Tag Archives: hip stretches

5 Ways to add shoulder opening to your hip opening poses

Two birds, one stone. Stretching both muscle groups at the same time will give you twice the benefits!

Also, it’s a good way to break any patterns or habits you may have developed in your practice. If you are a yogi that practices 3+ times a week, please don’t be afraid to break out your own remixes of the poses presented. Trust me, the teacher wants you to do what feels good and benefits you, even if it doesn’t look like what your neighbor is doing. It’s easy to go on auto pilot, especially in forward folds. I am frankly OVER yanking my hamstrings into folds 20x a class! Switch it up and give your shoulders some love in these hip openers!

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Bound high lunge. It’s not all about bound side angle pose all the time! You can do this variation with your heal up or down in a bound ‘Warrior VI’ or ‘Flying Warrior’ as some call it pose.

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Prasarita Padotanasana Cherry Picker. I love this variation, instead of just hanging down or yanking on your feet to stretch your hamstrings, this stretches your shoulders and gives you a new way to open the back body. The resistance you get when you walk your hands back behind you will make your traps and deltoids sing.

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Twisted Janu Sirsasana. I must thank my teacher Silvia Mordini for teaching me this unique variation of one legged forward fold. It’s hard to see in the photo, but this is actually a twist that you will immediately in the outer muscles of your back. Use the hand and arm not touching your foot as leverage to twist further. Further the stretch by softly bending the outstretched leg and twisting further.

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Starfish fold. This variation of Badha konasana is mostly practiced in Jivamukti classes, but this is my new favorite fold! This is a super passive fold that feels great at the end of practice, especially one heavy in back bends and heart opening.

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Bowing Balasana. This variation of child’s pose feels great in the muscles of your upper back and shoulders. To intensify, walk the elbows forward as much as possible.

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Asana of the Week: Hanumanasana-Splits

Silvia Mordini in Hanumanasana- www.silviamordini.com

My beautiful mentor Silvia Mordini in Hanumanasana- http://www.silviamordini.com

It isn’t until recently that the splits, hanumanasana, has been something that I thought was available to me. I have been taking classes recently where the peak pose is splits, or your attempt at splits. The sequences leading up to the splits are all intelligently crafted to open your hips, quads, glutes, etc. That is what I love about ‘intelligent vinyasa’ that I am learning in teacher training; it sets you up for success.

Make sure you are very warm, and loosy goosey in your hip flexors before you attempt hanumanasana. From half splits, I inch my front foot forward as far as it will go, then I take my back leg back and prop myself up on blocks. Hold like this for as long as you can, relax into the stretch and your muscles will release more. Sometimes I prop my legs up on the blocks, sometimes I put them underneath my hands next to me and hold myself up.

I like this video tutorial.

I’d love to see a cool splits picture on your blog if it’s in your practice! Comment a link and I’ll compile a post of our awesome accomplishments!

Give it a try! I’ll let you know my progress soon!

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