Business. Balance & Burnout. Why every yoga teacher needs a business coach.

Business. Balance & Burnout. Why every yoga teacher needs a business coach.

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?

You're thinking of doing your yoga teacher training (and super organised by the look of it) but worried about quitting your day job or if you'll ever have enough confidence to actually teach a class?

Or maybe you're feeling frustrated that you've been schlepping your butt around town teaching a stack of classes that are half full at best.... the pay sucks.... you've got an angry shoulder that won't settle... and you're starting to wonder if you'll ever be able to make this work long term?

OR perhaps life is good and you're content with your class sizes (you've got your regulars and they love you)... but you're just not really 'the business type' and feel like you could take it to the next level with a bit more focus & someone to hold you accountable.

Studio owner? We feel your pain!

Yep. Been there. And we made a ton of mistakes which mean you don't have to.



We recently put together an article 7 Simple Yoga Stretches to Tame Tight Hamstrings.  And it turns out it was quite a hit!

We knew it was good - but so far it's been shared nearly 4,000 times on Pinterest - so we definitely know this is something that you're interested in learning more about. 

It's not surprising either - if you already do yoga, or train, or sit all day in an office - chances are you've heard people comment on lower back pain or tight hamstrings right? The two go hand in hand but what most people DON'T KNOW is there is ONE SIMPLE TIP for getting it right - ESPECIALLY if you already have any lower back pain.

Russ (Exercise Physiologist) has put together a quick 3min video that will change the way you approach your forward bends. 

In fact - even as studio owners, we see people make this mistake a lot - and over time it can actually contribute to lower back pain - so we cringe to think how many people are making this mistake simply because they don't know any better.

If you find this video helpful - we'd love you to share it on Facebook and help us get the word out on how to avoid this mistake (and keep your lower back safe in yoga and whenever you're stretching!)


7 Yoga Basics for Pregnancy

Yoga for Pregnancy

Pregnancy Yoga for Beginners can be a mindfield of dos and don'ts. But don't worry - we've got you covered with this article we had published on Kidspot a while back on "7 Basics for Pregnancy - even if you've never done yoga"

THIS IS a basic little PREGNANCY YOGA go-to for women who might be curious - but not sure where to start.

I've highlighted some practice tips & mantras for each pose - so please enjoy!

To keep the practice safe - avoid any poses which cause compression and please seek medical advice before undertaking any kind of exercise program during pregnancy. If in doubt - skip it out!

1. Baddha Konasana (Cobbler’s Pose)

Sometimes known as butterfly or cobbler’s pose, Baddha Konasana is great to help stretch out the adductors or inner thighs. As a sitting qnd meditation position it is perfect for heavily pregnancy women as there is lots of space for baby. It’s also great as a way of being able to give yourself a massage for tired and aching feet! If you only have time for one pose, this is it! Combine it with gentle focus on the breath and a favourite mantra and you’re ready to go (e.g. breathing in long and deep – breathing out and letting go).

Practice tips: You can add a forward fold as a way of relieving back and neck tension as long as you can maintain space for your baby. If you feel like you need more freedom, elevate the hips on a folded blanket.

2. Ardha Salamba Malasana (Half Supported Squat)

This is an elevated variation on the deep ‘birth’ squat that you see in most pregnancy and natural birth books. If you’ve ever looked at those full squats and thought ‘no way’, then this is the variation for you! Many women (especially beginners) simply do not have the hip or calf flexibility to sit in a deep squat unsupported. So by elevating the hips on one or two blocks or some stacked cushions you can make more space for your baby (squashing your baby is not a good idea!). Having one leg up and one leg tucked back helps to stabilise the balance and allows for some opening through the front of the thigh that is down. This is a great position for early labour as well if baby is head down and in a good position. In early labour you can bring some movement to the pose by using a rocking action with the hips.

Practice tips: Be sure to repeat this on both sides to encourage balanced posture. Once you come into the pose, focus on relaxing the mouth, neck and shoulders with every breath out.

