Hamstrings are one of the most important muscles of our entire body that allows powerful legs and helps us walk smoothly. Hamstring consists of 3 main muscles that cover from the sit-bones to the knees. They help you bend your knees and run fast. A strong and flexible hamstring is very important for having a better physical fitness. With all these yoga postures, you can easily strengthen your hamstrings and enjoy its awesome flexibility.
1. Gate Pose
First of all, kneel down on the floor. Your legs and bottom should be straight up to your hips. Put your inner knees together. Keep your thighs to the ground perpendicular. Then, stretch your right legs directly out to the side. Put your toes towards your right side while your kneecap points to the ceiling. Move your pelvis a little bit to the right. While keeping your legs straight, try to touch the bottom of your right foot. Inhale and stretch your arms out to your sides parallel to the floor, keep up the arms at shoulder height and put your palms towards the floor.
Relax your right arm alongside your right thigh, ankle, and shin. Turn your left hand up and stretch it upwards to the ceiling.
Put your left hand over your head towards the right. Your biceps will rest on your left ear. Move your head facing towards the ceiling. Continue moving your left hip to the front and move your torso up from the ground. Stay 1-2 minutes in the pose. For releasing the post, pull your left arm to draw your torso upside and keep your arms stretched. Afterwards, lower your arms and move your right knee next to your left to regain balance. Afterwards, push your right knee towards your left while lowering your arms for regaining balance. You can do the same pose on the opposite side.
Gate pose is effective to stretch both sides of your body – hips to the finger. It also builds core strength,
stimulates digestion, and increases the flexibility of the spine, circulation, and respiration.
2. Triangle Pose
Stand on your feet, keeping them wide apart about 3 feet. Put your right toes towards your right wall and your left toes inwardly a little bit. As you inhale, push your left hips to your left while sliding both of your arms to the right, aligning parallel to the floor. As you exhale, start moving your arms only. Elevate your left arm while putting your right hand on the right leg. Keep your palms forward.
Push with your feet while pulling up your knee caps. Keep your legs be strong. Touch the fingertips away from each other while your arms along with your shoulder create a straight line up-to- bottom, like the picture. In the state, hold on for 5-10 breaths. Depending on your stamina and flexibility, you can hold longer.
After that, release the pose by returning into a 5 pointed stars position. Continue the same steps on the other side. This pose engages all the parts of your body. It stretches your hamstrings, reinforces the core, releases the hips and shoulders and most of all, and stretches your legs.
3. Intense Sliding Stretch
Starting from the Mountain Pose, step your left foot back, making a V like shape with 45° angles. Both of your legs should be straight. As you exhale, make sure that your feet stick to the ground. As you inhale, widen your toes, allowing your legs to be activated. Keep your legs strong and as you exhale, move the tops of
your thighs backward while widening your sitting bones apart. Move your right hip backward while your left hip forward. As you exhale, stretch your legs further through your bones. With an inhalation, pull your chest up. As you exhale, stretch your spine by bending your body from your hips. Put your hands on the both sides of your right leg. If you want a better stretch, you can bend your elbows to reach the deeper bend. Hold the pose for several breaths, maintaining the stretch of your spine and your hamstrings. To return back to normal, step forward with your right leg into Standing Forward Bend. Then, continue the steps on your left side. If you feel too much pressure on your hamstrings, you can follow the “Pose – 1” to get accumulated with the pose. This pose with strengthens your hamstring while making it loose for more flexibility.
4. Head to Knee Forward Fold
After sitting on the floor, extend your legs to your front. Inhale and bend your left leg, bring your left foot to the inside of your right thigh and keep your left knee on the floor. Keep your right leg in the center and put the toes pointing to the ceiling. While keeping your spine long, move your torso putting your chest and navel. Line up with the center of your right leg. Stretch both of your hands to a side of your right leg. Exhale and fold your torso forward, rest your hands on either side of your right leg, keeping your elbow up and off the floor. Bend your torso forward as much you can, let your lower belly touch the thing first, then your chest and lastly, your nose and head. Stay in the pose for 1-3 minutes and come up with an inhalation. Hold for about 30-60 seconds. To release the pose, draw your tailbone towards the ground as you inhale and lift your torso. Extend your left leg and repeat the instructions on the opposite side. With regular practice, this pose your groins and hamstrings will loosen up. One thing keeps in mind, never force yourself in the pose.
5. Reclining Hamstring Stretch
Lie down on your backs while keeping your legs relaxed and straight and arms relaxing on your sides. Just breathe normally. Raise your right leg as high as you can while keeping your pelvis straight on the ground. Let your leg move straight towards your head as much as possible. Relax your foot to stretch your calf
muscles as well. Use a yoga strap or a towel on your foot. With the strap, pull your leg further towards your head. When you’re likely to reach your limit, hold for about 10-20 seconds. After the pose, just release your leg, let it relax on the ground. Start again with your leg. This is extremely helpful for your hamstrings. It’ll increase the flexibility while making it stronger, allowing fewer chances of getting injuries and muscle pulls.