Gentle Hip Openers

This is my step-father Baba Ram. He is a generous and loving soul who has put up with me since I was 4 years old (and that really is a great feat). He wanted something simple and relaxing to do for himself, and I wanted that to be yoga. This is what we came up with. Enjoy your practice!

 

Seated Side Stretch {Sukhasana}

Seated Side Stretch {Sukhasana} – If you have tight hips, seated poses will be more comfortable sitting on a folded blanket or pillow. Sit towards the front of your pillow so that your Pelvis tilts forward and your lower spine is slightly rounded in towards your naval. Energetically press your left hip towards the earth and take a deep, expansive reach with your left hand over to your right. This will lengthen your left side body (from your hip to your arm-pit) and begin to open the exterior of your left hip. Exhale, release your left hand and on your next inhale continue this pose on your right side. Use this pose as a warm up, moving with your breath, and do five times on each side.

 

 

Bound Angle {Baddha Konasana}

Bound Angle {Baddha Konasana} –Manually lift the flesh around your sits bones back and apart as you bring the bottom of your feet together in front of you. Flex your feet and press the outer edge of each foot into the mat. Separate each toe and press all four corners of your feet together. With your hands behind your hips, press into the earth (or two blocks) and lengthen through your side body. Bring your shoulders up and back, as your focus shifts to your breath. Feel spacious in your chest as your breathe deepens on every inhale and your skin softens on every exhale. Hold this pose for five breaths.

 

Cat {Marjarayasana}

Cat {Marjarayasana}– Cow {Bitilasana} – Bring your knees wide and your feet together, with your toes curled under. Place your wrists parallel to the front of your mat and take a deep inhale as you bend your spine towards the mat, Cow Pose. On your exhale counter this pose by bringing your abdomen in towards your spine, widening your shoulder blades and curling your spine up towards the sky, Cat Pose. As you repeat these movements, five times in each direction, bring your focus to your hips. As you inhale into Cow Pose, bring your thighs back and apart widening your pelvis. As you exhale into Cat Pose, bring the inside of your thighs forward and out, narrowing your pelvis. If that is to much information, just move consciously and enjoy. :)

 

Modified Hanuman Asana

Hamstring Stretch – This pose is a modification on Hanuman Asana. Using a chair can make this pose more accessible than a traditional Hanuman or Baby Hanuman Asana. Bring a chair to the wall and place your heel on the seat. Place your hands on the wall in front of you and lean forward. If your hands don’t quit reach the wall, use blocks to make up the difference. Keep your foot strong by flexing it and then pressing through the ball of your foot. By keeping your foot strong and your leg muscles engaged, you protect your hamstrings and get a safe stretch.

 

 

 

 

Wide-angle forward fold {Prasarita Padottanasana}

Wide-angle forward fold {Prasarita Padottanasana} – Widen your feet and bring the outer edge of each foot parallel to the short sides of your mat. Ideally your feet will be as wide as your wrists, if you reach your arms in either direction.  Keep your feet parallel to each other and bend your knees as you bring your hands to blocks in front of you.  When you feel steady, straighten your legs and scoop your tailbone so that the bottom tip of your spine faces towards the earth, sending the energy down you’re the back of your legs. Lean forward and breathe into any tightness as the back of your hips release built up tension.

 

Modified Warrior 2 {Virabhadrasana 2)

Modified Warrior 2 {Virabhadrasana 2}– bring your front knee into lunge pose as you angle your back shin, parallel to the back of the mat (back toes curled under).  Start with your hands on your hips as you open the front of your hips to the long end of your yoga mat. Energetically hug your front heel in towards your back shin, and vise versa, as you lengthen your side body and lift your arms. Keep your front knee in line with your shin and your two middle toes, forming a line perpendicular to your mat. Hold for 3- 5 breaths and then switch sides.

 

Child's Pose {Balasana}

Wide Knee Child’s Pose {Balasana} – Bring your feet together and your knees wide. Place your pillow, or a folded blanket, so that it can support your forehead as you lean into this pose. Bring your hips to or towards your ankles, and then release you forehead to your pillow, and allow your arms  to rest in front of you.

 

 

 

Leg Circles

Leg circles lying down – Lay’ on your back and bend your right knee into your chest. Leave your arms at your side, palms up. Baba Ram is working though a shoulder injury, so resting his hands on his chest was what was right for his body. Take the time to listen to your body and place your hands appropriately. Keep your foot engaged to protect your knee, and begin to make circles with your right knee. Allow your circles to get bigger as you open your hip on every inhale and bring your knee in towards your chest on every exhale. After five rounds, switch directions of your circles before you move to the other leg.

 

Reclining Figure Four

Figure four – Place your right foot on the floor about 6 inches from your right hip. Bend your left knee and place your left ankle over your right knee. Keep both feet flexed as you interlace your hands behind your right thigh and bring your right thigh in close to your chest. You should feel a stretch in the outside of your left hip.  Hold for five breaths, and then switch sides.

 

 

 

Happy Baby

Happy Baby – Stay on your back and bring your shins perpendicular to your mat. Widen your legs and flex your feet. Bring your arms to the inside of your legs and your hands to the outer edge of your feet. Press your hands to feet and feet to hands, for resistance. Work towards energetically pressing the inside of your thighs to the ceiling for a deep stretch.

 

 

 

Finally take a few moments in a resting position. Take the time to be grateful for your practice and to enjoy a few moments of peacefulness.

Love & Gratitude,
Durgaya

yogawithdurgaya@gmail.com

Kula Journal, Intuitively Charged Yoga, Durgaya Palmieri

About Durgaya Palmieri

Durgaya Palmieri is the creator and yoga instructor behind Kula Journal. Her love of yoga and community has lead her to the create KJ and to continue to seek out new contributors and readers who will enrich our yoga community with truly inspirational post, teachings and musings. Durgaya recently moved back to the spiritual community she grew up on, Kashi Ashram in Sebastian, Florida. For a full bio check out Yoga With Durgaya's bio page.

6 Responses

  1. Great post! Perfect for my husband, will definitely share! xo

  2. Ann and Ali says:

    You look Amazing Baba Ram!
    Cool Newsletter ;)

  3. Terrific instruction and you always make me smile; love the lightness & humor in your style. Thank you for giving us these great modifications for the days when the body just needs a gentler pace.

  4. YogaMom says:

    Thank you for posting this! I am recovering from an upper thigh injury and I have lost a great deal of flexibility in my hips. These openers should help immensely!