7 Beginner Friendly Yoga Poses for Hip Strength and Stability

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Many if not most yoga practices focus on increasing flexibility and mobility, but when it comes to our hips it is equally important to ensure they are strong and stable. This strength will in turn increase your practice over time.

SIGN UP FOR MY **FREE** 7 DAY YIN YOGA IMMERSION PROGRAM TO IMPROVE FLEXIBILITY!

Many if not most yoga practices focus on increasing flexibility and mobility, but when it comes to our hips it is equally important to ensure they are strong and stable. This strength will in turn increase your practice over time.

If you are a beginner, it is great to get in to this habit right from the get go. For those more advanced, in their practice it's never too late.

These 7 poses will have you engaging your adductors and mobilizing all of the hip.

If hip strength is something you particularly need to work on, give my Yoga with Blocks practice a go this week as well.

Grab 1 block, roll out your mat and let's get to it.

1. Bridge - Lay down on your back. Set your feet flat on the mat. Take the feet wide, and drop the knees together. Bring your hands to your belly or your hip bones. Take a few grounding breaths here, as you scan how your hips, low back and abdominals are feeling now. Narrow your feet back to hip width, and walk the feet in close to the sit bones. Grab your block and place it in between the upper thighs. Keeping this block in place by squeezing will not only start to strengthen your hips but also increase stability in your pelvis. Let the arms rest at your sides. Push in to your feet, curl your tailbone down and lift the hips up inch by inch. The low and mid back will lift. Keep squeezing the block to hug in to the midline. Keep the belly engaged. Push the heels down in to the mat, while also drawing them backward. Your upper body doesn't need to be working here, instead let your shoulders and torso relax. Take 5 or so breaths here, then lower the hips down inch by inch. Remove the block, setting it off to the side. Push in to the heels and lift back up. Lean your weight in to the right leg and extend the left leg up. Don't let the pelvis dip down, or collapse to one side or the other. As you inhale push and reach through the lifted toes. As you exhale, drop and hover the hips. Do 5 rounds of this, and then switch legs.

2. Reclined Pigeon - Lower the hips down from bridge. Cross your right ankle over the left knee. Flex the foot. Reach through with your arms and pull the left knee in toward the belly. Though this practice isn't focusing on flexibility, it is always important to open the hips in order to make other poses easier to get into. Find your breath as you hold here. Relaxing the upper body, using the arms only to hold the leg in place. Evenly distribute the weight through both sides. Take 5 deep breaths in this pose, then switch to the other side.


3. Knee lifts - Come in to table top pose. Set the knees up under the hips and the hands underneath the shoulders. Push in to the hands to keep your elbows straight, and also find a neutral spine. Lift your right knee, opening it out to the side (yes, like a puppy peeing on a fire hydrant). Notice if your weight is rocking more to the left side, or if you're collapsing to that side. Squeeze and lift the knee higher on your inhale. As you exhale, drop the knee down, but keep it hovering. Do 5 rounds of this.

4. Gate Pose - Straighten your right leg out to the side, and lower the toes down to the ground. Your ankle, knee and hip should all be in one line. Lift up the torso. Slide the right hand down the right leg. Left arm reaches up and over as you take a side bend, lengthening out the side waist. Lifting back up, bring the left hand down to the floor. Reach the right arm straight up to the sky. Squeeze in to the glutes, and lift your right leg up off of the floor (like a modified side plank). Set your right foot down and then return to table top.

Repeat 3 and 4 on the other side.

5. Downward Dog - Return to table top. Grab hold of the block and place it between your upper inner thighs. Tuck your toes underneath and lift the hips up to come in to downward facing dog. Often in this pose it can feel like your legs are widening away from each other. Use the block to instead feel them actively engaging to the midline. Bend your knees as much as needed. Curl your tailbone towards the sky, and let the neck soften. Keep hugging the block in place as you take tiny steps, bringing the feet forward to the hands and finding a forward fold. Keep the block in place still as you bend your knees, sink the hips and lift up in to chair. Bring the hands to the heart. After a few breaths remove the block and straighten the legs to standing.

