Are you Hip enough?
Opening your hips takes time. The good news is that, as with every journey connected with physical change, every step on the path takes you to a new level of opportunity. Tight hips are a major roadblock for many students who want to deepen their yoga practice and master a wider range of poses.
If you can’t join me in a Yin hip opening workshop on Sunday 15th March, Try these hip opening poses offer stretches and strengthening to the hips but some add their own inherent learning process as mastering them can seem a little daunting at first.
Let’s start with an easier one Bound Angle pose – baddha konasana
- Sit with your feet together, letting your knees open to the sides. Ground your sitting bones into the earth while you simultaneously lengthen through the spine and torso.
- Press your heels together to activate your legs, and open the balls of your feet with your hands, like opening a book. This helps protect the knees in this pose and more advanced seated poses and hip openers like Padmasana.
- Keep pressing your heels together as you extend your thighs horizontally to the right and left, releasing your knees closer to the floor.
- Moving from the base of your spine, lift through your core, engaging Mula Bandha, or the root energy lock and muscles of the pelvic floor.
- Keep your face relaxed. Inhale to find more length, and exhale to ground down and maintain your connection to the earth.
A bit more of a challenge with Pigeon Pose – rajakapotasana
- Come onto all fours with your hands shoulder-distance apart and about a hand span in front of your shoulders. Bring your left knee forward and place it on the floor just behind and slightly to the left of your left wrist, with your shin on a diagonal and your left heel pointing toward your right frontal hipbone.
- Now bring your attention to your back leg: Your right quadriceps should squarely face the floor so that your leg is in a “neutral” position. Establish this neutral leg by tucking your right toes under and straightening your right leg so that the thigh and knee come off the floor.
- Lift your right inner thigh up toward the ceiling and move your right frontal hipbone forward so that it is parallel to your left frontal hipbone. You want to have your hipbones square toward the front of the mat. As you roll your right hipbone forward, draw your left outer hip back and in toward the midline of your body.
- Place your hands in front of your left leg and use your arms to keep your torso upright.
- If your knee is sensation free (hooray!), extend your torso forward across your left shin, walking your arms out in front of you and releasing your forehead toward the floor. Fold forward only after you’ve spent time checking your alignment and paying attention to your body.