On Sunday we tested our hamstrings. Tight hamstrings limit the movement of the pelvis in relation to the legs. They are like an unyielding elastic band running between your pelvis and knees. The hamstrings contain a lot of connective tissue, and as we get older, they tend to get tough and less flexible faster than other muscles in the body. When this happens, it affects the whole body.
Yoga poses are a great way to stretch and open the hamstrings, but its hard to do some of them with proper alignment and effectiveness when you have tight hamstrings. We used blocks and a strap to help. We discussed that the best yoga poses to start with are Supta Padangusthasana for hamstring lengthening and Supine Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana), to stretch the inner thigh muscles which often accompany tight hamstrings. It is important never to push too far, and to hold the poses for about two to three minutes to give enough time for the tough connective tissue in the hamstrings to begin to open up.
Many people hold tension in the deep muscles of the legs, and stretching them can be a great way to release that stress. Taking the time to open up this part of the body can help us to feel less strain in our lower backs and more calm in our minds.
Thanks for practicing with me!