6. Tree - From standing, lean your weight in to the right leg. Lift your left foot, bringing it somewhere on the inside of the left leg (ankle, shin, or thigh - avoiding the knee). Don't drop your weight in to the right leg and hip, you won't have any strength this way. Instead feel your right leg pushing against your left foot, everything squeezing to the midline. From here find more height. Squeeze the left knee open. Your right knee and toes stay pointing forward. Keep everything level and engaged. Bring your hands together at the heart, or extend your arms up overhead. Stay balancing on your right leg, as you extend your left leg in front of you. Then step the left leg back behind you, coming in to high lunge.

7. Warrior - As you find the lunge, imagine you are still hugging your block in to the midline with your thighs. Tilt your pelvis and bring your hips underneath the shoulders. Open up in to Warrior 2, bringing the heel down and spinning the toes out so that the back foot is parallel to the shorter edge of the mat. Arms open up in the same direction as your legs. Dig your heels in to the mat. As you sink down further, push the right knee open. Reverse your arms, bringing left hand to back leg and reaching the front arm up to the sky. Finding a back bend. Inhale back to center. Straighten the front leg, walking the back leg in a couple of inches. Send your hips back as you slide your front hand down the front leg, and reaching the other up to the sky for triangle pose.

Take a vinyasa, ending in downward dog. From there repeat 5-7 on the other side.

Want more hip strengthening and stabilizing poses? Follow along with the full practice video below.



Namaste,
Kassandra

Please do subscribe to my YouTube channel




☮ Website: http://www.yogawithkassandra.com ☮ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kryoga ☮ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yoga_with_k... ❤ Your donations help me improve my channel and the quality of my videos, thank you! http://bit.ly/ywkdonate Yoga with Kassandra - Disclaimer Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.
Many if not most yoga practices focus on increasing flexibility and mobility, but when it comes to our hips it is equally important to ensure they are strong and stable. This strength will in turn increase your practice over time.

SIGN UP FOR MY **FREE** 7 DAY YIN YOGA IMMERSION PROGRAM TO IMPROVE FLEXIBILITY!

Many if not most yoga practices focus on increasing flexibility and mobility, but when it comes to our hips it is equally important to ensure they are strong and stable. This strength will in turn increase your practice over time.

If you are a beginner, it is great to get in to this habit right from the get go. For those more advanced, in their practice it's never too late.

These 7 poses will have you engaging your adductors and mobilizing all of the hip.

If hip strength is something you particularly need to work on, give my Yoga with Blocks practice a go this week as well.

Grab 1 block, roll out your mat and let's get to it.

1. Bridge - Lay down on your back. Set your feet flat on the mat. Take the feet wide, and drop the knees together. Bring your hands to your belly or your hip bones. Take a few grounding breaths here, as you scan how your hips, low back and abdominals are feeling now. Narrow your feet back to hip width, and walk the feet in close to the sit bones. Grab your block and place it in between the upper thighs. Keeping this block in place by squeezing will not only start to strengthen your hips but also increase stability in your pelvis. Let the arms rest at your sides. Push in to your feet, curl your tailbone down and lift the hips up inch by inch. The low and mid back will lift. Keep squeezing the block to hug in to the midline. Keep the belly engaged. Push the heels down in to the mat, while also drawing them backward. Your upper body doesn't need to be working here, instead let your shoulders and torso relax. Take 5 or so breaths here, then lower the hips down inch by inch. Remove the block, setting it off to the side. Push in to the heels and lift back up. Lean your weight in to the right leg and extend the left leg up. Don't let the pelvis dip down, or collapse to one side or the other. As you inhale push and reach through the lifted toes. As you exhale, drop and hover the hips. Do 5 rounds of this, and then switch legs.

2. Reclined Pigeon - Lower the hips down from bridge. Cross your right ankle over the left knee. Flex the foot. Reach through with your arms and pull the left knee in toward the belly. Though this practice isn't focusing on flexibility, it is always important to open the hips in order to make other poses easier to get into. Find your breath as you hold here. Relaxing the upper body, using the arms only to hold the leg in place. Evenly distribute the weight through both sides. Take 5 deep breaths in this pose, then switch to the other side.


