Here are 3 simple yoga stretches that may help to improve the flexibility and movement in your hip muscles and buttocks. You can also use these gentle stretches to promote relaxation in the body. Feel free to hold each stretch for about 20-30 seconds (or as long as it is comfortable for you). During each stretch, you may combine it with slow and deep relaxing belly breaths (read my blog post How to: Belly Breathing, to read more about the belly breathing I am referring to). I usually hold my stretches for about 6-8 deep belly breaths and repeat them 2-4 times.
Please read: You should not feel any discomfort or pain. Stop if anything feels uncomfortable for you. Do not go beyond your body’s limit (the stretch that you do may look different from how it looks when I do it and that’s okay). Do not attempt these stretches if you have a knee injury because the degree of knee bending involved in these poses may not be appropriate for your knees. If you are combining your stretches with belly breathing, stop if you ever feel lightheaded or dizzy. If you are unsure about these stretches or have any questions, remember to consult a registered physiotherapist before trying them. Otherwise, I hope that you can relax and enjoy these stretches! 🙂
1) Pigeon Pose Tips: try to keep your hips and shoulders square; use extra padding under your hips/buttocks for comfort if needed (i.e. a blanket); depending on how tight you are, it may be difficult bending forward so do not push beyond your body’s limit.
2) Fire Log Pose Tips: Keep your spine long. Stack one leg over the other. If able to, bring the ankle of your leg on top outside the knee of your bottom leg to get a better stretch. An alternate pose to this one is “Easy seat” and you can achieve this by sitting with your shins crossed.
3) Figure-4 Stretch (or Supine Pigeon) Tips (based on this photo): cross ankle of left leg over right knee. Gently draw right leg closer to your body to feel a stretch in your outer left hip. Keep left ankle/toes flexed.
Also, I wanted to wish all of my readers a safe and joyful holiday season and happy new year! Blog posts are planned to resume the week of January 7, 2019. See you all next year! 😀