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This is a quick little yoga flow that you can do to increase your hip mobility, and overall flexibility. There is quite a bit of movement in these 7 poses and sequences, and they will work your hip joints in all ways.
Without further ado, roll out your mat and have 2 blocks handy.
1. Reclined Butterfly Pose – Come to laying on your back. Bring the soles together to touch, then drop the knees out to the sides. If the knees are lifted, or you feel any discomfort in your low back or hips, you may opt to place blocks underneath the thighs. Place your hands where they are comfortable. Find some stillness here as you begin, connecting to the breath and bringing awareness to the body. Do a little body scan to notice any areas where you are experiencing tightness, stiffness, tension etc.
2. Half Happy Baby – Pull the right knee in towards the belly. You can stay here, or alternatively take it in to half happy baby. Grabbing the outer edge of the foot, or the big toe, flex the foot as you draw the knee towards the ground. Have the right elbow inside of the knee, pushing the knee out wider. You may opt to drop the opposite knee slightly towards the side. After a few breaths here, you can take it in to reclined pigeon, by crossing the right ankle over top of the left knee and flexing your foot. Then reach through with the hands to draw the legs in towards the belly.
Repeat 1 and 2 through on the other leg.
3. Table Top – Set up with the wrists under the shoulders and the knees underneath the hips. Start to trace big circles with the hips. Switching direction after a few rounds. Return to a neutral table top, then lift the right knee up. Open the knee out to the side, drop it down, then bring up through the midline – tracing circles. Keep the arms extended straight here, isolating the movement in to the right hip. Starting to work on your strength and stability in this pose.
4. Low Lunge – Step your right foot through between the hands at the top of your mat. Bring the blocks underneath your hands for extra lift. As you inhale, drop the pelvis down and lift your heart up in a little bit of a back bend. As you exhale, straighten your front leg. Flex the foot as you fold forward over the extended leg. Move fluidly back and forth between the two.
5. High Lunge – Tuck the back toes under, sweep the right leg up and back to three-legged dog. Bend your right knee and open up the hip. Trace big circles with the knee here. Taking note of any differences between the circles in table top versus downward dog. Then step your right foot through between the palms once more. This time keep the back knee lifted in high lunge. As you inhale, bend the knee and drop the pelvis. As you exhale, straighten the front leg and fold over coming in to a wider variation of pyramid pose. Repeat through a few times.
Take a vinyasa and then work through poses 3-5 on the other leg.
6. Rag-doll Forward Fold – Take your feet a bit wider than hip width. Bend your knees deeply, then clasp hold of opposite elbows. Sway gently side to side. Shake out the head, releasing the tension from the neck and upper back. Release the fingertips down to the ground, turn the toes out and heels in. Drop the hips down coming in to yogi squat. Bring the hands together at the heart as you open the knees wide and lift the crown of your head. As you inhale come in to the squat, as you exhale straighten the legs and fold over. Repeat a few times through.
7. Butterfly Forward Fold – Come down to a seat. Bring the soles of your feet together, and drop the knees out to the sides. You can hold on to the soles of the feet if that feels good. As you inhale, lift and lengthen the spine. Begin to tilt forward while keeping your back straight. When you come to a sticking point, release your arms, flip the palms up, and let your spine round. Surrender to gravity as you would in a yin pose. Relax your head, neck, shoulders and upper back.
Want to practice along with me for the quick 15 minute practice? Check out the YouTube video below.
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