Chair hamstring stretch
This gentle stretch relieves fatigue in the legs and lengthens tight back muscles. With regular practice the hamstrings become supple, and you could get relief from chronic lower-back soreness:
Place a chair with its back squarely against a wall and stand facing it about a leg length's distance away, with your feet evenly together.
Place your right heel on the chair, with the toes on the wall and your right knee facing the ceiling. Keep your left foot pointed toward the wall or turn it out just slightly so that you can keep your balance.
Tighten your thigh muscles and pull your kneecaps up toward your pelvis.
Breathe in and stretch your arm toward the ceiling. As you exhale, extend your hands high up the wall. Work to keep your pelvic bones level with the wall and do not let your spine distort.
Breathe evenly and smoothly through your nose as you extend your arms up the wall to stretch your spine and back of your legs.
Hold the pose for up to a minute, then inhale as you lift your arms and return to upright position.
Repeat exercise with your other leg.
Remember to keep your thighs tight and to hold the pose with a steady gentle stretch. Do not jerk. You can also place something soft on the chair to cushion your heel.
VAL LOH PHOTO
Rob Kay demonstrates the chair hamstring stretch, which you should hold for one minute.
and Shelley Choy
are certified Iyengar Yoga teachers and co-direct the Manoa Yoga Center at Manoa Marketplace. Visit www.manoayoga.com
or call 382-3910. Manoa Yoga Center, the authors and the Star-Bulletin take no responsibility for any injury arising from the practice of these yoga postures. Readers should seek a doctor's approval before commencing this yoga practice.