Having flexible hamstring muscles can do so much for your body. By incorporating strengthening and stretching hamstring muscle exercises as part of your daily routine, you can achieve stronger and limber thighs that will support the rest of your body. You can prevent lower back pain, reduce injuries and improve your athletic ability. So here we will provide you with an easy yoga sequence that you can do to gain more flexibility in your hamstrings!
Remember, you can always use a strap or a block for any of these postures that you have difficulty in.
Standing Forward Bend – Uttanasana
Starting off in Tadasana, inhale bring your arms up and exhale fold forward from the hip joints. Lengthen your torso as you are descending forward. If possible, bring your hands to the floor or bring the palms to the back of your ankles. If not, cross your forearms, hold your elbows and relax the neck. Stay here between 5 – 10 breaths. Inhale, bring your hands to your hips and slowly come up, keeping the tailbone down to arrive in Tadasana.
Wide Stance Forward Bend – Prasarita Padottansana A
From Tadasana, step backwards with the right foot and turn facing the long edge of your yoga mat to the right. Exhale and lean the torso forward from the hip joints. As your torso arrives parallel to the floor, bring your hands onto the floor, with your fingertips in line with your big toes (if possible). From here take a deep inhale and exhale your head down the floor. If you are tight in the hamstrings, you may have to walk your hands forward and lean into the palms to get your head to the floor. Hold here for 5 breaths. Continue to the next posture…
Half split – Ardha Hanumanasana
Starting from Wide stance forward bend, walk your hands to the right leg, bringing one hand to the floor on each side and drop down to your left knee. Straighten the right leg and flex your right foot, coming up onto the heel. Extend your toes back towards you and begin to straighten your right leg as much as you comfortably can. Keep your hips squared and directly stacked over your left knee. Inhale, lengthen the spine and exhale, fold forward over your right leg. Stay here for 5 – 10 breaths.
Inhale come back up to wide stance forward fold and walk your hands to the left leg and repeat on left side. After 5 – 10 breaths, Inhale come back up to wide stance forward fold.
Wide Angle Seated Forward Bend – Upavistha konasana
From wide stance forward fold, walk your hands back as far as you can go, with fingers facing away from your face. Slowly come down to a seated position with either bent or straight legs. Now, you should be in a wide angle seat. Keep your legs wide and activated with feet flexed. Inhale, raise your arms up and exhale fold forward, elongating the torso down and bringing your hands to the ground. Stay here between 5 – 10 breaths. In some cases, it may be difficult to fold forward, or even just to keep the spine straight. If this is the case for you, try to just keep a straight spine sitting upwards for at least 5 – 10 breaths. Finally, exhale and bring the legs together and come to lie down on your back.
Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose – Supta Padangusthasana A
From supine position, Inhale, grab the big toe with your thumb, index and middle finger in your right foot and lift the leg up towards your chest. If you cannot grab your big toe, you can use a strap around the arch of the foot. Exhale, lift the head up towards the knee. Keep the left hand on the hip to keep the hip on the floor. Stay here for 5 breaths. Inhale and lower the torso to the floor.
Supta Padangusthasana B
Inhale open the right leg to the side keeping it straight. Only move the right leg as far to the side as you can without lifting the left hip. Exhale look towards the left. Your left leg stays activated the whole time. Stay here for 5 breaths. Inhale, bring the right leg up to center and exhale release the leg down to the ground. Repeat on the other side.