3. Uttana Shishosana (Extended Puppy Pose) or Balasana (Child’s Pose)

Technically these are two poses with slight differences, but they look similar and both are great for pregnancy. Puppy Pose (with the hips up) is the perfect combination of Downward Dog and Child’s Pose. It’s a great pose to help create a feeling of length through the torso. As a super gentle inversion (hips above the heart) it’s also fantastic if you need a break from your baby using your bladder as a trampoline! Alternatively, Child’s Pose is a more meditative version with the hips low to the heels (inset). If you are more heavily pregnant, you can come onto the elbows as shown for some more space.

Practice tips: Hold for five to 10 slow breaths and focus on bringing your awareness inward. Choose the variation that feels right for you today. If you experience wrist pain in Downward Facing Dog – or are close to your due date and your baby is already engaged – then choose Puppy Pose or Child’s Pose instead. Downward Facing Dog is great at the end of your pregnancy if your baby is breech – as it gives your baby space to move up and out of the pelvis.

4. Trikonasana (Supported Triangle)

This back to basics pose is a wonderful way to encourage length through the spine, stretch out the hamstrings and create balance. Using a block under the supporting hand (or even bringing the hand higher up the leg to the shin) is a great way to encourage maximum length through the torso on underside of the body. You can also do this pose with your back to a wall for extra support.

Practice tips: Hold this pose for five breaths and repeat on the other side. Make sure you activate your quads to strengthen the legs (think of lifting the knee cap up and feel the quads draw up toward the hips).

5. Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II)

Embrace your birthing warrior woman with this pose that is fantastic for strength, stamina and focus. Variations on this pose are sitting sideways on a chair – which is a great option for mums having twins or for those with symphysis pubic dysfunction (a common condition which can cause discomfort is poses where there is weight bearing on one leg, or the stance is too wide).

Practice tips: Choose a mantra such as “I can do this – I AM doing this” and hold this pose while saying your mantra for five to 10 breaths and you’ll be well on your way to focusing on your inner strength. As you gaze down past your fingers, choose a focal point with your eyes and then sink a little deeper for an extra challenge. Make sure your ankle is under your knee (not behind).

6. Standing Glute Stretch

Better than Panadol for tight glutes and achey hips! This is a no-nonsense pose that most women love as it stretches out stabilising muscles of the hips that when tight can lead to sciatica in pregnancy. In this picture, Jen is balancing on her own, but I recommend doing this one at the wall with support for both hands. Stretching out the deep glutes also encourages a sense of letting go.

Practice tips: Keep the lifted foot flexed to help protect the knee. Keep the chest lifted. For those with pelvic separation or pain when trying one-legged balances (common during pregnancy), you can do the same pose sitting on the floor with the hands supporting your bodyweight behind.

7. Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana (Revolving Head to Knee Pose)

With your growing bump, gravity weighing everything down & focus on the front of the body – this is a magical pose to help lengthen through the sides of the body. The result is usually a feeling of more space & freedom, as well as an energy boost. This is a great pose to do on days where you feel sluggish – as you can stay sitting down and focus on breathing into the side ribs. You’ll also feel a stretch in the hamstrings and open into the hips.

Practice tips: Hold for five to 10 breaths on each side. If your hamstrings feel tight, you can use a strap or belt to help reach the toes. Focus on revolving your body to face out and upward toward the ceiling with every breath out.

To finish, take some quiet time to breathe with your baby, give thanks for the blessings you have in your life or just enjoy the stillness.

A huge thank-you to my beautiful friend Jen - who agreed to model for these pictures.

How to turn Motivation into Home Practice Habits

Practice Yoga at Home Motivation

Ever wondered... How to Practice Yoga at Home? or How to get Motivated to Practice Yoga at Home?

If it's true that we are a sum of all our habits, and your goal is to lead an overall healthier and happier lifestyle (and you already know that yoga is something that makes you feel better, more balanced and just generally helps you to be an all round nicer person to be with - then read on!

You might be wondering how to get from the place of initial motivation - the immediate sense of excitement and wanting to apply effort and turn that interest in the shiny new thing into a long lasting habit.

You know what I'm talking about right?

All those times when you've seen something you MUST have or MUST start, and whipped out your credit card, only to disengage a few days later.

