Saturday, January 8, 2011

"Creating Space" Hamstring Stretch

"Creating space" is the concept of this hamstring stretch. Here is how Mark explained it to me;

"Instead of trying to pull yourself over, you are trying to lift up and seperate the pelvis from leg bone, creating space in the joint without actually having to lengthen the muscles any more by "stretching".

Once I bend forwards and down, towards my toes as far as I can, #1 I relax and back off a bit, then #2 I try to lift my entire pelvis up towrds the ceiling away from my legs....#3, I relax and back off. #4 again, I lift my pelvis away from the the top of my legs, but then I try and lengthen the distance from the back of my heels , up the back of my legs to my butt. Since we spend about 1 minute in this part of the pose, in the heat, I can ususally acheive it in the second set, and it improves all of the time.

More words of wisdom about "stretching" from Mark:

"Breathe and back off, breathe and back off. If you keep constant tension on a muscle it become a contraction therefore it's strengthening not stretching. The idea of lengthening the muscle is to get them to relax, not to get into a "tug of war". The end psition of every stretch is a contraction, avoid this...back off before the muscle contracts."

Gaining more flexibility in this area has also allowed me to get into other poses that were limited by my tight hamstrings.


Mark Reifkind said...

wow,even though I've seen you do those for years it never ceases to amaze me. those are perfect.
and with all that muscle, too ;))

I miss doing yoga with you love :((

Tracy Reifkind said...

my sweet,

boo hoo...don't remind me that we can't train yoga together anymore.

I miss your "wet fireball" of a hand holding mine during savasana!

Maribel said...

you guys are so cute.

I can finally get my stomach to my thighs. I'm going to try Marks technique tomorrow. Thanks!

Tracy Reifkind said...


next time I see you I'll help you with this one. It will change your practice!