3. Knee lifts - Come in to table top pose. Set the knees up under the hips and the hands underneath the shoulders. Push in to the hands to keep your elbows straight, and also find a neutral spine. Lift your right knee, opening it out to the side (yes, like a puppy peeing on a fire hydrant). Notice if your weight is rocking more to the left side, or if you're collapsing to that side. Squeeze and lift the knee higher on your inhale. As you exhale, drop the knee down, but keep it hovering. Do 5 rounds of this.

4. Gate Pose - Straighten your right leg out to the side, and lower the toes down to the ground. Your ankle, knee and hip should all be in one line. Lift up the torso. Slide the right hand down the right leg. Left arm reaches up and over as you take a side bend, lengthening out the side waist. Lifting back up, bring the left hand down to the floor. Reach the right arm straight up to the sky. Squeeze in to the glutes, and lift your right leg up off of the floor (like a modified side plank). Set your right foot down and then return to table top.

Repeat 3 and 4 on the other side.

5. Downward Dog - Return to table top. Grab hold of the block and place it between your upper inner thighs. Tuck your toes underneath and lift the hips up to come in to downward facing dog. Often in this pose it can feel like your legs are widening away from each other. Use the block to instead feel them actively engaging to the midline. Bend your knees as much as needed. Curl your tailbone towards the sky, and let the neck soften. Keep hugging the block in place as you take tiny steps, bringing the feet forward to the hands and finding a forward fold. Keep the block in place still as you bend your knees, sink the hips and lift up in to chair. Bring the hands to the heart. After a few breaths remove the block and straighten the legs to standing.

6. Tree - From standing, lean your weight in to the right leg. Lift your left foot, bringing it somewhere on the inside of the left leg (ankle, shin, or thigh - avoiding the knee). Don't drop your weight in to the right leg and hip, you won't have any strength this way. Instead feel your right leg pushing against your left foot, everything squeezing to the midline. From here find more height. Squeeze the left knee open. Your right knee and toes stay pointing forward. Keep everything level and engaged. Bring your hands together at the heart, or extend your arms up overhead. Stay balancing on your right leg, as you extend your left leg in front of you. Then step the left leg back behind you, coming in to high lunge.

7. Warrior - As you find the lunge, imagine you are still hugging your block in to the midline with your thighs. Tilt your pelvis and bring your hips underneath the shoulders. Open up in to Warrior 2, bringing the heel down and spinning the toes out so that the back foot is parallel to the shorter edge of the mat. Arms open up in the same direction as your legs. Dig your heels in to the mat. As you sink down further, push the right knee open. Reverse your arms, bringing left hand to back leg and reaching the front arm up to the sky. Finding a back bend. Inhale back to center. Straighten the front leg, walking the back leg in a couple of inches. Send your hips back as you slide your front hand down the front leg, and reaching the other up to the sky for triangle pose.

Take a vinyasa, ending in downward dog. From there repeat 5-7 on the other side.

Want more hip strengthening and stabilizing poses? Follow along with the full practice video below.



Namaste,
Kassandra

Please do subscribe to my YouTube channel




☮ Website: http://www.yogawithkassandra.com ☮ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kryoga ☮ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yoga_with_k... ❤ Your donations help me improve my channel and the quality of my videos, thank you! http://bit.ly/ywkdonate Yoga with Kassandra - Disclaimer Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.
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Yoga - Food - Wine - Culture
How would you like to spend a week in the South of France with me?
I have a brand new retreat on September 7-14, 2019 and would love for you to join me!
This retreat is for the yogi who enjoys the finer things in life... The Chateau is located in France’s best kept secret, the Dordogne Pourpre region, which is renowned for it’s gastronomy and wine. You can expect a week filled with cultural excursions that showcase the best of what the region has to offer as well as some fun yoga classes and mouth-watering food.
We will have some wonderful excursions throughout the week to make the most of our time in this beautiful region. We'll explore caves and castles and even go on an old-fashioned truffle hunt!
Mornings will begin with a yoga and meditation practice either on the outdoor platform or the indoor yoga room. All mats and props are provided so you can pack light!
I've scheduled quite a bit of free time during this retreat so that you can enjoy your stay and make the most of what the chateau has to offer. You'll find a heated swimming pool, a hard surface tennis court, an orchard with loads of cherry, plum, apricot, peach, apple, walnut and pear trees; and an enclosed rock garden with bubbling fountain behind the pool area.
This is a retreat I've been planning for a very long time and I'm so excited to be able to invite you along!
There's a lot more I could tell you about this retreat but I want to keep this post short and sweet. You can find prices, itinerary and tons of other photos on my website.
I have a feeling spots will go fast for this one..
PS - For those of you who can't make it to this retreat, I'll be announcing a Costa Rica one for November 2019 in a month or so :)

