Yoga For Hamstrings |  Yoga With Adriene

Yoga For Hamstrings | Yoga With Adriene


Hey, everyone, welcome to Yoga with Adriene.
I am Adriene, and today we have a sequence for your hamstrings. A lot of us could use
a little extra loving in the hammies ad the whole sit bone
to heel connection, so today we are going to play with that again remembering that it
is all connected, baby. And we are going to use a block if we have it. If you don’t have a block, grab a book. If
you don’t have this, no problem. But you will probably want this, which is a strap, or you
can use a tie or a belt or something long enough to go from your hands to your toes.
All right. So let’s hop on the mat and give our hammies some good, good loving. Okie doke. So to begin, we are going to go
onto our backs. So for this sequence, as mentioned before, you are going to need a strap, or
you can use your tie so your grab piece of rope or belt or tie, and let’s come to
lay on flat back. All righty. So I’m going to bring the knees
up here. Soles of the feet on the mat, and I’m just going to take a second to get comfortable.
So sometimes we can have kind of so much tension in the shoulders here that we get stuck. So
press on the head, press on the elbows, and lift your chest off the ground. Draw the two
shoulder blades in together and down, kind of opening up the chest area here. And I’m
scratching my upper lip. Okay. And then I’m going to tuck my pelvis in here too.
So tailbone lengthens down towards the bottom edge of the mat, and I draw the navel down
just slightly. So I’m just coming to a nice, open chest and nice supported lower back. Cool beans. Now I’m going to take my strap,
or whatever you have, and I’m going to take it in both hands, extend the right leg up
to the sky, keep this knee bent. So both knees are bent, so the left foot is left on the
ground for support. So working at all levels here, but even if your not
super flexible, it’s nice to just kind of set the tone that I’m going to be mindful
on my mat, right? I took dance for many years, and I can’t tell
you how many times I would just like come straight to here and it’s just so not kind
practice. Okay so taking this strap I’m going to bring it to the ball joint of my right
big toe. Just kind of take it to the toe to the pinky toe ball joint there. Now, knee
is nice bent here. I’m going to slowly slide the right heel up towards the sky. Now, I
might straighten the leg here or I might keep the knee bent generously,
making sure that the chest stays open here and the lower back is nice and supported. So I have the sole of the left foot here for
stability. I’m going to take a deep breath in here, and a long exhale out. Holding strap
tight, holding both hands here. Take a deep breath in, and a long, slow release out. Cool. Make sure the neck isn’t too tight here.
Chances are, you’re probably looking at the video, but when you look away, just take a
second to tuck the chin into the chest and feel the spine
nice and long. So especially as we work on these targeted muscle groups or
these videos that kind of focus on one muscle group, I just want to reiterate
that it’s all connected, baby, so we’re paying attention to the line
of the spine somehow. I got something on my lip. We’re paying attention
to the full body, full body experience. Okay. Couple more breaths here. Begin to straighten
that leg maybe if it feels good. If not, keep it nice and bent.
Let’s move nice and slow. Breathing into the back of that right leg. Next step, we’re going to take the strap,
we’re going to bring it into the right hand here. So I’m going to take my right
palm, clasp it around my strap, bring the left palm to the top of that
left thigh bone. So I can still here, chillaxing. Or, I’m going to begin
to slide the right heel all the way down towards the bottom edge of the
mat. Finding a little opposition energetically
here, so I’m pressing through that left heel and as I press through the
right. So even if I don’t want to straighten this leg right away, I can energetically
just kind of connect sit bone to heel. Use that left palm to just
kind of guide that left thigh down, shoulders are relaxed, and I breathe
here. Notice left toes are pointing up towards the sky again. Full body
experience. You can begin to play with a little movement
here. Back and forth. Maybe even left to right. And then if you are craving
a deeper stretch, we’ll bring that left leg up towards the ankle.
