Yoga Hamstring Stretch–For More Than Just Your Hamstrings

yoga hamstring stretchThe Yoga hamstring stretch lengthens your hamstrings and reduces stress for several neighboring muscles. Because the pelvis is in neutral instead of imprint (as it tends to be when we pull our leg closer to us), the hamstrings are allowed to fully lengthen. Additionally, the neutral pelvis allows the psoas to return to a relaxed position. This, in turn, lets the piriformis stay relaxed.

For anyone with low back pain or SI joint dysfunction, allowing these muscles to stretch correctly and release tension is essential.

Yoga Hamstring Stretch

  1. Begin on your back with your knees bent, heels in line with your SITs bones.
  2. Lift your right foot off the floor and straighten your leg. The sole of your foot should be toward the ceiling.
  3. Allow your low back to relax toward the floor as your leg comes closer toward your chest.
  4. Reach toward your leg, and lace your fingers behind your right thigh. Make sure that your hands are very high up behind your thigh. If you cannot lace your fingers behind your thigh, grab a strap or towel that you can easily grasp. It’s important for your shoulders to be able to relax while you provide tension. This will help ensure that you’re stretching correctly.
  5. Press your thigh into your hands and your hands into your thigh. As you do this, notice how your pelvis rotates from imprint back to neutral. This rotation allows you to provide a better stretch for your hamstrings while letting the psoas and piriformis relax.
  6. If you would like a deeper stretch, slide your left leg out straight. Feel the back of the left heel press into the ground. If this is too much stretch, simply bend the left knee again.
  7. Hold for several breaths.
  8. To finish, release your hands, bend your knees, and return to your starting position.
  9. Don’t forget to stretch the left side.

Yoga Hamstring Stretch Video

Here is a video for visual learners.

What do you think of this stretch? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Sarah Stockett

Hi, I'm Sarah! I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. I believe you can use simple exercises to relieve your aches + pains. AND, I believe I can teach you how.