Tight hips can be the numbing nemesis if you’re following along with the most limber of yoga teachers.
Why don’t my legs jackknife into flying pigeon pose? It “only”requires the right foot wrapped around the left triceps with a slow weight change forward on 90-degree bend elbows to float the left leg up to hover, all while not falling forward to break your nose. If you don’t have a solid pigeon pose on the floor, the flying one will present definite challenges (at least to this yogi!).
Before you can run, you must know how to walk, right? The same mentality applies to complicated yoga poses that tax the hips. Many yoga poses are for the spaghetti limbed with perfect hip mobility. Not so easy for those working on rigid hips with big asana ambitions.
As someone who works daily on hip mobility (an anatomical challenge of mine since coming out of mama’s womb, I’m told), here are some good poses to gently work with what you’ve got: your prized body — treat it as a child warrior. Don’t talk mean to it; it’s all you’ve got.
Yoga Poses for Hip Mobility
1. Wide-leg lunge.
From down dog, bend the right leg and place it wider than the mat outside your right hand. The stance will feel like an odd-ball runner’s lunge. But there’s more! Drop the left knee and slowly see if you can get your elbows bent onto the mat for a static pose. This pose will expose your IT band and hip flexor stiffness. Use blocks or blankets to ease into this pose as needed on each side.
2. Garland or Malasana squat.
O, mother of all stretches, this is a good one. This pose offers iterations while in the wide-legged squat: hands in prayer while elbows push against the inner thighs, twist with one hand on the ground while you lift the other 45 degrees up and back, or in a bind that wraps the left arm around the left knee to meet the right hand behind the back.
3. Cow face.
What looks like a simple pose speaks to the body’s left-right imbalances. While seated and stacking the knees, try grounding the sitting bones on each side. If one side pops up (because of tightness), use a blanket or block as support on that side.
4. Low lunge with knee and shin down.
Complete this pose on each side, with cactus…
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By Tricia Louvar; All Rights Reserved @2022