In most seated hamstring stretches you tilted you pelvis forwards relative to your thigh (or attempted to).
In modified heron pose you use your arms to pull move the leg relative to the pelvis to stretch the hamstring, one leg at a time.
In this seated hamstring stretch, if you can't comfortably straighten your leg while holding on with your hands, use a strap. I even used to use a strap to warm up with. (I wrapped the strap or towel around my foot and held on to the ends with both hands.)
With a strap I had room to lengthen my leg. Then I could gradually work my hands closer to my foot and eventually grab it.
After practicing this way for a little while I could then do the pose easily without having to use a strap.
The instructions below can apply equally well to using a strap or not using one.
To start off with, practice sitting up tall while holding your foot.
Keep your shoulders relaxed as you do so. Sit up tall as you inhale and then relax, bend your spine and allow your head to move forwards as you exhale (shown below).
Then add your leg. As you lengthen your spine lengthen your leg as well.
Rather than trying to straighten your knee you can focus on pushing your foot into your hands. Your knee will straighten as a result. Relax both your leg and your spine as you exhale.
Initially, each time you exhale re-bend your knee. Then straighten it as you inhale. Do both actions slowly and smoothly, in time with your breath.
As you get more comfortable with the straight leg position you can keep your leg straight as you exhale. Just focus on making it and your spine feel long as you inhale (Press your foot into your hands.) Then relax the length as you exhale.
Initially, focus on keeping your shoulders relaxed as you straighten your leg in this seated hamstring stretch. Imagine that you are using your leg to stretch your shoulders. This is to avoid compressing your hip joint with your arms. You may also find that it makes it easier to straighten your leg.
Once you get your knee straight you can bend your elbows and pull your leg towards your torso. Keep both your leg and your spine feeling long as you do so. Relax arms and spine while exhaling.
Once you can straighten your leg while keeping your shoulders relaxed you can try pulling your leg into the hip socket with your arms. But resist with your hip joint muscles. As you arms work to compress your hip joint use your hip muscles against your arms.
In both cases (hip joint and shoulders) increase the pressure or tension gradually. And release it gradually as well.
One of the reasons for keeping the spine straight is because this is a seated hamstring stretch. With the spine straight the hamstrings have an anchor from which they can lengthen from. That anchor is the bottom of the pelvis which is held in place by your straight spine.
With the pelvis anchored, then straightening the leg and pulling it back stretches the hamstring of that leg.
I get pain in my left hip in standing forward bends and even squats. Here are some of the exercises that I've used to make my hip feel better.
I've added part 2 to the description of this routine. Parts 3 and 4 to come (the videos are already on youtube.
This routine, with accompanying videos, includes knee strengthening exercises as well as exercises for basic strengthening, improving stability and balance. It also helps you to improve body awareness.
My latest video, some tips for getting comfortable in the deep squat. And suggestions for shifting weight to one leg while in a deep squat.
The seated get up is a way of getting into the one legged squat from a seated position. Even if you aren't interested in one leg squats this video does include tips on stabilizing the knees (at about the 5 minute mark.) Usual muscle activations for knee stability might include the quads, the hamstrings or any of the glutes. This looks at another set of muscles all together. If you like the video or find it helpful, please do share it! Thanks!
Some tips for learning how to do deep squats (without weight). The first tip is on how to stay balanced while squatting.
How do you learn the body weight safely? How do you work towards this pose even if you aren't sure if you are capable of doing it.
Basic yoga poses: standing, sitting, arm balances, binds, twists, inversions, back bending, front bends.
Some hip flexor strengthening exercises.
Scapular stabilization becomes a little bit harder when working agains the weight of the body. It can be easier to learn if you gradually increase the amount of body weight the scapular stabilizer muscles are working againsts..
These yoga poses can be used as arm strengthening exercises.
Turn yoga poses into leg strengthening exercises using floor pressing actions, leverage and friction.
One way of finding and fixing hip problems is to do standing hip strengthening exercises while balancing on one leg.
Knee anatomy for yoga teachers looks at the bones and muscles that comprise the back of the knee in simple terms.
Working towards a kneeling quadriceps stretch you first need to be able to kneel. If you have difficulty kneeling, you may find it helps to activate your quadriceps.
When doing quadriceps stretching it may help to activate and then relax your quadriceps in these standing, lunging, pigeon and supine yoga pose variations.
Some exercises and yoga poses for working towards a lying quadriceps stretch one leg at a time.
What are the benefits of the Dance of Shiva? Arm strength and balance, learning to learn and improving creativity.
This yoga routine video is designed to help you strengthen your arms and legs via the use of friction and pressure. It also teaches you how to become more aware of your body.
The transverse abdominis muscle can be broken down into three parts. Transverse abdominal exercises can thus affect the SI Joint, lumbar spine and the lower portion of the ribcage.