Tight hamstrings is common for most people, however, a regular yoga practice will open the hamstrings quite quickly. People tend to have tend to have continued tight hamstrings if they don’t have time for a regular yoga practice, find forward fold challenging, have a history of back problems or are very active and need to stretch out the hamstrings after a vigorous activity.
How to Stretch Out Your Hamstrings
If you can’t grab your foot or leg easily you can use a yoga strap, as seen in the picture. Make sure the leg you are stretching is straight. You should feel the stretch across the length of the muscle either in the back of the thigh or the calf; not in the joint, back of the knee or in the buttocks. Keep your leg completely straight and engage the front of your thigh, this will help to relax the hamstring through what is called reciprocal inhibition.
Guidelines for Practicing this Pose
■If it hurts back off and modify.
■Take deep even breaths through your nose and allow yourself to relax into the position
■Do not push too hard, gently and consistently allow the hamstring to open
■Practice this regularly, at least 3 times a week
■If you are a runner or cycler do this afterwards
■Hold for at least 30 seconds, for 10 deep breaths
■You can do this stretch up to 3 times
■If you have one leg tighter than the other, start with that leg and do an extra one on that side.
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