It's the season! Whether you are deep cleaning closets, or raking old leaves from the flower beds, the urge to welcome spring with a fresh start shows itself everywhere. The same practices go for our bodies.
After a winter of limited movement huddled against the weather, you might feel the urge to get moving and start a new fitness program. Doing hip opening yoga poses that stretch the tight muscles in the hips is a rejuvenating practice that releases old tension and emotional obstacles held in the body, just like I talked about in the March newsletter.
But what does accessible mean? In this context, accessible means that hip openers can be practiced by everyone, regardless of ability level, body type, or range of motion limitations. Often people look at yoga poses and immediately decide that they are “not bendy enough” for that practice. Using props like blocks, bolsters, straps, and chairs, hip opening yoga poses can be made available to everyone.
Let’s review six common poses over the next two weeks with variations and props. Today is Day 1, and we are practicing Bound Angle Pose.
Bound Angle Pose
Bound angle pose is a lovely hip opener that is performed with knees bent and soles of the feet together. There are many variations to make this pose comfortable while still getting the hip opening benefits. The spine can be upright, straight, or curved forward, and the feet can be any distance away from the body. Check out the pictures featured here, and see which variation is right for you!
Chair: sit towards the front of the chair. Place the soles of the fee together, and open the knees apart. Hinge forward slightly with a straight spine, or relax forward with a curved spine. Look for the stretch sensation in this inner things. Prop the feet on blocks for a more intense stretch.
Mat: Sit upright on a folded blanket or bolster. Place the feet a comfortable distance from the body and feel into the stretch in the inner thigh. Options for the forward fold are to 1.) Stay upright with a straight spine 2.) Keep the spine straight and hinge forward with a flat back 3.) Relax forward with a curved spine.
Reclined/Restorative: Lie down on the mat, bring the feet together, and open the knees to the side. Make sure the tailbone is curved slightly upward and the lower back is snuggled against the mat. Open the knees to the side and find the sensation of stretch in the inner thighs. Move the feet closer to for further away from the body until you find the best experience of stretch. Once you find it, prop a block or folded blanket under each knee to keep the hips from over stretching.
I want to share with you the yoga I practice, teach, and live.