Take a deep breath in, and on an exhale, gently flex right toes, flex that
right foot. Bring the big toes towards your third eye. Right sit bone. Nice and heavy here, dropping
that hip into socket. Let’s take one more deep breath in here, and a long
exhale out. So we softly bend the right knee up if it
isn’t already. We will release the strap and we are going to take just a
little bout of Baddha Konasana in between. So we are going to bring the soles
of the feet together, open the knees wide, bring the hands to the belly and
chill. Lower back comes up, we open the chest, we breathe in and out. And
then, we’ll take it to the other side. So draw the knee in towards the center,
keep the sole of the right foot on the ground just for stability. Again, we’ll move nice and slow. Taking the
strap into both hands, we’ll catch the left foot now. Paying attention
to the chest and lower back here, as we get set up for our stretch. Breathe
nice long, smooth, deep breaths. So the tendency again, shoulders everything
is going to want to be here but we can take this deep stretch. But be kind.
Create a full body experience. Work nice and slow. So open in the chest,
flush in the lower and back, keep this bent as generously as you need. So we
might be here, breathing, rocking back and forth. Or we might be here. Now that you know what you’re doing here,
you might close your eyes, soften the skin of the face. And then we can totally
just stay here, or we will move onto the next step, which is taking the
strap into the left hand here, clasping with the left palm and then slowly
using the right palm to press the right thigh bone down as we slide that
right heel down towards the bottom edge of the mat. And we breathe. Inhale. You might take a nice, full belly
breath here on this next inhale. And on this next exhale, you might consider
just letting the weight of that left sit bone drop down, the left hip really
drop in your socket here. Noticing the sensations and using that breath.
For your last breath cycle, you might grab the strap with both hands again
and flex the left toes with the left flex foot. The lex foot. The Lex
Luthor foot. The left foot. Wow. And then, using an exhale, we’ll soften through
that left knee. Release the strap to the side of the mat, and hug both
knees into the chest. Rock a little left to right. Breathe, and then we
will cross the right ankle over the left, grab the outer edges of the feet,
bend the elbows left to right here, take a deep breath in, breathing into
the outer edges of the hip. And then we will bring our minds eye, our awareness,
to the space between the navel and the spine, and begin to rock and
roll. One of my favorite pastimes on this channel. Nothing like watching yourself on camera doing
this. Come on now. Come on now. I’m just trying to inspire a little fun
as we massage the spine. Rock a little back and forth. Smile. Let’s do one
more. And then we’ll rock all the way up to seated and then come to all
fours, preparing for downward facing dog. There’s no rush, spreading the
palms wide. We have a foundations for downward facing dog, so if
you are interested in kind of the basics, we are just going a little deeper
in this posture, finding more ease and strength. Check her out. Okay. Sending
the sit bones up towards the sky, but keep the knees nice and bent
here. Draw the shoulders away from the ears, take a deep breath in, and
as you exhale, begin to peddle the feet. So we drop one heel down as we lift
one heel up and then we switch, nice and easy. And we switch, sit bone to heel connection.
Good thing I wore my leather pants for this move. And a couple more of
times. Make sure you are not holding the neck here. Once you figure it
out with the video, relax the weight of the head down. And bend a little
back and forth. Massaging the feet, really get your money’s worth here,
not just the hamstrings but shoulders drawing away from the ears, navel
to the spine, lower belly in as we massage the feet. Press into all ten knuckles,
and then we’re going to take it for a little bit of a walk so come
onto your tippy tip toes, and we are going to slowly walk the toes towards
the center of the mat. Once again, we’ll bend the knees super generous,
belly to the tops of the thighs, and we grab the elbows and release
the weight of the head over. So again, it’s all connected, so not just targeting
these poor, sweet, little hammies, but the full sit bone to heel connection,
the upper back, the psoas, everything wrapping around here as
we breath and just check in. And so you might sway a little side to side. You
might be finding stillness here today. Perhaps you have already been
working on kind of creating space in the hammies. If you can straighten the
legs, draw the chin into the chest. So it’s more than just kind of teaching all
levels here for me. It’s really about finding what feels good and being present
based on what the body’s telling you. So the practice is always going
to be different. The stretches are always going to feel different. It’s kind
of about listening and being in the moment. So take a few seconds here,
a couple of seconds more to just linger, to breathe. If you’re new to the practice,
you might experience a little bit of shake, so soften the knees and
use your breath to smooth that out. Great. On your next breath in, find a flat
back position. We’ll inhale, slide the palms to the shins, loop the shoulders,
pull the elbows back like little grasshopper legs, inhale, look forward,
breathing, sit bone to heel connection, and exhale, soften the knees and
slide it down. Okay. Great. So fingertips are going to come
to the mat. I’m going to slide the right toes back into my runner’s lunge.
