How to Stretch Safely | Yoga

How to Stretch Safely | Yoga


All right. We’re going to come into a conversation about
safe yoga stretching. I’ll show you through a posture called paschimottanasana. It’s a forward fold in the seated position
and your legs will be extended in front of you. A lot of us get here and we just want to go
for the toes. Right? We want to be able to be flexible in our minds
but often times that’s not best for the hamstrings or the thighs. So, in order to have any type of safe yoga
stretching, you need to understand that there needs to be two energies happening which are
contraction and elongation. So, as we come in forward fold, the thigh
muscles must contract and pull up as the under belly of the hamstring begins to extend because
that is the part you’re stretching. If you reach forward and you feel a huge pull
here, you need to have just as much energy picking up from the kneecap so that muscle
can extend underneath. Instead of reaching for the toes, you bring
your fingertips to the floor, lift the kneecaps upwards toward the hip bones so the backs
of the legs can feel supported, and then just lock your fingertips there. Your pinky toes pull back towards your face
and you just walk your fingertips from there. Instead of thinking fingers to toes, think
about carving your heart center towards your toes. Your belly lifts away from you thigh, tail
bone reaches behind you, and you walk yourself forward. Listen to the body. The body will tell you when that’s enough
or it will tell you where the line is and you can continue to go further. So, coming further, all the way in the forward
fold. The thigh bones press down, energy extends
through the heels, and you walk yourself back up. That’s the way to have a safe stretch.