Abi Carver designs 15-minute yoga routines to increase flexibility, build strength,
de-stress, and ease aches and pains. Her videos are available to download on her site www.yoga15.com
We asked her to take us through a hamstring and lower back stretch.
Pose: Standing Wide-Leg Forward Bend
- Stretches the calves and hamstrings
- Strengthens the feet, ankles and legs
- Releases tension in the neck and shoulders
- Opens up the chest
- Relieves compression at the lower back
- Alleviates lower back and shoulder pain
- Step your feet at least a metre apart.
- Check that your toes point straight ahead.
- Inhale, bring your hands to your hips, lengthen your spine. Exhale, hinge at your hips, draw your abs in and fold forward with a flat back. You can keep your knees bent if you feel your lower back starting to round.
- Take hold of opposite elbows and hang here, or bring your hands to the mat underneath your shoulders for support.
- To deepen the pose, walk your hands back between your legs and bend your elbows, keeping them tucked in.
- Stay here for 5 deep breaths, in and out through your nose.
- To come out of the pose, inhale, bring your hands to your hips, press into your feet and come up with a flat back. Exhale, step or hop your feet together.
- You can play around with the width of your feet. The wider your stance, the easier it is to fold forward, but if you go too wide, you may feel unstable.
- If you can’t reach the mat without rounding your lower back, rest your hands on blocks or keep your knees bent.
- Interlace your hands behind your back and draw them up and over your head to feel a stretch in your neck and shoulders.
- Avoid this pose if you have a neck or back injury.
Follow Abi on instagram @yoga15abi for more fitness inspiration.
Photo by Hugo Pettit