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Yoga Tight Hamstrings

There are many yoga poses to relieve tight hamstrings. Some of these you need to do on a yoga mat, but for those who have problems sitting on a mat, there are adaptations of these poses that you can do sitting on a chair.

We start describing those poses which you can best do on a mat. Be in a kneeling position and lift your right leg to make your right thigh horizontal to the floor and your right shin vertical. While your left thigh is vertical and your left shin horizontal to the floor.

Inhale, and as you exhale lower your torso towards your right thigh and simultaneously stretch your left leg behind you. Press your hips towards the mat till your right and left thighs are aligned. Beginners may not be able to lower their hips as much. But doing this step over a period of time will enable you to do it properly.

When you are in this position you will feel a severe stretch at your thighs and glutes. This is also a rectum opener step. Pause at this step and then shift back by taking your hips as far behind you as you can. As you do this you will straighten your right leg from the knee. Press your right heel into the floor and try to lower your calf muscle of your right leg as close to the floor as you can. You will experience a good stretch at your right calf muscle, knee and thigh. Interchange the position of your legs and repeat this movement. You may repeat this cycle of movements, for a few times depending on your comfort level.

Another pose is to sit on the mat and extend your right leg straight down the hips along the mat. Bend your left leg from the knee and place your left foot sole against your right inner thigh. Now bend forward from your hips and reach your arms towards your right foot, or as close as possible to it. This step gives a good stretch to your hips and thighs.

Those who cannot sit on the floor can sit on a chair and take a strap to help out. Place the strap and wrap it around your feet at the arch of the feet. Straighten your legs so that they are not bent from the knees. Tug at the strap while keeping your spine straight. Your back would be slanted at an angle, but do not curve your spine backwards as you tug at the strap. This step stretches your thighs, knees, and calf muscles.

Another step is to stand against a wall and rest your buttocks against the wall. Now bend down forward from your hips without bending your knees and place your palms on the floor next to your feet. If you can stretch further, you may wrap your arms around your shins. This way you can exercise all your hamstrings and overcome the tight hamstrings syndrome.


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Yoga Advice Column – Hamstring Flexibility