Here are 3 simple yoga stretches that may help to improve the flexibility and movement in your hamstring muscles. You can also use these gentle stretches to promote relaxation in the body. Feel free to hold each stretch for about 20-30 seconds (or as long as it is comfortable for you). During each stretch, you may combine it with slow and deep relaxing belly breaths (read my blog post How to: Belly Breathing, to read more about the belly breathing I am referring to). I usually hold my stretches for about 6-8 deep belly breaths and repeat them 2-4 times.
Please read: You should not feel any discomfort or pain. Stop if anything feels uncomfortable for you. Do not go beyond your body’s limit (the stretch that you do may look different from how it looks when I do it and that’s okay). If you are combining your stretches with belly breathing, stop if you ever feel lightheaded or dizzy. If you have high blood pressure or feel discomfort bending your head/body down, please do not perform stretches 1 and 3. If you are unsure about these stretches or have any questions, remember to consult a registered physiotherapist before trying them. Otherwise, I hope that you can relax and enjoy these stretches! 🙂
1) Standing Forward Fold, legs crossed (Uttanasana)
2) Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana) Tips: press thighs down into mat, draw pelvic bone down and keep your torso long. (I could have kept my back a bit straighter… 🙂 )
3) Pyramid pose (Parsvottanasana) Tips: turn your back foot to a 45 degree angle, front foot pointing to the front of the mat, keep torso long and lean into front leg (if you cannot reach the floor with your fingertips you can put blocks on the floor or in my case I usually use an old textbook)
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