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Hey yogis, this week I have some sweet and delicious moves for your tight and tired hamstrings. If you have been looking to improve your lower body flexibility, these moves will do the trick.
These five stretches come from an hour long (well 55 minutes) practice I prepared and shared over on my YouTube channel – Yoga for Hamstrings. If you want to treat yourself, go ahead and click through to the video.
This is an intermediate practice as we play around with some fun poses. Have a set of props (2 blocks and a strap) handy, these might help you access new, or deeper poses.
1. Half Happy Baby – Laying on your back, draw the right leg into the chest. With your two peace fingers, catch hold of the big toe of the right foot. Stack your right ankle directly over top of the right knee. Positioning your arm inside of the leg, use your elbow to push the knee wider and increase the stretch. Flex the right foot towards the sky as you draw the right knee closer to the chest. For a deeper stretch, extend your left leg long on the mat. Repeat on the left side.
2. Lunge with Quad Stretch – Come into a low lunge with your hands framing the front foot. Reach your right hand back as you bend the left knee, catching hold of the the foot and pulling it towards you. A strap might come in handy here, hooking it over the foot to bring it closer to you if need be. Keep your hips pushing down and forward in the lunge as you draw the foot toward you. Opening your right shoulder up, to take a twist. Switch to the other side.
3. Wide-legged Forward Fold – Turning towards the long edge of your mat, take a wide stance. Keep both feet parallel to the shorter edges of your mat. Hinge at the waist as you bring your hands to the mat and soften the chest down. Widen or narrow your stance as needed. Walk the palms backward further to bring them in line with the feet.
4. Skandasana – Keeping your wide legged stance, turn your toes out and heels in. Bend into the right knee as you flex into the left foot. Use your right elbow to open the knee farther to the side as your hips drop. Flex the toes of the extended leg skyward. Slowly walk your hands towards the left foot, as you straighten the right leg and take the bend in the left to switch sides. Do a few rounds of this with short holds on each side.
5. Pyramid – Step the left foot back about halfway, turning the
toes out about 45 degrees. Keep both sides of your hips and shoulders
facing forward. Straighten out your front leg. Placing your hands on the
hips, hinge at the waist. Reach and press into the left heel, keep
pushing your left hip forward. Place hands onto blocks framing the front
foot, or fingertips to the ground. Letting your chest soften towards
the thigh. Don’t forget to do the same on the opposite side.
Don’t have time for the full hour practice right now? Did you know you can download some of my videos for FREE (this one included) and take them with you wherever you go? Find them here.
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