Never to finish that book, never to have completed 'that challenge' and worst of all - to have never seen the results that you could have ultimately achieved. Have you ever looked around and been envious of the results and improvement that others have made while you seem 'stuck'?

Don't feel bad about it - it's common for us to feel this way - and there are definitely some strategies you can adopt to help build the habit.

You see - habit takes us beyond motivation.

And the fact is that we can’t always rely on motivation.

 “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” 
― Jim Ryun

Can you relate to this?

You decide that you're going to take up running. You buy new shoes, you download a running up, you get all excited about the results that you can see other people achieving and you even schedule your running sessions in your diary. You're going so well for the four or five days of your self-imposed running challenge and then it  buckets down with rain. 

Suddenly you've lost motivation - the voices creep in and then when you go on your run the next day you kind of feel like, "Well I didn't go yesterday I don't really feel like going today either". Before you know it - it feels like you've got to start all over again.

Adopting a new habit is hard and we can't always rely on motivation or memory in order to stick a new habit. 

If ever you've tried to adopt the habit of practicing yoga at home no doubt you'll have probably met with some road blocks - I know I have.

So how do we turn something that you want to do into something that you habitually do.  Well we have our own little tips, but let's start with a strategy that the experts recommend.... applying the Three Rs. 

Obviously a reminder is like the cue or trigger. It's the thing that happens that triggers you to partake or adopt in the new habitual action. You can set an alarm on your phone (although with the flood of mobile notifications that most people receive these days - it can be easy to miss - so make sure you use a unique ring tone if you use this approach.)

Another technique that works well is to pair something that you already do regularly and habitually. Pair that action the new action. For example, if your goal is to start practicing yoga each and every morning and the first thing that you already habitually do when you get out of bed is make a cup of tea. Then one suggestion would be set your alarm that little bit early (enough time to allow for the yoga  practice) then leave a little sticky note next to the jug that says something like “do yoga - you’ll feel better afterwards” .

So you’re pairing your reminder WITH an action that is already habitual. Over time, when you get up to make your cup of tea - that becomes the trigger for rolling out your yoga mat (and what a perfect way to start the day!).

Let’s say that your goal is to start to regularly floss your teeth then the cue or trigger that you may use is the actual brushing of your teeth. That's something that you already habitually do morning and night. So all you would do is maybe take the floss and place it next to (or tape it to) the handle of your toothbrush.

We’re taking a cue or trigger and pairing it with something that you already habitually do or already habitually happens to you.

So once you have a reminder or trigger - what will your ‘routine’ be?
With a yoga practice  we can think of the Rountine in two ways.

Firstly there is the routine of actually getting started - so what are the steps you take when your practice? For me it usually involves getting dressed, clearing any clutter from the room and then rolling out my mat. From there I just get on my mat and do whatever comes to mind. Sometimes I play music and somethimes I am just guided by my breath.

For those newer to home practice here are some things I recommend to enhance your home practice routine:

Eventually the first track becomes part of your routine and helps to get you grounded.

If you like pranayama (totally recommended), then your practice routine might start with a 5min set sequence of breathing techniques that you don’t have to think too much about. Keep it consistent to help create the routine.

If you are new to home practice sometimes find yourself getting on your mat without a clue what to do then having a set sequence can be helpful. Just keep in mind if you are always only practicing a set sequence it can contribute to overuse injuries, so a set sequence is best practiced in conjunction with other sequences for ultimate balance.

No one needs the mental barrier of thinking that every home practice needs to last 90mins. So in     order to really help set your routine - pick a time frame that doesn’t feel overwhelming. 15-25min works well for those new to practicing yoga at home.

The third R stands for reward. So in this case you're connecting with the benefit. Now the benefit could come from the action itself. For example you might like to focus on the fact that when you do a yoga practice you feel more at ease. You feel more calm, you yell less at your loved ones for example, your children when they're having a tantrum. You don't get as snappy with your partner when they're doing something that's kind of annoying you. In this case you're thinking of the benefits that you'll get from taking the action.

The other option is choose is an external reward, so for example if I do this action five times in a row, Monday to Friday, then I will actually give myself a particular reward.

