Author Topic: Tight Hamstrings  (Read 23914 times)

Ed Basker

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Tight Hamstrings
« on: July 12, 2004, 04:17:46 PM »
I have a student who is Mr Muscleman. He is pretty flexible in the shoulders, but not at all in the hamstrings. He can bend over to about 140 degrees angle. I am looking for a way that he can be really comfortable and relax in a forward bend. A chair is even too much of a stretch to rest on the back of. Any advice?  ???

David Williams

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Re: Tight Hamstrings
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2004, 01:07:48 AM »
Dear Ed,

He should practice Yoga daily with total focus on mulabandha, deep breathing, and one pointed concentration.  He should move briskly between the postures.  He should do nothing that injures his legs, (or anything else).  Of course Rolfing and massage will also be beneficial as well (for all of us as well as him...lol). 

One should not mistake the purpose of this and every system of Yoga, which is to increase prana.  Nothing decreases prana more than pain and injury.  Maybe over the years, his legs will get looser, or maybe they won't, depending on a lot of factors.  Nevertheless, he can experience all of the benefits of Yoga.  He is at no disadvantage and should be clearly told this.  What's important is what's invisible!

Yours in Yoga,
David
« Last Edit: July 18, 2004, 01:10:29 AM by David Williams »

Carl Minjer

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Re: Tight Hamstrings
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2004, 08:59:41 AM »
Thanks David for this good advice...

What should I do if I am already injured??

I started doing yoga from advice from a friend when I told her I was sick of the gym. I've since stopped going to the gym and love yoga. I tend to push myself too hard and have developed an overstretched left hamstring as a result. I'm actually looking for some advice on this issue and whether I should just stop alll yoga for a while or try to work with the injury.

Thanks!

David Williams

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Re: Tight Hamstrings
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2004, 02:29:25 AM »
Dear Carl,

The answer is in your question...you said it, "I tend to push myself too hard". 

Aloha,
David

Carl Minjer

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Re: Tight Hamstrings
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2004, 02:21:55 PM »
Aloha David

My question was... given that I am injured (not how did I get injured), then should I compleely cease asana practice until the injuries fully heal or continue to work through them, albeit with caution?

Carl..  ???

David Williams

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Re: Tight Hamstrings
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2004, 04:41:20 PM »
Dear Carl,

First of all, you definitely must completely heal your injury.  I recommend daily practice in a way that causes no further injury.  Do your practice in a way that increases your prana, healing force, but does not slow the process of healing your leg.
There is a great old saying, "Yoga can cure everything except problems caused by improper Yoga practice".

Good luck,
David

Leigh

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Re: Tight Hamstrings
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2004, 08:34:08 AM »
I would be suffering from some hamstring pain as well.  This pain is in both hamstrings--more acute pain on the left.  The pain is severe at the insertion of the hamstrings.  It hurts in standing postures as well as seated ones.  I went to a workshop with Nancy Gilgoff and she gave me some good ideas--like lifting my toes when I do the standing postures. 


But it just doesn't seem to be getting better.  I finish my practice go to work and I have burning pain all day while sitting down.  Now I'm trying to practice and alternate days of primary and second  (up to tittibhasana)  i just feel like all this forward bending is making it worse. 
 Any further suggestions? 
Regards
Leigh

David Williams

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Re: Tight Hamstrings
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2004, 02:47:00 PM »
Dear Leigh,

Why do your hamstrings hurt?  When was the last time that your hamstrings did not hurt?

OM,
David

Leigh

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Re: Tight Hamstrings
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2004, 07:54:57 AM »
Good question.  Well let's see.  I was practicing about 6 days a week from 2000-2003 and went through a period where they really hurt alot.  Shooting pain down the back of the leg, painful to sit, etc.  Eventually it went away.  At the time I just put it to--this is just temporary--something is changing and it will go away.  And it did.  (At this time I was practicing primary and second)
Then I took some time off at end 2003--moved, life changes, etc.  So in the past 8 months I've been getting back into the practice and the pain is back.  Same as before. 
I can't tell you why this is happening.  I think that I really don't use the front of my legs--my quadriceps at all.  Very unaware of them until I have pain and then I think 'oh, I should work the front of my legs!'
I've tried to change a few things--Nancy recommended that I notice if I pull the flesh from my sit bones in paschimottanasana and other sitting poses (she thought this was coming from an Iyengar influence in the practice) and I noticed I do this all the time--I wasn't even aware of how much I did it.  But this is all I've really done. 
But I don't know if I think going through pain is the best way forward with this.  Although I continue to practice everyday--somedays its better than others. 
But I notice if I have a few days off--the pain goes away. 
Thanks.