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If you’re unable to straighten your top leg due to tight hamstrings …
Try using a strap around the arch of your top foot. Hold the strap in each hand, and move your leg away from your chest until you can straighten your leg. A straight leg will most effectively stretch your hamstring, so there is no shame in using a strap.
If your lower back feels uncomfortable or it’s challenging to maintain a lumbar curve …
Try bending your bottom leg and planting the sole of your foot on the mat near your sitting bone. This should help you maintain a good lumbar curve and free you up to move the top leg more easily.
If you feel strain in your neck or it’s hard to keep your head in a neutral position …
Try placing a folded towel or blanket under your head at a height that feels comfortable and allows your chin to rest in a neutral position (not tucked in, and not lifted away from your throat).
Want to practice or study with Amy Ippoliti in person? Join her at Yoga Journal LIVE New York, April 19-22, 2018—YJ’s big event of the year. We’ve lowered prices, developed intensives for yoga teachers, and curated popular educational tracks: Anatomy, Alignment, & Sequencing; Health & Wellness; and Philosophy & Mindfulness. See what else is new and sign up now!
About Our Pro
Model and teacher Amy Ippoliti aims to bring ancient wisdom to modern yogis, both on and off the mat, while sharing her passion for earth conservation. A pioneer of yoga education, she co-founded 90 Monkeys, an online and in-person school for yoga teachers. Ippoliti has been studying yoga philosophy, vinyasa, and alignment-based asana since she was 16, and she leads trainings and workshops worldwide. Learn more at amyippoliti.com and @amyippoliti.