Hamstring injuries

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What/Why: For those working with hamstring injuries it can be difficult to find yoga classes that don't irritate it. Generally, for strains and tendon injuries you want to avoid stretching but continue to gently strengthen the area. It’s important to continue to gently load the tissues to help stimulate the cells there to produce more collagen to support the healing process. Keep in mind that the tendons (distal and proximal portions) take longer to heal so be patient and focus on strengthening this area and avoiding stretching there (stretching other areas is fine, just avoid any pulling pain). How: This lineup has both classes to keep you moving without irritating the hamstrings (no/limited down dog and folds) as well as some classes to gently load and assist the healing process. Keep in mind each person is a little different and in general what you want to avoid is any pulling pain when lengthening the hamstrings. For some students they can still come into lunges or bent knee folds for others just stepping forward can be challenging. There are just a few down dogs in this playlist so if you feel any puling there just be sure to swap it out. Instead of down dog you can take plank, child's pose, cat/cow, fast forward the video or take a comfortable seat and add a little deep breathing. If you have any pulling pain in low lunge lift your hips up higher and press down into your legs to activate rather than stretch. Think strength for those hamstrings rather than length and you’ll be headed in the right direction. The first 4 classes are the best place to begin to both release surrounding tissues and create strength around the hips, repeat this regularly for a while. The next two classes on the list give you a couple to work on the arms with just a down dog or two to avoid. Then you've got three more classes to release surrounding tissues in the back and hips and a meditation to deflate tension and irritation that can accrue when you're injured. The last four on the list should be saved for later and used as you progress (see the next section). For all of these just be sure to skip anything that feels questionable for you (ie- pulling pain). Progression: As you heal over time you’ll want to add in some gentle, active eccentric (engaging and gently lengthening) work for the hamstrings, but start small and slowly expand over time. If you’re not familiar with this work we always recommend working one-on-one with either your healthcare provider or one of our highly trained Yoga Medicine® Therapeutic Specialists (link below for our find a teacher page). I've added 4 classes at the bottom of the list for this that you'll want to wait to add until you've made some progress and go gently (with just a small range of motion, expanding slowly over time). So, listen to your body and modify or skip as needed (and of course always defer to your healthcare providers recommendations for your unique body). I hope this lineup gives you some tools to help support the healing process and make the practice more accessible for you in the meantime. Pick and choose from this lineup as you like/need. ;) https://yogamedicine.com/search-teacher/

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Tiffany Cruikshank

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