These yoga poses will loosen up your hamstrings in no time.
Are your hamstrings feeling stiff like you could use a good, deep stretch? Having tight hamstrings is a very common issue that most people experience, but the good news is that it’s quite easy to remedy! To improve the flexibility in your legs, it’s important to stretch them regularly. The yoga sequence below specifically targets your hamstrings, as well as the muscles in your lower back and hips. Do each pose one leg at a time, and before long you’ll notice that your legs and hamstrings feel much looser and flexible.
By Jenny Sugar
Begin sitting on the floor with the legs out wide. With straight legs and a straight back, slowly hinge at the hips, reaching out with the chest to prevent the spine from rounding. Rest your hands on your thighs or on the floor. Only fold as far as you can with straight legs and hold here for five breaths (about 30 seconds).
One-Legged Seated Straddle
While in the seated straddle position, walk the hands over to the right leg. Try to bring each shoulder on either side of the thigh. Rest the hands on the floor or on the leg. After five breaths, walk your hands over to the left leg for another five breaths.
Bend the knees and bring the soles of the feet together. Rest your hands on the feet, or to deepen the stretch, bring the hands underneath the calves and use your upper body to pull the torso and head toward the floor. Enjoy this hip stretch for five breaths.
Seated Forward Bend Relaxed
Extend the legs out in front of you. With the legs and back straight, hinge at the hips, walking the hands toward the the feet either sliding them down the legs or on the floor on either side of the legs. Actively draw the shoulders back and down away from the ears. Enjoy this stretch for five breaths.
Modified Heron Pose
Sit with the legs extended in front of you. Bend the right knee and hold onto the back of the right thigh, the calf, or if you can, the right heel. With the left leg straight and the foot flexed, straighten the right leg as much as you can, reaching the chest toward the ceiling. Hold like this for five breaths.
Modified Heron Spinal Twist
From Modified Side Heron Pose, bring your left hand to the outer right ankle. Keep the right knee bent if you need to and work on straightening the leg. Rest your right hand on the floor behind you for support and to help encourage a deeper twist. Lift the chest high and hold for five deep breaths.
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All images courtesy of POPSUGAR Photography / Louisa Larson.