The Low back to left hamstring pose of yoga is both a relaxation pose and an exercise. It is quite an easy sequence, and a useful one too, as it helps in compressing your abdomen, stretching your spine, glutes (buttocks), quads (thighs), hamstrings, calf muscles, in addition to you triceps, biceps, elbows, wrists and neck.
For a pose that is also a mild relaxation pose, to have so many benefits could sound surprising. You start doing this pose from a supine position by lying down on your back. Your legs are spread straight down your hips and arms are by your sides.
Inhale deeply, and as you exhale, bend your legs from the knees and lift your legs from the knees. Place your feet flat on the floor. Now your legs look like and inverted ‘V’. Lift your left leg, while keeping it bent from the knee and raise your arms at the same time.
Interlace the fingers of your right palm into those of your left and place your palms across your left shin, just below your knee. Thus you hold your left shin securely and press your left leg as close as you can to your abdomen and chest.
Lower your right leg to the floor and stretch it out. Turn the toes of your right leg to point them back at yourself and stretch the right foot as well. With the back of your right leg, hug the floor. At the same time, press your back too against the floor for full support to your back.
At this position, inhale deeply and then exhale. With every exhalation, stiffen your arms and draw your bent left leg close to your chest and abdomen. This way, you compress your abdominal organs. As a result of this, they function well and secrete better leading to better digestion, improved metabolism and better regulation of blood sugar.
As you press your leg, you also feel the connection from your lower back all the way up to your hamstrings behind your knees. You may also stretch your left foot down at this position. This gives a very comprehensive stretch to your hamstrings, knees, thighs, calves, ankles and feet. As you are using your arms to draw your left leg towards yourself, your triceps, biceps, elbows and wrists also experience a good stretch.
Keep breathing deeply and stay in this position for between five to seven breaths. Interchange the position of your legs and repeat the above cycle of actions.
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