Relax and loosen your hamstrings with Supta Padangushtasana. Lie flat on your back and raise one leg straight up. Hold the big toe. Feel the stretch in the back of the thigh or calf muscles. Hold for 30 sec or 10 deep breaths and place leg back down. Repeat the same for the other leg. Don't push yourself in case of discomfort. Do this up to 3 times, at least thrice a week.
Tight hamstrings are common for most people. However, a regular yoga practice will open up the hamstrings quite quickly. People tend to have continued tight hamstrings, if they do not 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.
Stretch Your Hamstrings With Supta Padangushtasana (Big Toe Pose)
- If you can not grab your foot or leg easily you can use a yoga strap.
- 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.
Do’s And Don’ts
- 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 hamstrings to open.
- Practice this regularly, at least 3 times a week.
- If you are a runner or a cyclist 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.