Q: I sit for so much of the day (whether at a desk or in a car) & my hams are so tight!! I love the hip opening poses, but when I try to do a forward bend, it still looks like I'm still sitting up straight! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
A: Oh my darling, I hear you! Those hammies can get quite tight from all our sitting so I have a few favorite poses to share:
- Standing forward fold: Open your feet hip width apart, hinge at your hips, and fold forward. Hang here for numerous breaths, even minutes if you can! Bend your knees if you feel like your back is rounding or the legs feel particularly snug (lots of computer work or traveling). Rest your hands into the crook of your arms and let go! My absolulte favorite way to get my yoga on in a quick, cooling way.
- Downward facing dog: From your forward fold, step back to a lunge with your right leg and then step your left leg back to meet it. Lift your hips up and back to an inverted "V." Press into your heels and lift through your toes. Feel those hamstrings opening. If you feel your back rounding, bend your knees to lift your hips up higher and lengthen your spine.
- Seated forward fold: Sit on the edge of a blanket with your legs extended in front of you. Inhale, reach the arms up, and exhale, fold forward. Lengthen the spine and reach for your shins or the outsides of your feet. Be sure to hinge from the hips, rather than the waist (where a belt would be).
- Here's another resource from Yoga Journal!
Good luck, my girlfriend. I hope these few poses help breathe life into those tight hamstrings!