SIGN UP FOR MY **FREE** 7 DAY YIN YOGA IMMERSION PROGRAM TO IMPROVE FLEXIBILITY!

We talk a lot about hip flexibility in yoga but one thing that's often overlooked is hip strength! Having hips that are strong and stable will help you heal as well as prevent injuries. Flexibility is great but it needs to be balanced with stability to be truly effective! Another great practice to do for hip strength is my Yoga with Blocks class here: https://youtu.be/4bTNVSGP3BE ❤️ Join my YWK Student Community on Facebook! http://bit.ly/ywkfbgroup You will need one block for this practice and we'll be exploring poses like tree, bridge, crescent lunge, locust and many more. This is a 35 minute hatha yoga class suitable for all experience levels!

PS - On Saturday in Lunar Yoga we are beginning a brand new theme of Play & Adventure and I would love for you to join us! We'll also be reading a new book for the book club which is Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Practice some New Moon & Full Moon flows with meditations, journaling exercises, guest interviews, live group calls and so much more.

Learn more about Lunar Yoga by CLICKING HERE.



Namaste,
Kassandra

Please do subscribe to my YouTube channel




☮ Website: http://www.yogawithkassandra.com ☮ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kryoga ☮ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yoga_with_k... ❤ Your donations help me improve my channel and the quality of my videos, thank you! http://bit.ly/ywkdonate Yoga with Kassandra - Disclaimer Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.
As a practice, yin is typically very prop heavy. But there are many times when you may not have all of the props available to you, or want to pack light, but still get your practice in.

SIGN UP FOR MY **FREE** 7 DAY YIN YOGA IMMERSION PROGRAM TO IMPROVE FLEXIBILITY!

As a practice, yin is typically very prop heavy. But there are many times when you may not have all of the props available to you, or want to pack light, but still get your practice in.

That's where the following sequence comes to the rescue. These are 7 deep and delicious stretches you can do with zero props, to keep your practice going strong wherever you are.

 Yin yoga is held for a few minutes per pose. Find your edge. Find your version of the shape that allows you to feel sensations, but isn't hard to hold or to breathe.

Roll out your mat if you have one, and let's get stretching.
1. Wide-Legged Child's Pose - From hands and knees, bring the big toes together and take the knees as wide as you would like. Know that the wider the knees, the more intense the pose will be. Walk your hands out in front of you, and ease down to the ground. If your forehead doesn't quite reach the floor, I would typically suggest placing a block underneath for support, but in this case if you need to modify, put your hands or fists under the forehead instead. Find the form of the pose that works best for your body today, it may vary day to day. Relax fully as you melt the chest to the mat and sink hips to the heels. After a few moments, push in to the palms, and walk the hands in inch by inch to come up.

2. Toe Squat - Lean on to the knees and curl your toes underneath. Sit back on your heels. You may need to move your baby toes out of the way. Option 1 is to keep your hands on your thighs here, or choose to add on a chest opener. To get in to the chest, bring your hands behind you and either clasp opposite elbows, or take reverse prayer. This is quite an intense pose, especially if you often wear heels or really constricting footwear. Breathe in to this intense sensation. After holding for 2-3 minutes, release your hands and bring them forward to the ground in front of you. Untuck the toes, stretching them back and then rolling the ankles out before moving on. *Note that in the picture I am using a blanket as I'm recovering from a knee injury and need a bit of extra padding still. This is always open to you.

