Your hamstrings are the three muscles located in the back of your thigh and are one of the largest and most powerful muscle groups in the body. Through the course of our lives most of us will experience a pulled or tight hamstring. Tight hamstrings are extremely uncomfortable and can be caused by long hours of sitting and driving, tension in the legs, back problems, lack of core strength (the hamstrings try and take on the role of stabilizing the core) and poor coordination and habitual movement patterns.
If you suffer from tight hamstrings, yoga can help! This week’s featured classes will help stretch, strengthen and lengthen your hamstrings!
- Hamstrings as Friend or Nemesis with Mary Taylor: During yoga, in particular those postures that involve forward folds, the hamstrings can become fatigued or injured which can be both painful and frustrating. In this class we’ll learn to work with actions and counter actions within poses and muscle groups and overall structure to work intelligently with hamstrings. Props Needed: One block and a strap.
- Happy Hamstrings with Felicia Tomasko: Hanumanasana Preparation – When your hamstrings are tight, they can pull on your low back. Allow your hamstring muscle groups and fascia to release through a long series of poses designed to improve posture, reduce the risk of injury and begin the process of preparation for poses such as the splits. Props Needed: A block and a strap. Props Suggested: A blanket.
- Quick Hamstrings with Tias Little: This class is designed to actively stretch the hamstrings and abdominal region through standing poses. Then do one legged supta virasana with support. Props Needed: A blanket, a block and a bolster.
- Medicine for Your Hamstrings with Tiffany Cruikshank: Overstretched or torn hamstrings is unfortunately a common problem with yogis and an important problem to look at. This practice is a little medicine for your hamstrings where we will avoid forward folds for irritated or torn hamstrings and look at the surrounding and opposing muscle groups as a way to support the hamstrings in their healing process. We’ll also look at how to work with the hamstrings as they heal and slowly and get them back into a normal routine eventually. (one block & one strap or strap-like object)
- Strengthen & Open Your Hamstrings with Kathryn Budig: Often hamstrings are associated with flexibility, but this unique class will help you find the balance of strength and openness. Flow to warm up the necessary muscles to go into deep hamstring openers/strengtheners such as compass variations and a fun pose called, ‘the exorcist’. Fear not, plenty of time will be spent cooling down, leaving your lower body strong but stretched. Props Suggested: One block and a strap.