If I do yoga every day for thirty days I will get a new pair yoga pants or I will take myself to a movie. So these are both ways that you can incorporate a reward into adopting your new habit. It's good to remember that sometimes we are motivated intrinsically. That is by internal feelings and thoughts and sometimes we're motivated by external things or circumstances such as physical rewards.

There you have it - our top tips on how to turn Motivation into Home Practice Habits.

Want to start a home practice but not sure how to start, or worried that you'll lose motivation along the way? Join us for our next Press Pause Challenge - 5 Easy Practices for Better Sleep, Focus & Flexibility! Starting September 1st. Be sure to sign up to our mailing list below so we can let you know when registrations open.


How to Practice Yoga At Home - Creating the Perfect Space

How to Practice Yoga At Home

Do you want to practice yoga at home but don't have the perfect space? If so - then read on - we've got the perfect tips to help you get started.

If your house feels more like a kids play zone or thoroughfare for teens and animals, then maybe you can't even IMAGINE what it would be like to practice yoga at home. In this article we cover some simple tips on how to create a Home Practice Space

It’s natural to assume that you need a private space and that everything needs to be perfectly zen and set up ready to go in order for you to start doing yoga at home, so we're going to show you some ways to get started even if things don't seem perfect right now.

Let's start by saying that whilst we LOVE crushing on uncluttered spaces that are clean & minimal. Sometimes you might have to start by embracing the messy realities & stickyness of busy family life or a deadline driven career where you can still give yourself permission to prioritise your home yoga practice over the pile of unfolded washing.

If you’ve got kids, are renovating, just moved, or live in a shared space it might not be practical to have a perfect ‘yoga room’ set up all the time and we want to bust the myth that it should stop you. In fact, our own yoga practice space is not as some would expect – a separate room away from the house – but rather space is smack bang in the middle of the lounge room. 

Where to practice?

Well – firstly you need to find somewhere in your house that you have the space and inspiration to practice. In some cases you’ll have spare room that isn’t used so much (maybe it's the guest room, the unfolded washing room, office or similar). Lucky you - even if you use your spare room for something else - it'll make a great start.

But perhaps you live in a house without a spare room (like us), so in this case you'll need to have a wander around home and think about where the best place to practice will be.

For example, in the middle of the kids room is unlikely to cut it (sun salutation doesn’t mix well with stray pieces of lego) so opt for a corner of your bedroom, the office (face away from your desk and distractions) or somewhere in your house where you have decent natural light.

If you live near mountains, trees, the ocean or can pair it with a tranquil garden view then do that.

In warmer climates – look for somewhere that isn’t too windy or directly in the sun – for us that means we sometimes practice outside on our deck in the warmer months.

Make it work for you & have everything handy.

Once you've chosen a space in your house where you have the room to practice - consider the following:

1. Where can I store my mat and props so they are ready to go.

Our strategy for keeping everything accessible has been to keep all our stuff in a nice basket at the end of our lounge. It's a 1 minute set up to clear the floor if there are any toys lying around, roll our mat out and grab our props. The basket ties in with our decor - so instead of having to hide our equipment - it makes up part of the room without being overwhelming. Avoid storing your mat somewhere where it's a hassle to get to it - otherwise you'll end up creating another barrier to practice.

2. What changes do I need to make to the space in order to be able to practice here?

Consider if you need to de-clutter your room, change the furniture around or make changes to create more natural light or comfortable temperature (do you need heating, cooling etc).

3. What times will work for me and my family to be able to practice here.

Practice times for us usually span the morning or evening or times when our kids are at school. If the kids are around - we usually switch to our bedroom downstairs where we can close the door and let the kids go for it upstairs.

What you need...

Grippy Mat

The only thing you really need for a home practice is a good mat. Personally I find that getting on my mat – is like a little signal to my brain – that it’s time to practice.

How to practice yoga at home

We like Mukti Mats as they are all natural and biodegradable, plus quite grippy.

Other stuff that’s cool for your home yoga practice kit.

