Here are 5 of my favourite yoga hamstring stretches in a “quick guide” that you can save directly to the photo album on your phone, to use as reference.
The safest of these poses is Reclining Hand-To-Big Toe pose, which I recommend you practice with a strap if you have tight hamstrings. In Standing Forward Bend and Triangle, blocks will allow you to straighten your legs if you can’t reach the mat. And in Downward Dog, you can bend your knees as much as you need to or come up onto your tiptoes if you’re working towards straightening your legs. (I have not included seated forward bends as they can put significant pressure on the lower back if you have tight hips.)
5 HAMSTRING STRETCH CUES
A couple of cues that can really help to improve hamstring flexibility in these poses are:
- Contract your quadriceps.
- Think about lengthening rather than stretching your hamstrings.
- First bend your knees and then work towards straightening your legs.
- Use appropriate props to help you maintain good alignment.
- Breathe slowly, in and out through your nose.