For hip flexors and glutes
Take deep breaths to help yourself sink deeper into the stretch.
Outer Hip Stretch
- Lay on the floor on your back
- Cross the right foot over the left knee, keeping the right knee bent
- Use your left hand to pull the right knee across your body
- Hold for between 10 and 30 seconds
- Sit on the floor with your legs in front of you.
- Bend your knees so they are slightly wider than your shoulders. Plant your feet slightly wider than your knees, with your toes pointing out to the sides.
- Lower your torso in between your knees, and place your hands on the floor. If you're more flexible, place your forearms on the floor. Relax your shoulders away from your ears, and try not to let your feet slip away from your body.
- Stay here for 30 seconds, and then sit up to release.
- Sit on the floor, bend both knees, and bring your feet together. Using your hands, open your feet up like a book, pressing your knees toward the floor with your elbows. If you want more of a stretch, extend your arms out in front of you.
- Stay here for five breaths.
Half Happy Baby
- Lie flat on your back. Bend the left knee and hold onto the outside edge of your flexed foot with your left hand. Keep your left arm on the outside of your leg.
- Gently use your upper body strength to press the left knee to the floor below your armpit. Try not to tense your shoulder or chest, but keep everything relaxed.
- Stay like this for five deep breaths, and then switch legs.
- Then do both legs together for another five breaths.
- Sit with your right knee bent and your left leg extended straight behind you. If your hips are flexible, inch your right foot away from you. Make sure your left hip is always pointing down toward the mat. If it begins to open up toward the ceiling, draw your right foot back in toward your body.
- Rest your hands on your hips or walk your hands out in front of you, allowing your torso to rest over your right knee.
- Hold here for five breaths, and then repeat Pigeon on the left side.
Open Up Tight Hips
- Begin lying flat on your back. Bend both knees, and hold the outside edges of your flexed feet with your hands. Keep your arms on the outsides of your legs.
- Gently use your upper-body strength to equally press both knees to the floor below your armpits. Try not to tense your shoulders or chest, but keep everything relaxed.
- Stay here for five deep breaths.
Extended Wide Squat
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips. Bend your knees, and lower your hips down toward the ground. If your heels don't touch the ground, roll up a towel or the back of your mat, and place it under your heels for support.
- Bring your palms together at your heart center, and firmly press your elbows against the inside of your knees. This will help to open your hips even further.
- After five breaths, release the hands to the floor and walk them away from your feet to increase the stretch in the hips and lower back. Hold for another five breaths.
- Come into a lunge position with your right knee forward. Lower your left knee to the floor, and rest your hands on the ground under your shoulders.
- Slowly lower your right knee to the right so you're resting on the outside of your right flexed foot. Keep your arms straight, pressing your chest forward to increase the stretch.
- Hold like this for five breaths, and then repeat on the left side.
Head to Knee
- Sit on the ground with your legs out in front of you. Bend your right knee, and pull the sole of your foot against your left inner thigh.
- Sitting with a tall spine, reach both hands to your left foot, and stack your torso on top of your left thigh. If you can't reach your hands to your foot, rest your hands on your shin or knee. Try not to round your back.
- Stay here for at least five breaths, relaxing your shoulders away from your ears. Then do the other side.
- Sit with your right knee bent and your left leg extended behind you. Pull the right heel in toward your left hip, or if your hips are more open, inch your right foot away from you. Make sure your left hip is always pointing down toward the mat. If it begins to open up toward the ceiling, draw your right foot back in toward your body.
- Stay here with your hands resting on your right thigh or your hips, or walk your hands out in front of you, allowing your torso to rest over your right knee. Hold here, breathing into any areas of tightness and tension for at least five breaths.
- Repeat this pose with the left knee bent.