Block – If I were to choose 1 prop it would be 2 yoga blocks. Blocks give us options to raise the hips in seated positions, give stability when in poses where we otherwise have trouble reaching the earth and also make great props to help open the chest.

Strap – These are great for those with tight hamstrings. More experienced students will probably find great benefit from using a strap in binding poses where it's otherwise difficult to reach and arm balances for extra support. 

Bolster – Bolsters are great for relaxation and yin style practices. They are especially useful for students with really tight hips to get a bit more height. An alternative is a rolled up blanket.

Foam Roller – We use a foam roller every now to release the quads, thighs and back.

Pressure Point Ball – Like a foam roller, pressure point balls are a great way to release tension - especially in areas of the body that are hard to release (like between the shoulder blades - the deep glutes and lower back).

Next steps:

Sign up to our Press Pause online Yoga Course: 5 Easy Practices for Better Sleep, Focus &  Flexibility. Click here to get started.



Desk Stretches to Ease Lower Back Pain

If you've ever found yourself with lower back pain at work, you might be surprised to know that adding some simple desk yoga stretches into your daily routine could be better than panadol!

Various studies have looked at using yoga as a way to effectively treat & manage lower back pain - a condition that affects up to 80% of adults at some stage. And although you're probably dying to get to a yoga class - for some reason it's just not happening. Enter 'desk yoga'.

Picture yourself at your desk with a looming deadline - you've been staring at the screen for hours and aside from dreaming that you'd much rather be binging on netflix - that just ain't gonna happen. What IS happening is your neck and shoulders feel tense and your hips and lower back are starting to ache & feel locked up.

You've tried strategies like taking a coffee break (hey caffeine fixes everything right?),  walking around and perhaps you've even trialled standing up at work to ease the pain.

Yoga has been on your 'to-do' list for like - ever - but you have a hard time getting to a class. You're probably juggling some other kind of training, a family, study, or just the other things you love in life like going for a surf, or a run.

You KNOW you NEED to stretch, but just seem to find the time to make it happen.

Locked up glutes and tight hamstrings usually go hand in hand with lower back pain and if you're spending your spare time before or after work running, doing cross-fit, or working out then you're probably making matters worse.

So - in this post we wanted to share our top 5 simple desk stretches that can help ease lower back pain. Think of these as a go to for the days you have that deadline but can't make it to class.



1. Seated Twist

This one is SO EASY it is just ridiculous that we don't really do it more right! Turn side on to your chair and use the back to hold as you twist.

If you have lower back issues - take care to engage your belly button (suck in your belly), and lengthen before twisting.

2. Sitting Glute Stretch

Face your desk and bring one ankle up to your opposite knee. Flex the foot that is lifted. As you lean forward think of leading with your chest. Take care to maintain the natural curve in your lower back (so stick your booty out - don't tuck under).

3. Standing Quad Stretch

Standing on two feet, bring one leg behind you and hold with 1 or both hands (both hands will mean you also get great stretch through the upper chest).

4. Standing Hammie Stretch

Place one leg forward, one leg back. Bend your back leg as you stick your butt back. Think of lengthening your tailbone toward the floor.

5. Standing Psoas Stretch

Stand one foot forward and one foot about a meter back. Bend your front leg and press your hips toward your desk - think of tucking your tailbone under and drawing your belly button in.


Prevention is always better than cure! Some simple strategies that you can adopt are:

1. Trial using a stand up desk such as the Zest Desk (the world's first portable stand up desk). Awesome for people who swap between work and home and want the option of standing.

2. Get a daily dose of exercise including core strengthening work.

3. Take regular breaks from sitting (we were made to move - not sit still for hours on end).

4. Try our desk yoga sequence as featured here. 


1. We know that tight hips and hamstrings often go hand in hand with lower back pain. So head over to our

2. Leave us a comment below and let us know what kind of sequence you'd like us to share with you next.


Meditation for beginners: How to find a comfortable seat.

Learning to meditate is no walk in the park! But with our top tips on how to find a comfortable sitting position you'll be one step closer to discovering the benefits of this amazing practice.

You’ve heard about the benefits of meditation - and know that your mind is desperately busy. No doubt when you think about meditation, you imagine a buddha like posture with legs in lotus, spine long and eyes closed. But ever tried to sit that way? It's freaking hard! 