Take a second here to find that sit bone to heel connection. Really spike
that right heel towards the back wall. Hold the left hip crease back and find
what feels good. A little movement here as we open the shoulders to
heart. Forward. And then, on an exhale, I will slowly soften the left knee
down. If we need to, we can double on the mat here, cushioning the right
knee, feeling the beautiful underbelly of mine on the mat, just for a
little extra padding. So that’s an option. You can always use a towel or a
blanket too. Great. Right toes are curled under. And I’m
going to slowly inch my left toes towards the front edge of the mat, just
a little bit. Fingertips on the mat here. I inhale, look forward, exhale.
I’m going to slowly begin to pull left hip crease back and really flex
through my left foot. So not soft here, but really keeping that integrity of
left thighbone forming and left hipbone creasing pulling back. Again, we can
always bend the knee here if we need. And then rather then sitting all
the way back…so some of us are used to this. We are going to see if we can
keep it nice and stacked. So right knee and right hip nice and stacked
here as I breathe. I flex the foot, just like I did on my back, and peel
that left hip crease towards the back edge. Now we can inhale in here, lift and lengthen,
exhale. Come onto the palms if you can and relax the weight of the head
over. Two more just like that. Inhale into the fingertips, we loop the shoulders,
lift and lengthen them forward. Keep the integrity of that left foot
here and on an exhale, bow and release. Last one. Inhale and exhale.
Fold. Awesome. Inhale slowly, rolling through that
left foot. We lift the back knee up, and once again, we look forward as
we rock the back toes up to meet the front, Uttenasana forward fold. Now
this time, you can experiment with the same thing: feet hip width apart,
you can rock a little side to side. Or to take it a step further, just to
kind of experiment, we’re going to bring the feet flush together now, maybe
keeping a little bit of the space, maybe like an inch worth between the
heels. So two big toes together, little space between
the heels. We inhale, lift a flat back, your version, and exhale. Release.
Interlacing your fingertips behind the calves. We bend the elbows left
to right and relax the weight of the head over. Now, notice I am not slamming,
locking my legs, but I’m giving it a little time and space here and
considering every muscle fiber. Reminding myself that it’s all connected as
I breathe deep here, pressing into all four corners of the feet. To take
it a step further, we might grab the elbows behind the legs, and then just
know we can also still be here, working it out. So it’s great, especially if you want to return
to the video. There are always lots of variations, ways to experiment.
For me, that’s what keeps the practice lovely. Let’s take one more deep
breath in here or wherever you are. And then gently release. Awesome. This time, we slide left toesies and come
into our runner’s lunge. So there’s also foundations for runner’s lunge.
I highly recommend that you check it out because this is great transition
pose that we often kind of blow through. Just keep the legs and the knees
in particular nice and happy. Great. Inhale, look forward, and exhale.
Slowly lower that left knee down again. Again, feel free to pad the knee here. Left
toes are curled under. We make sure that we stack the left hip over the left
knee. So again, the tendency is to kind of here, which is where the pose
looks pretty awesome. I’m like, “Wow, look how flexible I am,” but I think
it’s more beneficial and a little bit safer, actually, to keep this stacked.
So we walk the right toes out, they are both good, different things.