3. Head to Knee - Also known as half Butterfly. From a seated position, extend your right leg out in front of you. Bring the left foot to the inside of your right thigh. Keep a micro bend in the extended leg. Lift and lengthen through the spine as you ground down through your sit bones. Start to hinge at the hips, dropping the nose towards the knee. As this is a passive forward fold, let gravity do the work of bringing you deeper into the posture. Avoid the temptation to push and pull by turning the palms up towards the sky. Let your head hang and be heavy. Typically I would place a block under the head if it doesn't reach the leg, but instead let yourself soften and notice if the lack of prop actually allows you to get deeper here. After a few moments, engage your arms and slowly lift your upper body back up. Switch sides.

4. Sphinx Pose - Make your way on to the belly. Bring your forearms and hands flat to the ground, shoulder width apart. Point your toes back behind you. Lift the chin and the chest up, opening the collarbone. Think of pushing the arm bones back. Lengthen the crown of the head up, reach the tailbone toward the heels, and stretch through the front body. If you find the back bend is too intense and feel any pinching, walk the elbows forward to lessen it.

5. Reclined Pigeon - Flip over on to your back. Bend your knees and bring the feet flat to the floor. Cross your right ankle over top of the left knee. Flex your right foot and feel your right thigh move away from the body. You are looking for a stretch in to the right glute and right hip here. This might already be enough for you today, in which case you can stay here with the left foot down. Or you may choose to reach through the legs and hug the left knee in towards the belly. Keep the head and shoulders heavy on the floor, using only the slightest amount of arm strength.

6. Laying Spinal Twist - Lower the left foot down to the floor, and cross the right thigh all the way over the left. Push in to your left foot to lift the hips up and shift them a couple of inches to the right. Drop your knees to the left side. Open your arms out in to a T or cactus shape, grounding your right shoulder in to the floor. If the twist is too intense, unwrap your legs and stack one leg on top of the other.

Repeat 5 and 6 on the opposite side.


7. Savasana - Time to come in to your final resting pose, but before you do feel free to take any last little movements. Lower and length the arms and legs. Letting the toes drop out to the sides, and turning the palms up to the sky. Let the eyes close. Take a moment to scan through the body and notice how you feel now as opposed to when you started this sequence. Has any tension disappeared? Be heavy on the ground as you enjoy a last few moments of deep relaxation and rest.

Prefer to be guided through the transitions, follow along for the full 40 minute practice video below.


Namaste,
Kassandra

Please do subscribe to my YouTube channel




☮ Website: http://www.yogawithkassandra.com ☮ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kryoga ☮ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yoga_with_k... ❤ Your donations help me improve my channel and the quality of my videos, thank you! http://bit.ly/ywkdonate Yoga with Kassandra - Disclaimer Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.
🎇 Download my NEW August Yoga Calendar 🎇 http://bit.ly/augustflow

Hey yogis, I got a great request recently to put together a yin yoga class that wouldn't utilize any props. As you most likely know, yin yoga tends to be quite prop intensive using blocks, straps, bolsters, blankets and many other items that you might not always have around.

If you're travelling or just low on props, this yin yoga class will take you through a 40 minute sequence you can do without equipment! Of course, I'm a big lover of props so always recommend having them close by, but this is a nice class to do in a pinch :)




By the way, today is Day 2 of our Ready, Set, Flow August Yoga Challenge! It's not too late to join..
Download my August Yoga Calendar 😍 http://bit.ly/ywkchallenges



Thanks for watching, please remember to subscribe!
Kassandra

Please do subscribe to my YouTube channel





☮ Website: http://www.yogawithkassandra.com ☮ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kryoga ☮ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yoga_with_k... ❤ Your donations help me improve my channel and the quality of my videos, thank you! http://bit.ly/ywkdonate Yoga with Kassandra - Disclaimer Please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. By participating in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Yoga with Kassandra from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Yoga with Kassandra’s negligence.
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