Thursday, November 21, 2013

New to Yoga Series: Hip Openers

So hip opener poses are my favorite part of yoga. They tend to hurt because most of them focus on the inner thighs, but that feeling of looseness in my legs afterwards is amazing. I will show you a few simple hip openers to help you as you try to get a little stronger and more flexible.

High Lunge
You are working several muscles (neck, shoulders, back), but it is predominantly your inner thighs. Here are a few points to note:  
  • Your inner thighs should be squeezing towards each other. 
  • Your front knee should be at about 90 degrees or so. 
  • Push into your back toes and try to straighten your back leg as much as possible.   
  • Curve from your back, not your neck, as you look up. The more you do this, the better those thigh muscles should get.

Crescent pose
This is also called the "Low Lunge". From the High Lunge above, all you need to do is drop your back knee down and lean your back hip forward. Make sure your front knee stays aligned with your front foot. You can have your hands like mine for more of a back stretch, or lifted, or even touching the floor or yoga blocks beside you.

Pigeon pose
Another fantastic hip opener is the pigeon pose or "runner's stretch". The easiest way to get into it is to start in downward dog and then bring your right leg between your palms. Bend the right knee on the mat and extend your left leg as far back as you can. Sit up straight. If your fingers cannot reach the floor, you may use blocks or have your fingers on your thigh. 

Cheers Eights & Weights!

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