My yoga practice is very much like my life, some practice seems to come with ease, some with tears, some with frustration, some with no balance and direction, and others I’m just showing up to not show up. However in that madness births growth, and awareness in life and on the mat. So this morning I woke up to find my hips had a funky attitude. They were tight, closed, and heavy which meant to me somewhere in my life I was carrying stress and it happened to move into my hips. Yes woman carry lots of stress, and one of the number one areas are our hips. Why not? It’s the area that tells the opposite sex we are child baring individuals, it’s the area that expands to create the alluring image of a woman’s figure, and it is in some cultures the sheer definition of royal power, so why wouldn’t it be an area that even stress wanted to live in? My hips are an area that I work on in every practice, because I know I’m naturally tight there so I try to work on them often. Even if I don’t have 90 minutes to give on the mat I try to do some of my fundamental poses that keep me grounded and open to what the universe has to offer. Below you will find variations of one pose that I feel must be down every day:
Lizard or Utthan Pristhasana
Opens the hips, hamstrings, groins and hip flexors
Strengthens the inner thigh muscles on the front leg
Prepares the body for deeper hip openers such as Pigeon Pose and Hanuman Pose
1. From DWFD, step your right foot forwards between your hands so that your foot is slightly wider than your shoulders.
2. Let your hips grow heavy, so that they settle forwards and down. Remember think about having a heavy pelvic floor. Begin to walk your hands forwards until you are able to come down on to your forearms. You can place your forearms on a block also or stay on your palms.
3. Extend your heart forward, lengthening the spine. Try to soften your chest and draw the shoulder blades together, taking the rounding out of your back.
4. Keep your right knee hugging inwards to get into the hip flexor area and thigh area of your right leg. You can keep your left knee lifted with your leg active, or for a more restorative version, you can lower your left knee.
Outer hip variation:
1. With your forearms on the ground, flex your right foot, drawing your toes towards your shin. Begin to let your right knee draw outwards toward the right, rolling to the outside edge of your right foot. Make sure to keep your foot flexed to protect the ankle and the knee.
1. From the outer hip variation, with your back knee lowered, reach back with your right hand and take hold of the back foot. Begin to draw your foot towards your buttocks as your hips move forward.
2. Open your heart towards the sky and lean back towards the left.
3. Breathe at any stage or variation of the pose for 5-10 breaths, then step back to Downward Facing Dog Pose. Repeat on other side.
(Not my photos)