Today we give you some more beginner friendly sitting options for embarking on an adventure with meditation.

If you've ever tried to meditate or sit in stillness you’ll probably know that it’s not just as easy as just plopping yourself down and closing your eyes. In fact, if you can stop thinking about your "TO DO LIST" for more than two mins, you’ll probably notice that the first challenge is finding a comfortable seat. 

How the hell can you 'get your mind to be still' when your hips are on fire and it feels like someone is driving hot pokers into your shoulder blades?

Well today we’ll share three of our favourite ways to sit and get comfy in meditation.

If you're just getting started with your yoga practice - it might come as a surprise to know that the physical postures as we know them only became popularised in the past 200 years or so - and their main purpose are to strengthen the body & nervous system in order to sit and prepare the body & mind for the practices of pranayama (breathing) and meditation.

learn to meditate


Easy / Joyful Pose
You probably identify with this cross legged posture as something you might have done in kindergarten or in primary school - most likely you sat on the floor a lot in those earlier years but no doubt as you got a little bit older you became more used to sitting on a chair as a preference. 

So this might be the first time that you’ve sat on the ground like this for quite a while and if your hips or knees are stiff it might not feel that great.

Our top tips for getting comfortable in this pose are:

1. Elevate the hips on a block or a bolster.

2. Take the knees wider apart.

3. If you are really struggling, use a wall for back support.

The meaning of Sukhasana is joyful or easy, so why not use props that make this pose joyful and easy for you instead of feeling like you need to fidget every two seconds to get comfy.


Accomplished Pose
Siddhasana is like the "P-Plates" of a sitting meditation posture. You’ve ditched the L’s and can probably sit cross legged fairly comfortably now but you might still struggle to sit up tall.

I like to use a block as a base for the hips. This is one of our favourites because you can make a really long base of support from shin to shin and hips are a little higher, which makes it easier to maintain a natural curve in the lower spine. 

Ergonomically – the spine is happy, rather than sitting with the tailbone and lower back tucking under.


Top tips for getting comfortable in this pose are:
1. Use a block for a firm base of support.
2. Heels line up with each other and the groin.
3. You should feel a nice broad base of support from knee to knee through the line of the shins.



Hero Pose
Another option we love - especially for beginners for those with super tight hips is Virasana.
Also known as Hero pose this kneeling posture is best skipped if you’ve got knee issues or ankle issues. But one of the good things about this pose is that the thighs or the femurs are actually rotating inward a little bit so this is ideal for folks that suffer from sciatica – a condition that might mean sitting cross legged is difficult.

Top tips for getting comfortable in this pose:
1. Use one or two blocks or a bolster between the knees and under the hips.
2. The heels of the feet should lie ‘just’ on the outer edges of the hips (or blocks)
3. Toes point directly back (rather than out to the sides which may strain the knee ligaments).

So there are three options for you and ways that you can use props in order to come to comfortable sitting meditation positions in Yoga. 


Before I sign off - let me just say that like ANYTHING - learning to meditate TAKES TIME, but know that you have OPTIONS! 

In the comments section below I'd LOVE you to share with me:

1. Which of these postures do you like the best?

2. What is your biggest challenge when it comes to meditation? 

7 Simple Yoga Stretches to Tame Tight Hamstrings

stretch tight hamstrings


As a yoga studio owner, I wish I had a dollar for every time someone told me they had tight hamstrings and it might surprise you to know that hamstring flexibility is something that I struggle to maintain.

Give me a handstands (so much fun!) and backbends (so energising) over painful hamstring stretches any day!  I put on muscle mass easily and do well with strength based poses, but maintaining flexibility is not something that comes easily at all. Even coming from a dance background - my hammies are very stubborn and it takes a lot of work to keep them feeling stretched out. So believe me when I say I KNOW!

In this blog post with the help of my partner (and anatomy nerd) Exercise Physiologist, Russ Young,  we're going to show you 7 Simple Yoga Stretches to Tame Tight Hamstrings.  You can either follow along with the pictures (pin it if you're on pinterest to come back to later) or if you're really serious, then I recommend you join our simple online course to get you started with a home practice "Press Pause - 5 Easy Practices for Better Sleep, Focus & Flexibility".



