After class, I always try to give everyone an opportunity to ask any questions they may have. Sometimes I get questions about specific poses for certain areas that are tight, and many times I’ve been asked specifically about poses for the hamstrings. So I decided to write a post about it. Here are three poses that can help you to loosen up your hamstrings. Keep your legs straight with your knees soft in the poses so that you don’t lock your knees.
#1 Standing Straddle
Allow your legs to come wide apart (usually wider than hip distance) with your feet facing forward. Place your hands on your hips as you gently hinge forward from your hips. If you are very tight, you may want to use a yoga block or have something sturdy handy to place your hands on. You can let your hands come all the way to the ground, just don’t force it if that’s not where they naturally fall. Hold here for 3-5 breaths (about 1 minute).
#2 Seated Forward Fold
Sitting on the ground, this pose can be done with both legs extended in front of you, or one leg extended out and the other heel in towards your thigh (if you do it one leg at a time, be sure to do both sides). Start to walk your hands out in front of you to let them fall where they naturally do. You can use a yoga strap or a towel around the bottom of your feet for more stability or just let your hands stay where they naturally fell. Breath into it and you may notice that your body naturally comes into the pose a bit deeper as you exhale. Hold here for 3-5 breaths.
#3 Pyramid Pose
Start standing with your feet together and step one foot back, with your heels in line with one another (as though they were on a tight rope line in line with one another) but your back toes are out at about a 45
degree angle. It is a fairly short stance and the front toes are facing forward and the front knee is mostly straight (just don’t lock it out). Place your hands on your hips and start to hinge forward. Once you are down about halfway, you can allow your back to round gently as you let your hands fall and rest on your leg or the ground (or a yoga block if you have one handy). Breathe into it for a couple of breaths. Switch sides.
Start to release out of these poses if any of them cause you pain. Always warm up for a few minutes before holding stretches. Let me know if there are any areas of tightness you are looking for poses to help. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org If you like what you've read and would like to be kept up to date on new blogs, please subscribe to our newsletter HERE.