Uttanasana: standing forward bend with 4 variations.
We pretty much spend our days seated, so it is important to stretch these muscles out to reduce strain and tightness in the lower back. It won't happen overnight, but including this simple posture into your everyday practice will slowly increase the flexibility in your hamstrings. With whatever variation you take, remember to keep the spine long and weight shifted slightly towards the toes. The bend comes from the hip joints, not the waist. If you like to hyperextend the knees, be mindful to keep a micro-bend in them.
Be patient! Remember there is no rush. This is meant to be very relaxing and therapeutic.
This series of variations is open to all levels, but for the 4th extended version, be mindful if you have low back stiffness or pain. You may want to skip that until you are ready.
A few points to consider:
- Listen to your body
- Breath deeply, relax into the pose
- If you have low back pain try the 3rd variation, with palms on thighs, and engage your core to stabilize your low back
- Tilt tailbone back/ neutral to lengthen your spine from the sacrum
Keep your neck neutral. Hold each pose for 10 breaths if you can.
Have fun and enjoy yourself!