Ahh, the Seated Forward Bend. You either love it or you hate it, but we can all agree that it's great for stretching out our hamstrings and lower back like no other pose. It's great to do before and after a run or bike ride, or if you've been standing for a long time.
- Sit on your mat with your legs extended straight in front of you.
- Reach your hands underneath your tush and pull the fleshy part behind you so your pelvic bones are grounded. This will help to tilt your tail bone up, so you get a deeper stretch in your hamstrings.
- Sit nice and tall, take a deep inhale and extend the crown of your head straight up away from your hips, elongating your spine as much as possible.
- As you exhale, bend forward over your legs, leading with your chest, and continuing to keep your spine straight.
- Place your hands on the ground next to your legs, on your legs, or grab onto your feet if you can reach.
- Keep your head lifted, or you can relax your head down towards your legs.
- Stay like this for at least 5 deep breaths. If you can stay longer, you'll begin to feel your lower back release and your hamstrings start to loosen and relax.
The seated forward bend is the pose I love to hate. It can feel extremely intense if your hamstrings are really tight (especially if you run or bike), so just be patient with your body. Continue to practice this pose as often as you can and you'll soon notice that it gets easier and you begin to love and need it more. If you are super tight you can try sitting on a yoga block with your legs out in front of you.