The Hamstrings consist of a group of 3 muscles at the back of the thigh.

Biceps Femoris (located at the back of the leg on the outside)

Semitendinosus (located at the back on the leg on the inside)

Semimembranosus (located at the back of the leg on the inside)


The hamstrings are responsible for flexion at the knee joint (bending the knee) and extension of the thigh (moving the upper thigh backwards). 

The hamstrings also can contribute to the range of motion possible regarding the anterior and posterior tilt of the pelvis.

When the hamstrings are very tight, there is often a tendency to tuck the tailbone too much leading to a reduction or removal in the natural curve of your lower back.


You can quickly test your hamstring flexibility by standing up with your feet hip width apart & folding forward to touch your shins or toes.

Stand side on to a mirror. As you fold forward, try to flatten your lower back out (by sticking your butt back and lifting your tailbone).

If your posture is really rounded in the lower back and you are unable to reach below the shins by keeping a flat back then chances are your hamstrings are tight.


Tight hamstrings can lead to a decrease in the natural lumber curve of the spine.

Over time, this can cause pressure on the discs in your lower back which may lead to subluxation or a ‘bulging disc’.

In this blog post we’ll be sharing strategies from our experience from a combined 30+ years in yoga, exercise physiology & teaching beginners.


Because the hamstrings are relatively long it is possible to experience different types of tightness or tenderness in various parts of the muscle. Knowing what kind of tightness or tenderness you have is crucial as sometimes what you think is tightness might actually be a sign of injury and needs a different approach (rest and strengthening vs stretching).


If your hamstrings are tight in the belly of the muscle, or lower down the leg and it eases off as you breathe and hold the stretch, this usually indicates general tightness.

Beginners, those new to yoga, those who train a lot, and those who have week abdominals will usually experience this kind of hamstring tightness. 



If you have any of the following symptoms - it is possible you have a strain

  • There is acute pain up and underneath your butt cheek at the sitting bone (ischial tuberosity)
  • Stretching feels more painful as you deepen the stretch and when you lift your tailbone
  • You can pinpoint a small area up under the butt cheek where there is pain
  • Your butt or upper inner thigh continues to hurt or ache AFTER the stretch
  • The pain is getting progressively worse when you stretch
  • There is pain when you sit for long periods of time

This type of injury can be common in those who have been practicing yoga for a while, or started rigorously after a long break and is indicative of an injury at the origin of the hamstring where it joins the pelvis.

This type of injury most commonly happens when there is a focus on a lot of forward bends without sufficient strengthening or warm up (eg: ashtanga yoga students often suffer from this type of injury). This is known as ‘yoga butt’ and definitely not a fun injury to deal with. It can also sometimes feel like you need to stretch it out - but you’ll notice that after stretching it continues to ache and eventually gets more and more painful.

If you suspect you have a strain, it is crucial to ease off all forward bends and seek a diagnosis and treatment which will usually involve rest and strength work.


  • Warm up first with a few sun salutations or if you are completely new to yoga - you can even do these stretches after a 5-10min walk.
  • Hold each pose for 5-15 breaths focusing on deepening the posture as you exhale.
  • Try to drag the heel of your front leg back as you stretch - this will help activate the muscle.
  • Remember to work within your body's comfortable limits - never straining.
  • The first pose is a strengthening pose for the upper hamstrings. The subsequent postures are designed to help improve hamstring flexibility.

1. Bridge Preparation (Setu Bandhasana)

2. Standing Forward Bend with Blocks (Uttanasana)

3. Kneeling Hamstring Lunge

4. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

5. Head to Knee Pose (Janu Sirsasana)

6. Sitting Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)

7. Supine Leg Extension (Supta Uttita Hasta Padangustasana)


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Now over to you....

We'd love you to leave us a comment below and let us know what your tight spots are? Hamstrings? Shoulders? Neck? Somewhere different?

What poses are you working on this year to overcome those tight spots?