Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Fit: Hip Opening Postures

We spent a lot of time in the car during our Alaskan adventure, which means my hips (and probably Hayden's too) are tighter than ever. Now that we're home, my hips need some serious TLC.

Luckily, there's yoga for that. These are a few of the postures I'm doing nonstop this week! Any other suggestions for me?

Extended Child's Pose - Balasana

Starting off my practice with child's pose is a great way for me to start. By opening my hips and hinging forward at my torso, my weight naturally shifts onto my hips, helping them open and expand.

Come to sit on your heels on the back of your mat. Bring your big toes to touch and open your knees wide. Hinge forward at your hips, rest your forehead on your mat and extend your arms long. 

Easy Pose - Sukhasana

This is a great warm-up pose for me. Allowing my back to lengthen and my hips to drop feels great. With time, my knees sink closer to the floor, opening up my hips.

Cross your legs, engage your uddiyana bandha (core lock) and sit tall. Lengthen your spine and relax your shoulders away from your ears. Rest your hands on your thighs or knees.

Bound Angle Pose - Baddha Konasana

This is one of the best hip openers there is. This pose helps counteract "crunched" hips.

In a seated posture, bring the soles of your feet together and press into the soles of each foot. Bring your knees wide and relax your shoulders. Roll out your neck in this position - trust me, it feels great.

Cow Face Pose - Gomukhasana

This pose helps me open both my hips and shoulders and feels wonderful first thing in the morning or after a long day.

Cross your legs one over another so your knees come to touch. Straighten your spine and place your hands at the sides of your body.

Fire Log Pose - Agnistambhasana

This pose is anything but easy for me. Squaring and stacking my shins is difficult, and I'm unable to stay in this posture for long.

From a seated posture, work to stack your shins on top of one another, parallel to the top of your mat. Lengthen your spine and pull your shoulders away from your ears. 

Half Lord of the Fishes Pose - Ardha Matsyendrasana

A classic outer hip stretch. This bring me back to my days as a soccer player. This pose helps stretch and energize the spine in addition to stretching the hip muscles.

Come to supta badha konasana (soles of your feet touch with your knees open wide). Lift your right foot and place it to the outside of your left thigh. Bring your left foot closer to your sits bone. On an inhale reach your left arm up toward the ceiling, and on an exhale connect your outside bicep to the outside of your right knee. Plant your right hand squarely behind you. Use both arms and your core to square your chest to the right and twist deeper in your hips. 

Pigeon Pose - Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

The king of hip openers! Pigeon is a variation of the advanced pose (one-legged king pigeon pose). These poses lengthen hip flexors and increase the external range of motion of the femur in the hip socket.

Start from downward facing dog. On an inhale lift your right leg high, and on an exhale bring your right knee to your right hand and work to square your shin to the top of your mat (mine is nowhere near there; wherever you're at is fine). Flex your right foot and let your torso come forward. Spend some time here, and switch legs to even out the stretch.

Wide-Legged Forward Fold - Prasarita Padottanasana

Technically an inversion, this posture helps strengthen and stretch the inner back legs and the spine, while relieving backaches and calming the mind. Yum.

Stand with your feet greater than hip width distance apart. Point your toes forward and place a slight bend in your knees to prevent hyperextending your knee joint. Bend forward at your hips and allow gravity to bring your torso down. Shift your weight more into your toes and relax your head and neck.

Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend - Upavistha Konasana

This pose helps stretch the insides and backs of the legs while releasing the groin muscles.

Sit on your sits bones and extend your legs long. Lengthen your spine and engage your core. Reach your arms out in the direction of your toes and hinge forward at your hips. Place a bend in your knees (as much as is comfortable) to straighten and lengthen your spine. With every inhale lengthen your spine, and with every exhale fold forward.

Reclining Hero Pose - Supta Virasana

Both a heart and hip opener, I love reclining hero pose. It's an intermediate posture that should only be done when your body is very warm. As you're lowering down, place a block or blankets behind your back for a gentler stretch.

Bend your knees and come to sit on your heels. Gently bring your heels wider and come to sit on the ground. Engage your core and bring your elbows back behind you to rest on the ground. Continue engaging your core and gently lower yourself back to a comfortable position (using a block, blankets or extending down to the ground).

|| Photos are property of Mountain Shadow Morning. Must give credit. ||

1 comment:

  1. I don’t need to worry about incorrect posture anymore, because I have started using a digital posture trainer that helps me to keep myself in the right posture always.


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