“Damn those hamstrings!”

Yeah, a few of you have said that to me recently.  And a few of you have been on the table (or floor or pool deck or side of road) and I’ve said “Gee, it would be great if you could loosen those things up a little.

Yeah, YOU.  I can help, but you have to put in the time.  And that’s what we’re talking here.  Let’s say…five minutes.  Repeatedly.  Here’s the move:

Viparita Karani-tViparita Karani…that’s “legs up the wall” to the non-Sanskrit speaking people in the house.

First, wiggle your pelvis (butt, patooties, arse) into the wall.  I prefer a towel roll under the lumbar spine (just big enough to honor the natural curve, enough so the pelvis tilts forward).  When you’re ready, bring your feet up the wall.  For the entire hamstrings to lengthen, you need to keep the legs straight.  Keep backing away from the wall until you can do this.  For those of you with tight/forward shoulders, put a pillow under your head so you can get comfortable (and breathe…).

Here’s the “tough” part for some of you:  just lie there.  Yup, “just” stay.  You’ll feel the muscles start to stretch.  Remember, if you think the muscles are ripping, they probably are, so don’t do that.  Back off.  Just a comfortable, mild stretch.  After a little while, those muscles will lengthen…

…but you’re not done.  Now you’re getting into the deeper stuff.  The fascia.  The joints.  You may not know what this “stuff” feels like, so just lie there and try to enjoy the experience.  As always, if you think you are hurting yourself, back off.  (Remember the feeling of braces on your teeth?  The orthodontist would tighten a little, and you’d have some mild discomfort while the teeth moved.  It’s that same type of feeling.)

Do this regularly.  Like…daily.  Twice a day, especially if you are really experiencing hamstring problems.  Just be.

It’s about restoring the natural balance of your body.

“Aaaahh, those hamstrings!”

About Lisa Jamison

I'm a trainer, coach, massage therapist, educator, yogi, and all around great gal, not necessarily in that order. I thrive on watching people move. Professionally I can help you do that with more grace, ease, and efficiency...which translates to "faster" and "without injuries". It's about eliminating the stresses on your body and teaching you a new way. Physically. Cognitively. Emotionally. Body, mind, and spirit.
This entry was posted in injuries, stretching, triathlon, Yoga and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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