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I have been doing Yoga for over 1.5 years now. Recently I started doing Acro Yoga. I noticed one of my limitations are my hamstrings. When I started Yoga, I couldn't even reach my ankle with my fingers. Now I can reach the floor with my knuckles. When laying on my back, bending one leg up. Keeping my leg straight and my lower back flat on the floor, I get about 75 - 85 degrees. For Acro Yoga 90 - 100 degrees are required to fully rest in several basic positions, like the bird.

That's why I committed myself to a daily hamstring workout.

I have been researching typical forward folds and even some stretching videos on Youtube. Still I am unsatisfied. Most of the poses are active or hard to hold at exactly the right position. Where I feel a stretch but not over-strain. I am looking for some poses that are easier to hold. Where I can relax into them just by me letting go. Similar to how a yin pose would be set up.

So far I have been settling for three poses.

  1. The leg up the wall pose

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  1. Standing forward bend

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  1. Seated forward bend

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Is there any other pose along this lines that you can recommend me?

Maybe someone who has been doing Yin Yoga classes can recommend me some. The internet didn't give much here.

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The best way to get better at acro yoga is to practice more acro yoga. If the classes are designed well, so that you can progress from simpler, accessible variations to the more challenging ones, you will quickly get the necessary flexibility along the way. As a beginner in acro yoga, keep in mind, that it is always best to ease into a new exercise routine, without forcing results too much, giving your body time to adapt.

If you'd like to supplement your training with solo practice, it will be more effective, when the exercises are similar to what you will be doing with a partner. Acro yoga training is mostly dynamic (either moving, or stabilizing weight in an unstable position). Take for example the bird, where you have to support and balance your partner's bodyweight on your legs. That is, your hamstrings are loaded in a stretched position. I am not saying, that relaxed static stretching isn't useful for you, it might be, but it is quite different from what you need for acro.

A few ideas for exercises which work the hamstrings in a similar way what you need in acro are: one leg bird stretch, lying one leg raises, lying one leg stretch against a band, single leg deadlifts.

  • Wow, BKE. I really appreciate the way you ansered my questions. I love all of what you have written and it is very useful for me. To me you answered my question behind what I have written above and given me more than I expected. Thanks! – Chris Sep 25 '17 at 11:39
  • You're welcome. I reiterate: feel free to do relaxed static stretching, like yin yoga, if you like. But do it with focus on the "relaxing" part, ie. don't push yourself, don't overstretch, stay withing your limits and relax. Use props (blocks, straps etc.) to make poses more comfortable and achievable in the beginning. It's not a workout to reach your acro goals faster, rather a nice complement. – BKE Sep 25 '17 at 16:24

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