
towards a healthy living. You may also 
continue the practices learnt in Unit 2.
Tadasana
You have performed Tadasana in Unit 
2. The technique of doing this asana is 
given in Unit 2 of this book. Tadasana 
stretches whole body. Therefore, continue 
performing this asana for developing 
flexibility. 
Page 5


Yoga for PhYsical 
f itness Overview You have been observing that you and members of your 
family generally stretch their bodies immediately after 
waking up in the morning. Have you ever thought why do we 
do this? We generally do this instinctively without knowing 
its importance. In fact, stretching is very important as it 
gives flexibility to our body which becomes stiff after long 
hours of sleep or inactive. Our body may become stiff also 
after continuous activity for long hours. That is the reason 
we experience difficulty in moving our body after walking, 
playing or indulging in physical activities continuously for 
a long time. That is why sports persons are very often seen 
stretching their body before and after the sports events as 
it makes their body flexible. 
Stretching and flexibility are inter-related. Stretching 
enhances flexibility. In this chapter, we shall discuss 
flexibility and contribution of Yoga in improving it.   
w hat is Flexibility ? 
Flexibility is the ability to move the joints and surrounding 
muscles to its maximum. Raising our hands and rotating 
our shoulder in a circular motion backward and forward to 
its maximum is an example of flexibility. 
Flexibility is an important component of physical fitness. It 
is crucial for our body to perform even the most basic activities 
such as walking, bending, squatting, running, etc.
Unit 3
44 Yoga : A Healthy Way of Living
There are individual differences in flexibility. Many 
factors such as age, gender, genetics and lifestyle are 
responsible for this variation.
Activity
Think about the activities we perform in day-to-day 
life. Prepare a list of those activities which require 
flexibility. Example of some activities are given below. 
Add more activities to them.
•  Picking up a book from the table.
•  Walking
•                          
•                          
•                          
•                          
•                          
Benefits of Flexibility 
There are a number of benefits of flexibility.
• Flexibility improves the range of motion in muscles and 
joints, thereby improving performance of motor activities. 
• It reduces the risk of injury and pain. 
• It improves overall balance of the body.
Activity
Let us understand the importance of stretching and 
flexibility by reading the following case: 
Ravi was a student of class X. He was a good player 
of football. But he could not go to play for the last few 
months as he was preparing for the examinations. After 
remaining indoors for a long time he went out to play 
football one day. 
Yoga for Physical Fitness 45
But he could not play well. He also experienced pain 
in his leg muscles for the next few days.  
Now, answer the following questions: 
• Identify the probable cause of pain in Ravi's leg 
muscles.
• Suggest some ways so that Ravi should not face this 
problem in future.
Now the question is — Can flexibility be enhanced?  
The answer is yes. Flexibility can be enhanced by yogic 
practices.
y Ogic Practices tO e nhance Flexibility 
Yogic practices especially asanas are useful for developing 
flexibility as the asanas involve stretching. You have learnt 
some yogic practices in Unit 2.
Before starting yogasanas practise some yogic micro- 
activities like neck bending, neck-shoulder rotation 
and Surya namaskara to prepare the body to perform 
yogasanas.
Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation) 
Surya means ‘sun’ and namaskara means ‘salutation’ or 
bowing down. It consists of 12 postures. The postures 
practised during surya namaskara act as a good link 
between warm up and asanas.
Regular practice of surya namaskara  helps in maintaining 
good health. It improves physical strength, endurance and 
flexibility thereby improving overall physical fitness.
You have learnt surya namaskara in Unit 2. Perform 
surya namaskara according to the technique given in Unit 
2 of this book.
46 Yoga : A Healthy Way of Living
AsAnAs Asana plays an important role in improving overall physical 
fitness. Asanas increase flexibility through stretching. 
Different asanas increase the flexibility in different parts of  
the body. For example, Dhanurasana promotes flexibility of 
the spine by stretching muscles in abdominal region.  
Asana helps in increasing flexibility in the following ways: 
• It helps in stretching our muscles safely.
• It helps in increasing the range of motion in joints.
• It helps in preventing muscle stiffness. 
• It fastens recovery in cases of injury.
• It may increase the lubrication of 
joints and slows the ageing of tissues.
Now, we shall discuss the asanas 
which stretch muscles of different parts 
of the body and enhance flexibility. 
However, in this chapter, other yogic 
practices as pranayama, kriyas are also 
included. These practices will contribute 
towards a healthy living. You may also 
continue the practices learnt in Unit 2.
Tadasana
You have performed Tadasana in Unit 
2. The technique of doing this asana is 
given in Unit 2 of this book. Tadasana 
stretches whole body. Therefore, continue 
performing this asana for developing 
flexibility. 
Yoga for Physical Fitness 47
Hastottanasana
Hastottanasana is made of three words: hasta, uttana and 
asana.  Hasta means 'arms'; uttana means 'stretch up' 
and asana means 'posture'. In this posture, the arms are 
stretched upwards, hence, it is called Hastottanasana.
Let us perform Hastottanasana by following the steps 
given below:
Starting position: Stand erect on the ground, keep both feet 
together.
 1. Slowly inhaling, raise both arms over the head.
 2. Turn your palms raising them up. Now interlock your 
fingers.
 3. Exhaling, bend from the waist towards the right side as 
much as possible. Maintain this position comfortably 
for 5-10 seconds.
 Releasing position:
 4. Inhaling, come to the centre.
 5. Now practise it from the  left side as well.
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FAQs on Textbook: Yoga for Physical Fitness - Yoga: A Healthy Way of Living - Class 7

1. What are the physical benefits of practicing yoga?
Ans. Yoga offers numerous physical benefits such as improved flexibility, increased strength and stamina, better posture, enhanced balance and coordination, and improved cardiovascular health. It also helps in relieving muscle tension and promoting overall relaxation.
2. Can yoga help with weight loss?
Ans. Yes, yoga can aid in weight loss. While it may not burn as many calories as intense aerobic exercises, regular yoga practice can help increase metabolism, build lean muscle mass, and improve digestion. Additionally, it helps reduce stress and emotional eating, which can contribute to weight loss.
3. Is yoga suitable for all fitness levels?
Ans. Yes, yoga is suitable for individuals of all fitness levels. There are various yoga styles and modifications available, allowing practitioners to adjust the intensity and difficulty according to their abilities. Beginners can start with gentle or beginner-friendly classes and gradually progress as their strength and flexibility improve.
4. How often should one practice yoga for optimal physical fitness?
Ans. The frequency of yoga practice depends on individual goals and schedules. For general physical fitness, it is recommended to practice yoga at least 2-3 times per week. Consistency is key, and even shorter daily sessions can be beneficial. However, it is important to listen to your body and not overexert yourself.
5. Can yoga help in preventing injuries during other physical activities?
Ans. Yes, yoga can play a significant role in injury prevention. Regular yoga practice enhances body awareness, improves flexibility, and strengthens stabilizing muscles, which can help reduce the risk of injuries during other physical activities. Additionally, yoga promotes proper body alignment and teaches mindful movement, reducing the chances of strain or overuse injuries.
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