Keeping with our theme of stretching the hamstrings for this month, I give you wide angle seated forward fold! Things you might need for this stretch: a blanket/towel and possibly a block, or something to rest the hands on as shown in the photo.
How To Hamstring Stretch Part II:
- Sit with your legs extended in front of you on the floor, then lean your torso back slightly on your hands and lift and open your legs to an angle that is comfortable for you. You ultimately want to bring them as wide as you can.
- Sit up as tall as you can through the torso. If sitting up tall is not accessible to you, if you are slouching in the back, then place a folded blanket or towel right under the buttocks.
Rotate your thighs outwardly, but keep the knees point up toward the ceiling.
- Flex the feet so the toes go toward the ceiling as well. Push through the heels of the feet to keep them flexed.
- Push the hamstrings into the floor and flex your quad muscles (your knee cap will lift, that’s how you know you’re flexing) so your knee caps point up at the ceiling.
- Start to walk your hands forward between your legs. Keep your arms long. Keeping the torso long and straight, pull the belly button to the spine and on the exhale fold forward.
- Keep the back as flat as you can as you walk the hands out further, no rounding(see bottom left photo)!
- To Increase the forward bend, on each exhalation keep pulling the belly in until you feel a comfortable stretch in the backs of your legs. Stay in the pose 1 minute or longer. Then come up on an inhalation just as controlled as you came into it, walking the hands back towards the body.
- If your hamstrings are extremely tight you might want to try the more restorative version of this stretch with the legs on the wall as shown in the bottom right photo. This way your back stays flat on the ground and you legs open up by gravity.
For additional stretches and tips, follow Rachel on Instagram YOGINI_RACHEL and check out Part I here.