Do you hold a lot of tension in the inner thighs? You might not even realize it until you start to stretch.
Personally I’ve been horseback riding every day and this area is overworked. My fellow equestrians you will really enjoy this sequence. But I believe this one is truly great for everyone.
These 6 poses will target the adductors, and the groin. Hold each one of them for about 3 to 4 minutes.
No props required, but as with any yin practice you might want to have whatever props (blocks, bolsters, blankets) available.
- Child’s Pose – Start kneeling. Bring the big toes together and knees wide. The wider the knees the more intense throughout. Lower the forehead down to the ground, with the arms extended forward. Pressing the hips to the heels and lengthen the back. Let gravity take you deeper.
2. Frog Pose – Start from table top, maybe turning to the longer edge of your mat. Widen the legs, keeping hips in line with the knees. Flex the feet so the toes point out. Pad knees is needed (turning to the long edge of the mat and folding it over is a great way to do this if you don’t have extra props). Melt the upper body down. Maybe supporting the chest or forehead. This is an intense pose, so make sure you are not going past your edge. Lightly engage the belly. Slightly lengthen the tailbone to make sure you’re not collapsing the low back.
3. Deer Pose – Start seated, facing the top of the mat. Bring the right shin parallel to the top of the mat, right knee at 90 degrees. Bring the left shin back in line with the long edge of the mat, also making a 90 degree angle with that knee. Flex into both feet. Getting an internal rotation in the left hip. Bring the hands back behind you so you’re on a diagonal. Either stay on palms, lower to some props or recline to the forearms. Remember less is more. After holding for 3 to 4 minutes, ease out slowly. Maybe taking some windshield wiper motions with the legs before repeating on the other side.
4. Straddle Fold – From seated, open the legs wide as appropriate. Feel the pelvis tilt forward. You can bend in the knees, but keep toes and knees pointing up. Start folding down in the center, rounding through the spine. Support the forehead if needed.
5. Happy Baby – Lower down on the back. Draw the knees into the chest, opening towards the shoulders. Stay here, or grab the calves, ankles or big toes. Stack the ankles over the knees. Pull the thighs down. Keep the entire spine down on the mat. Strive to relax the legs completely. Only a bit of strength in arms holding them up.
6. Reclined Butterfly – Bring the soles together and drop the knees apart. Supporting the knees if you want. Maybe bring the arms overhead to lengthen the spine and provide a gentle opening through the chest and shoulders. Play with how close or far the knees are.
These 6 poses come from a 40 minute intermediate yin practice I shared on both YouTube and my app. Check it out below.