Postures To Improve Hip Flexibility
Postures To Improve Hip Flexibility
The more flexible your hips are in yoga, the more you can explore a greater range of postures benefiting your yoga practice, your physical fitness, health and well being.
Step 1: One legged pigeon pose
Starting in Downward Facing Dog, extend your right leg up into a split towards the ceiling and now bend the right knee and bring it forward placing it on the floor between your hands near to the right wrist. Release the top of the left leg to the floor and extend it straight back behind you including the foot and toes. Try to align your right heel directly below your left frontal hip bone. Square your hips to the floor, if necessary use a blanket under your right buttock to help equalise your hips. Now slide your hands forward and lie the trunk of your body down. Extend well through your arms and the trunk of your body and breathe calmly. Hold this pose for 1-3 minutes. Come back to downward dog and change legs.
Step 2: Ankle over the knee pose
Start by sitting in staff pose. Bring your left shin parallel to the front of the mat ensuring that your knee is in line with your hip. Then with both feet flexed to protect the knees place your right ankle over the left knee. If your hips are tight sit on a blanket to elevate your hips. Apply equal weight to the right and left hip and ground your pelvis into the floor. Place your fingertips or palms in front of your shins for support. Inhale, elongate the spine and exhale fold forward without losing the extension of your spine and without lifting you buttocks. Continue folding & hold the pose in a relaxed state for 10 to 15 breaths. Still on the same leg continue into the next posture…
Step 3: Cow faced pose
Now take the right leg and cross it over the bent left leg. Ideally both feet are in the same line. Hopefully and eventually, both knees will be stacked directly on top of each other as well. For a lot of people, aligning the feet and the knees will not be possible if the hips are tight or the knees are sore. Don't worry have patience just go to that place where it feels comfortable. If you have any strain come out of the pose or place another blanket under your buttocks.To open the chest and shoulders, come into the cow face pose with your arms. If it is not possible to take hold of your hands, hold a belt with both hands or grab hold of your elbows. Hold this full pose for 1 minute.
Now take your hands or fingertips on the floor in front of your shins and extend gently the trunk of your body forward and towards the floor without lifting your buttocks off the floor. Hold for 10 breaths. Lift up straighten your legs and repeat all these poses on the other side.
Step 4: Half Lotus forward bend
Sit on the floor with legs extended in front of you. Place your right foot in the crook of your left elbow and bring your right arm around the right knee cradling the leg in your arms. Flex the right foot and bring your shinbone horizontal. Gently pull the leg inwards towards your chest lifting and elongating your spine. Sit straight and tall.
Bringing your foot into half lotus: Hold your right foot from underneath with both of your hands and pull the heel in towards your navel placing the foot on your left groin. Draw the calf and thigh together and bring the right knee towards the centre. Take away your hands and spread your buttocks and sit up straight pressing your fingertips into the floor behind you to elongate your spine. Stretch your torso forward taking hold of the left foot. Inhale stretch up the trunk lifting your chest and ribcage concaving the back, exhale fold forward and down keeping your hips grounded and always extending the trunk along side the left leg. Relax your neck and stay there for 30 seconds. Inhale lift up and extend, exhale back to upright position and change sides.