Different strokes for different folks as they say. Stupid. Okay Inhale, looking forward, and exhale rocking
it back. So I’m not just straightening my right leg. I’m really pulling
the left hip crease back, leveling the hips here and flexing that right
foot. Breathe deep. If you’re feeling a little wobbly, you can always come
on the top of that left foot for stability. But for me, and my body type,
it feels more stable with left toes curled under. All right. Let’s find a movement, a little
flow. We inhale, look forward, smile. Exhale, maybe coming onto the palms.
Keep that right foot flexed as we bow forward. Integrate the breath. We inhale,
loop the shoulders, open the heart, lengthen, and exhale, working with
those muscles, working with the breath. We fold. Here we go. Inhale and exhale. Release. Then
slowly, we come back up. We roll through that right foot, and maybe fold
our mat back down as we come back to our runner’s lunge. Take a deep breath
in here and then exhale, plant the palm, step it back to downward dog
for two nice, long, smooth, deep breaths. Pedal it out, melt your heart
back. Awesome. And then we’ll slowly lower back
onto the knees, cross the left ankle over the right, so we are just kind
of reversing the way that we got up here. And slowly come back to the buttocks,
and come back to flat back. So here we are going to grab the block. If
you don’t have the block, then that’s okay. We can use a nice firm book.
Hey-o. Or we can screw the props altogether and just use our hands. So I’ll
start with the block, and get into flat back. So take your block or your
book, and we’re basically going to go in the same order as before. So sole
of the left foot comes to the earth, and we are going to send the right
leg all of the way up. Really let the weight of that hip drop into socket here,
and then pay attention to lower back and upper body here too as well.
Just like we did before. Nothing like the support of the earth here
to check in with these tight hammies, to check in with the backs of the
legs. So I’m going to take the block, straight to my hammy here, straight
to Miami. Flex the right foot, keep the shoulders relaxed, and we are going
to use a little resistance here. So I’m not just pulling the block or
the book or the option here is to interlace the ends of your fingertips and
use the firmness of the palms to do this as well. But rather-and this is
important-and this is about strengthening these muscles, so we stretch
and then we strengthen, right? So I’m not just pulling the block to my right
thigh, but rather pressing back with the thigh. So really, left hamstring
is lengthening towards the sky as I flex through the right foot, and
I’m finding a little give and take here. You can stay here, or we can slide
that right foot down just as we did before. Sound effects. And then you know me. God is in the details,
or the devil’s in the details, however you want to see it. This right shoulder
might start to pull up, so just ground on down through that right shoulder,
keep dropping this right hip socket down with an exhale, energetically
pressing through that right heel, and we find a little resistance. So
it might be here. It might be here, or it might be a little further. Just
find where it is today and breathe. Let’s do three more breaths here. Sweet. And then we’ll soften through that
right knee and switch. Nice and easy. Nice and easy. Okay. Here we go. Sole
the right foot on the mat base. Extend the left foot up. Go ahead and catch
the back of that leg here with your block, the book or your palms. And again,
this is about finding that resistance. So we’re not just pulling up here.
It’s kind of the opposite so we are pressing with that hamstrink or string.
I can’t wait ’til I get hamstrinks. We’re pressing into the hamstring, and we’re
really find that again, that energy out through the left heel. Neck is
nice and long, long and beautiful. Stay here, use the sole of that
right foot for a little stability, especially if you are starting
to feel that prana, that energy, that shake. Or slide it down. Experiment. So nice, supportive stretching here. Let’s
do a few more breaths. Enjoy this time. Now, when you feel satisfied, we’ll
bend that left knee, soften it out, release the props to the sides. Send
both legs out, long, reach the full fingertips out, full body stretch, point
the feet, move the ankles, the wrists, take a deep…the wrists, the
wrist. Take a deep breath in. Smile. And exhale, release. Shavasana. Okie doke. So that was a sequence to strengthen
and lengthen the hamstrings. I think that of all the videos,
this is a really good one to favorite or click “Add to” down below so you
can return to the video more easily and find ease in the hamstrings. Slowly
begin to work with that flexibility, and give it to time. My biggest
suggestion to you is find what feels good and give it time, particularly
with this particular muscle group and back of the legs. All righty. Leave questions or comments below.
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