1. Come to standing, facing the long edge of your mat.
2. Separate the feet at least 3 ½ to 4 feet apart, feet parallel or slightly pigeon toed. Ground firmly into the outside edges of your feet and engage the quads.
3. Bring hands to waist, inhale deeply and puff up your chest. Exhale as you fold forward, hinging from the hips.
4. Keeping a flat back bring your hands to the mat (or a block), fingertips in line with toes. Make sure your weight is centered in the middle or your foot.
5. Hold for 10 deeps breaths (count to 4 on the inhale and 4 on the exhale), letting the hamstrings slowly release.
6. Bring your hands back to your waist and rise up, keeping a flat back. Return to standing.
Note: you can also do this posture with a shoulder rinse by interlacing the hands behind your back and bringing them up and overhead as you fold forward.
How it will heal you:
Hamstring Pulls – The vast majority of the time, hamstring pulls are a direct result of inflexible hamstrings. This big muscle group requires patience and daily attention to open up and can be really frustrating in their resistance to change. You are not going to go from barely touching your toes to Jordan Wieber overnight. Commit to working on this posture every day and slowly but surely you’ll get the results you want and your body needs.
Lower Back Pain – How many of you have experienced lower back pain? I’d venture to say that anyone who sits in a chair all day has suffered through their fair share. This is also a big one for athletes. Why is that? Most often, lower back pain in athletes stems from tight hamstrings. For my fellow anatomy nerds out there, the hamstrings originate on the sitz bone–aka those little nobs deep in the flesh of your booty that us yogis balance on when doing boat core work (my favorite!). , If your hamstrings are tight they will pull down on the pelvis from the insertion point (the sitz bone) tilting it out of proper alignment and forcing your body to compensate using your lower back to remain upright. Another common reason for low back pain is underdeveloped abdominal muscles. I’m not talking just the six-pack abs (rectus abdominis) but also the deeper corset abs (transverse abdominis) that are critical for balance and stability. The simply solution to preventing and treating lower back pain is to stretch out your hammies and workout your core every day.