It occurred to me, as I was writing the last hamstring post on pyramid pose, that there are seated and kneeling poses where the front leg action — and therefore the stretch — are very much the same. For me, the stretch isn’t quite so intense as it is with pyramid, but it is still very much present. So I figured these options were worth sharing.
First up is a seated hamstring stretch, which can be done in most stable chairs:
[Cassie Naumann instructing for Expert Village. Video via YouTube.]
As a bonus feature — and as one might be able to tell from the “Office Chair” title of the series — it’s possible to do this stretch as a quick break from the standard “sit at desk” position that happens in some jobs. (At least, I’m told this happens. Please correct me if I’m wrong.)
Then the kneeling option, half hanumanasana.
(Side rant: No video because while I could find lots of videos on hanumanasana — seated splits — and lots of videos that included half hanumanasana as part of a sequence to get to the “full pose,” but no videos on ardha hanumanasana in its own right. We’re definitely all about letting go of expectation in yoga. Except, you know, when we’re not.)
Basically, it involves starting in a low lunge. Then, instead of sinking the hips forward and down, pull the hips back so they’re over the (more or less vertical) back thigh. Flex the front foot and fold forward — much as would happen in pyramid pose. Also, all the alignment checkpoints for pyramid pose — hips level, front knee as soft as it needs to be, etc. — still get to apply.
So. Really. Done with hamstrings now.
Next up — the deeper layers of the gluteal muscles!