I will preface this with the fact that as a child I was always very flexible. SO flexible in fact that I was told that funny way I could bend my arms were party tricks (I am double jointed in elbows and knees!). All this to say, when I hear a yoga teacher say “and fold forward” I become very pitta! My brain goes PSH I’m flexible, I can do that NO PROBLEM, head to knees LETS GO.
This is not yoga my friends. However the awareness of it is. See how confusing yoga gets?
This is why my teacher training has been invaluable to me and I keep thanking whoever needs thanking for leading me to it. I have never felt so good in a forward fold as when I learned how to do one PROPERLY. Seriously, the clouds parted and my hamstrings sang.
- In your mountain pose, rock your pelvis back and forth to find the spot where your feet plug into the earth and your spine elongates. Weight is spread evenly in your feet- between toes and heels.
- Inhale, arms above head with a tiny bend in the elbow, drop shoulders down and allow your spine to elongate.
- Hinging at the hip crease ( you can feel it if you put your hands at the tops of your hip bone while folding!) **bending the knees** and keeping the spine long, begin to fold! Keep the head and neck level with the spine as you slowly make your way down.
- Seriously. Everyone. Bend those knees. This is not the time for crazy fire goal oriented posing.That can come later.
- Once you are there, folded as far as comfortable, let the head hang and begin to float the knees between straight and bent, breathing to the rhythm. You can do one at a time or both (I like one at a time). Slowly let those hamstrings get a taste of WOAH TOO MUCH and AHHH JUST RIGHT.
For those with tight hamstrings or tight hip flexors even, this is a much better way of forward folding. It keeps your joints happy and massaged and gives the exact same stretch with way less stress on your spine and knees.
Let me know what you think.
Happy hump day world! xx