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Bend and Stretch those Hamstrings

Use a chair as a helpful tool in stretching the backs of your upper thighs, or hamstrings. The elevation of the chair allows you to maintain a straight back so you can focus the stretch in the legs.

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Stand in front of a sturdy chair with toes facing forward. Shift your weight to your left leg and place your right foot on the seat of the chair, keeping your right knee straight and your toes facing up toward the ceiling. Maintain a straight back as you bend forward at the hips, resting your fingertips on the chair seat on each side of your foot. Pause for three to six breaths, feeling the stretch in the back of your right thigh. Repeat on the other side.

As your legs become more flexible, practice a more advanced version of the stretch — placing your right foot on the top of the chair backrest and resting your hands on the top of the chair on each side of the foot. As before, pause for three to six breaths, feeling the stretch in the back of your right thigh. Repeat on the other side.

Source : Los Angeles Times

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Yoga Block Enhances Stretch

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Using a yoga block in your practice helps bring the floor up to you, allowing you to focus on correct technique while feeling a sense of stability. Over time, your body will lossen up and you’ll be able to balance without the use of this tool.

Begin by kneeling on a level, padded surface with a yoga block nearby. Straighten your left leg, placing your left heel on the floor with your knee and toes facing upward. Make sure your left heel is directly across from your right inner knee. Move the block behind your left knee. Rest your left arm on your left thigh. On an inhale, reach your right arm overhead with your palm facing inward.

Exhale and lean your torso toward your left foot. Keep your hips forward — don’t sit backward. Focus on feeling the stretch along the right side of your body. Hold this position for 3 to 6 breaths. Return to center, switch legs and repeat on the other side.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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Roller Enhances a Leg Stretch

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For a more intense stretch in the backs of your thighs and calves, try elevating your foot on a roller. But it’s important to put only your lower ankle and heel on top of the roller; this avoids any pressure on your Achilles tendon.
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STEP-1. Sit upright on the floor with your left leg straight in front of you and your left heel on top of the roller. Bend your right knee and position your right foot against the inside of your left knee (if your left knee tends to hyperextend, place your right foot directly under your left knee for support). Inhale, sit up tall and reach your arms overhead.

STEP-2. On an exhale, maintain a long spine as you tilt forward, hinging at the hips. Keep your left leg straight and rest your fingertips on the roller. Hold this stretch for 10 to 20 seconds while breathing fully. Focus on feeling the stretch in the back of your left thigh and calf. You might feel a stretch in your back and hips too. Switch legs and repeat.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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Centering Body and Mind

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You must have  noticed that when you’re stressed and your mind is scattered, it’s hard to find your balance.  Practice the tree pose to help you feel centered and to focus your mental state. You’ll also strengthen your legs and release tension in your thighs and hips.

Step-1. Standing on a flat, level surface, shift your weight to your left leg and bend your right knee, bringing the sole of your right foot to your inner left thigh. (If this is too difficult, you can lower your foot, placing it anywhere on your left leg.) Press your palms together in front of your chest. Remember to push the sole of your foot and your inner thigh equally toward each other. Take three to five breaths while balancing on one leg.CLICK & SEE

Step-2. When you feel steady and want to experiment with your balance, bring your arms out to the sides, palms turned up. Slowly shift your gaze upward and focus on a single, fixed point. Practice calm, steady breathing. Then lower your foot, shift your weight to your right leg and repeat, raising your left foot.

Source :
Los Angeles Times

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A Stretch to Open up the Hips and Thighs

This is a great stretch for loosening up the outside of your hips and thighs. It you’re not limber enough to hold your foot, you can hook a strap or a towel around it to help you reach it.
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STEP-1. Lying on your back, bend your right knee into your chest. Keep your left leg extended straight out on the floor in front of you. Straighten your right leg, holding the outer edge of your right food with your left hand or using a strap. Press the thumb of your right hand to the top of your right thigh where it meets your torso.

STEP-2. Without allowing your right hip to roll completely off the floor (as you would in a lying spinal twist), move your right leg across your body to the left side until you feel a gentle stretch running from your outer right hip down the outside of your right thigh. Continue to press the right side of your buttock toward the floor (it’s OK if it lifts a few inches). Pause for three to six full breaths. Lower your leg and repeat on the other side.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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