As the saying goes, Rome wasn't built in a day. And you won't get loose hamstrings or flexible hips overnight, either.
Improving your flexibility is a process; even the most experienced, bendy yogis devote time to an intentional flexibility practice. "Flexibility is something I'm always working on," says Hailey Lott, yoga instructor and meditation specialist, "so I'm excited to share these few stretches with you that will support you in feeling a little bit better about your body."
To start opening your own hamstrings, hips and more, try this 15-minute yoga workout for flexibility. In this beginner-friendly video, Lott leads you through a sequence to relieve tension all over. All you'll need is a few feet of space and a towel or pillow.
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This flow is all about opening up and creating space in your body. Although Lott will guide you at a steady pace, pause the video as needed to give yourself time to deepen your favorite stretches.
- Seated Position: Find a comfortable seat either on a rolled towel or on top of a pillow with your legs crossed.
- Arm Dancing: Focus on opening the chest as you reach your arm up toward the sky, across your body and down to the floor.
- Hip Mobility Stretch: This movement doesn't have to be precise, Lott says. "Find a hand position that feels good for you and we'll start to move through the leg."
- Knee Hug: Bring your knees into your chest to transition into a hamstring stretch.
- Hamstring Stretch: Extend one leg straight and flex through the foot as you play with different modifications to open up the hamstrings.
- Knee Hug: "Draw your left leg in and right leg in and give yourself just a big hug," Lott says.
- Roll Down: With feet flat on the ground and arms straight in front of you, gently roll your torso toward the floor.
- Leg Circle (Right): Pull your right knee to the chest, out to the shoulder and around. Widen your circles, then reverse.
- Figure Four Stretch (Right): Cross your right leg over your left to form a figure four. For a deeper stretch, hold the back of your left leg and draw it toward the chest, Lott says.
- Repeat steps 8 and 9 on the left side.
- Twist: "Notice if your body is holding or gripping into any areas, maybe in the spine or the hip, and actively release those areas," she says.
- Savasana: Hug the knees in once more before you move into your final relaxation pose with arms and legs extended. Breathe deeply here.
- Seated Position: Bring your hands together and bow to end your practice.
If Savasana hits just the right spot, pause the video to spend some more time in this relaxing pose, Lott says.
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