A wonderful hip opener, if you do this daily through September your hips will be so much freer!
Begin lying on your back.
Bring your kneees into chest.
Raise the feet into the air so that the you are making a square shape, knees dropping into armpits, soles of the feet facing the ceiling.
Reach for the outside of your feet with your hands, draw the legs down a little deeper. Try to keep the tailbone on the floor.
If you cannot comfortably reach the outside edge of your feet try reaching for the inside or consider using a belt around the balls of the feet.
Hold for 5-10 deep breaths.
You can also raise the head on an exhale, lower on an inhale and work your core.
This is a challenging pose for many of us. But with practice you will soon see and feel the benefits of the stretch in the hamstrings and the freedom that this gives enabling us to twist more deeply.
Begin on all fours in Down Dog.
Spread the fingers and push the backs of the knuckles into the earth.
Bend the right knee and reach for the right ankle or as low down as you can with your left hand. If you can start to straighten the right leg and this will revolve your body to the right. Gaze is under right armpit.
Hold for 5-10 deep breaths, repeat on the other side.
Take a Child’s Pose.
Thank you to Paula for modelling it so beautifully for us.
This is a great pose for developing a smooth transition in Sun Salutations.
Begin on all fours with straight but not locked arms.
Spread the fingers (middle finger in line with long edge of mat) and push the backs of the knuckles into the earth.
Keeping the elbows as close to the body as possible drop chest to the earth, resting chin on earth and gaze ahead.
Hold for 5-10 deep breaths.
Come into Cobra or back to Child’s Pose.
I have only just found this delightful variation of Revolved Head to Knee Pose and wanted to share it with you.
Begin in Dandasana (sitting tall with legs out in front of you).
Bend the left knee back and reach under the left leg for your ankle (or as far as you can) with your right hand. It is best if the right elbow makes contact with the floor but if it doesn’t don’t worry.
Breath in and stretch the left arm up and as you breath out try to catch your big toe with your peace fingers (consider using a belt to assist).
As you settle into the pose allow yourself to rotate more and more to the left each time you breathe out. You should get a wonderful stretch in the left side body and also in the hamstrings of the right leg.
Hold for 5-10 deep breaths before repeating on the other side
Thank you Heather for modelling this so gracefully.
A wonderful hip opener as shown here by the lovely Fran.
Start sitting cross-legged with the sit bones making good connection to the earth.
Lift the right leg encouraging it to feel loose and floppy and aim to cradle it just as gently as if you were rocking a baby. If you can’t bring your arm all the way around then hold at the knee and foot. If it is more comfortable bring the left leg out straight. Try to keep the back upright and the foot flexed.
Repeat on the other side for 10 deep breaths.
This a great mobilising stretch, try doing it before class starts!
Revolved Head to Knee Pose is a deep seated twist that stretches the whole body, and strengthens your legs and core. It’s a powerful variation of the forward fold, (Janusirasana) that deepens the stretch to the hamstrings and spine, while providing all of the benefits of a spinal twist.
Your body needs to be warm to do this pose so make sure you do some Sun Salutations or other warm ups first.
Benefits of Revolved Head-of-Knee Pose:
Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana stretches the hamstrings, spine, shoulders, lower back, and the sides of the abdomen. It provides a spinal twist that massages and stimulates your digestive organs, which helps to improve digestion. This pose also calms the mind, relieving anxiety, fatigue, and mild depression. It is also known to be therapeutic for headaches and insomnia.
Thank you to Maria for not only posing for this but smiling too!
This is a brilliant pose for opening the hips and stretching the IT band. One of my favourites!
Start on all fours.
Bring your left foot forward and allow both hands to twist to the right.
Turn onto the blade edge of your left foot to increase the intensity of the pose.
If you want to raise the right knee off the floor you should keep the leg and strong with the back of the knee pushing up to the ceiling. If that is too intense rein it back in and place the knee back on the floor.
Hold here for at least ten deep breaths before repeating on the other side.