This pose can offer quite an intense hamstring stretch. Be gentle with yourself and honor your body with modifications if needed.
- stretches the hamstrings
- alleviates lower back pain and sciatica
Lie on your back with the shoulders directly in line with the hips. Hug the right leg into your chest. Hook your right big toe with your right index and middle fingers and thumb. Begin to straighten the right leg, reaching through the heel. If your knee is a bit bent, that's okay. Keep both shoulder blades and both hips evenly pressing into the earth. You may need to actively externally rotate the right hip (feel it pulling away from your shoulder) to keep it anchored to the earth. Keep the feet flexed and the bottom leg pressing into the floor. If it feels difficult to keep both sides of your body even, try one of the modifications on the following page. This will protect your lower back and neck from being strained. Hold this pose for 5-10 deep breaths and then practice on the opposite side.
HANDS BEHIND KNEE
If you can't reach your foot, grab hold of the back of your knee to hold the leg in place. This can help to keep the shoulders relaxed.
LOWER LEG BENT
Bending the bottom leg and placing the foot flat on the floor slightly curls the tailbone under which can decrease the sensation of stretch in the top leg. This can also help to keep the hips
ADDING A STRAP
To practice this variation, lie on your back. Hug your knee into your chest and lasso the foot with a yoga strap. Straighten the leg as far as you can and adjust your grip on the strap as needed. This variation allows the shoulders to relax more easily.
HOW DID IT GO?
If you tried any of these variations, I'd love to know how it went for you! Tag me on Instagram and use the hashtag #spoonieyogatribe in your photos for a chance to be featured on my page! Or post a photo in our private Facebook group to show off your progress! As a part of your membership, you can get personalized feedback on your poses.