Hamstring Stretch

Q: Hi, I just wanted to know if my hamstring stretch (standing and trying to touch toes) will improve. For the last 6 months I seem to not be able to go any further, I'm about 1 inch away from touching my toes. I'm not overweight so it is not my stomach getting in the way. I guess I'm not sure if that's maximum my body will ever go or that I am doing something wrong which is preventing my improvement.

A: Thanks for writing. It is important to do complimentary exercises in conjunction with a hamstring stretch so that your level of flexibility can increase. Try this one: have your back against a wall and slide down so that your thighs are parallel, calves straight down from knees. Hands on knees. Gaze straight ahead. Breath of Fire 1 - 3 min. Another great complimentary exercise to combine with a forward hamstring stretch is: lie on back, feet flat knees bent. Hold ankles if possible. Inhale press your navel towards the ceiling. Exhale lower back into ground. 1 - 3 min. By alternating those with a forward stretch you will see improvement quickly. Also, the backs of the legs are a barometer for the overall health of the body. Consider giving up coffee, meat, etc. Foods which cause an acid condition in the body are constricting and limit flexibility. Please keep us posted!

The backs of the relate to what in yoga is called the Life Nerve, aka the sciatic nerve. It is said to tighten up every 2.5 hrs. Banging around (walking) on concrete all day doesn't help either. We include life nerve stretches on all of our Kundalini Yoga workout DVD's. The bladder meridan runs up the backs of the legs. This relates to the element water, which in turn relates to the emotions. Tightness in the backs of the legs relates to fear of flying, or a need to grip the earth (stay mired in the known) out of fear. The Sa-Ta-Na-Ma meditation which is on our Yoga Quick Fixex DVD is a great pratice for emotional healing.

We wish you joy, health, and abundant blessings!