Yoga and the Hamstring Conundrum – Keys to Healthy Hamstrings


Tight hamstrings are extremely common, particularly as we get older. They are not just an inconvenience, but can have numerous spillover effects in our structural health as well.

Hamstrings are often the culprit, when people suffer from nagging, persistent low-back pain. Tight hamstrings can also interfere with normal pelvic alignment, in turn distorting normal spinal curves and creating permanent postural imbalances, which may predispose us to digestive disturbances and even restricted breathing as we age.

In yoga postures as well, the hamstrings create numerous problems, as people with tight hamstrings have difficulty to perform even simple forward bends like Downward Dog or Widelegged Forward bend with correct alignment. And for many students, the typical postures modifications offered, i.e. to bend the knees and/or use a block, don’t fully address the issue and may even be counterproductive.

Tight hamstrings are one of the greatest sources of discomfort in yoga classes, and students with tight hamstrings tend to be the most easily discouraged. Further, if not approached correctly, tight hamstrings can lead to back strain or even back injuries in yoga practitioners.

It’s imperative for yoga teachers to know how to spot people with tight hamstrings and how to offer modifications targeted to different degrees of tight hamstrings. In this 2-part online course, Iyengar yoga teacher and physical therapist Julie Gudmestad shares insights from her more than 20 years of teaching experience, and shows you how to introduce a sequence of modifications that will help students with tight hamstrings advance in their practice.

What You Will Learn

  • How to easily identify tight hamstrings in yoga students
  • Why tight hamstrings tend to be more common in men, as well as other population groups that tend to have tight hamstrings
  • How and why tight hamstrings often lead to back injuries or back strain and warning signs to look out for
  • The 5 categories of hamstrings, and appropriate modifications for each
  • The right and the wrong way to do forward bends and how to help students feel the difference in their body
  • The best ways to stretch to ensure fast and safe progress
  • Ways to motivate and encourage students with tight hamstrings to advance their yoga practice.

This Course Also Includes:

  • Yoga Practice: Enjoy a 35-minute yoga practice with Julie illustrating ways to create a progressive sequence of hamstring stretches and strengthening.
  • Recordings of All Webinar Sessions: It’s generally acknowledged that many people only retain 10-20 percent of what they learn in a workshop. You will get access to the recordings of both webinar sessions (both MP3 and MP4 – streaming), enabling you to go back and listen to the workshop as many times as you like.
  • Transcripts of Both Sessions: Ever wanted to refer to a certain part of a course? Even the best note takers miss a point every so often. With the transcripts of the sessions, you can go back and refer to particularly important passages or clarify sections you were in doubt about.



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Julie has devoted her professional life to integrating the healing benefits of yoga with her medical training as a physical therapist. She has integrated decades of patient care experience with 40 years of yoga teaching.

$127/ Lifetime Access

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