Have you been doing yoga for years but still have tight hamstrings?
Have you just been told to practice, keep practicing and the flexibility will come?
Practice is important in developing hamstring flexiblity but what is also important is how you practice and what you practice.
Most of the exercises are based on or similiar to many traditional yoga poses. But I've also included non-traditional variations where appropriate. What differs is what you do within each pose that helps improve hamstring flexiblity.
The exercises can be challenging but they help you to improve stability, body awareness and control and that in turn will, hopefully, lead to more flexibility in hamstring stretches.
You'll also have strong or more capable hamstrings as well as a stronger butt and back muscles.
As well as stretching the hamstrings this book includes counterposes so that you don't suffer from an excess of forward bending. Where forward bending and hamstring stretching can leave you feeling more passive, the counterposing backbends will help you to energize.
How many days a week do you need to practice. I'd suggest a minimum of three, but five would be better. What is equally important is the quality of the attention you put into these exercises. The nature of these exercises requires focused awareness, You have to focus on feeling specific parts of your body so that you can make corrections where required.
It's challenging initially, but you may find the challenge enjoyable just because you know where to put your focus and because with practice you'll notice improvements in awareness. You'll be able to feel parts of your body you weren't aware of, or you'll be able to move parts of your body in ways that you weren't aware of.
Is flexibility guaranteed?
No. I do have students who seem to be permanently tight.
What is guaranteed is better control of your body if you can direct your awareness as instructed.
And to maximize focus ability and controllability the focus in this book is on non-ballistic slow and smooth movemetns. It's not that I'm against ballistic movements. Ballistic movements are fun, especially if you have the flexibility that allows you to do them easily. The muscle control and muscle awareness I teach in this book are some of the exercises that I have used that have allowed me to do ballistic movemetns with more efficiency and east.
And theses exercises have given me better and smoother control of my body. And that's how I've gradualy improved my hamstring flexibitility and how I teach my students to improve their flexiblity.
Note that if you've already got the flexiblity, but lack control (in other words, if you have floppy flexibility but not controllable flexiblity) then the exercises in this book may also help.
Why improve muscle control?
Muscle control not only helps you to control your body, it also helps you to feel it.
Muscle activation creates the tension that not only moves your body, but helps you to "sense" it.
With better muscle control you can use your body with less effort and make it easier to balance, improve flexibility and deal with pain and poor posture.