What do runners and desk junkies have in common? Tight hips! Use these juicy yoga stretches to open your hips and stay injury free. In order to get the most benefit from these hip openers, I suggest using a timer and holding each pose for 90 seconds. This will ensure you stay in the pose long enough to start allowing the tension and tightness to release. Let’s get started.
Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)
Begin seated, bringing the soles of your feet together. Keep the spine long and hinge forward from the hips. Allow your hips to open and your knees to fall closer to the floor without pushing them. Just allowing them the space they need. If it’s only a thought for today, that’s perfectly okay. Work where you are. Close your eyes and begin to breathe.
Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana)
Starting in a kneeling lunge position, (left foot in front) walk both hands to the inside of the knee/foot. Leave the arms extended or bring the forearms to the mat or block. Deepen the pose by lifting the back knee up off of the mat. Allow the knee to open up a little more to the left, lifting up through the arch of the foot to open the hips a little more.
Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)
There are a number of ways to come into pigeon pose. We will begin from the Lizard pose. One hand on each side, placing them underneath the shoulders, but not exact. You may walk your hands out in front as the photo demonstrates. Beginning with the left foot in front, we walk the foot over as close as we can toward the right hand and the left knee will stay close to the left hand. The back leg stretches all the way out behind us. Draw the navel in and keep the hips centered by not leaning to either side. Imagine your tail bone curling slightly forward. You now have the option to fold forward and reach the arms out in front or stay upright. Yogi choice. 🙂
Fire Log Pose (Agnistambhasana)
This is an intense hip opener and it may take some time for your hips to release to the full version of this pose. Be patient, do your best and listen to your body. Option 1: Start in a seated position, legs stretched out. Keep the left leg stretched out and bring the right foot in and place it on top of the left leg right above your knee. If this is enough, keep it here, allow yourself to sink into the stretch. Option 2: Deepen this pose further by bringing the left leg in. You will then be stacking your legs like fire logs demonstrated in the photo above. Shin over shin, knee over ankle on one side and ankle over knee on the other. In either option above, you may fold forward from the hips to intensify the stretch.
Hope you enjoyed these 4 hip opening yoga poses. Do them daily for the best results and try to incorporate a short warm-up before stretching which will help deepen your pose. If you have questions, send them to me!
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