The aim of this session is to follow a sequence of hip opening poses, starting with some standing asana and then following on with several seated postures which will continue with that focus.
Working into the hips has an effect on the knees and ankles. Knees and ankles in turn also affect the hips. And having freedom in the lower body will support the spine and the upper trunk too.
After lying back in Supta Baddha Konasana, move into basic Uttanasana and Adho Mukha Svanasana. From Tadasana take the arms into Gomukhasana to open the shoulders in preparation for Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Full Arm Balance) and Pincha Mayurasana (Elbow Balance).
Using the wall for support as needed, go to Vrksasana, Utthita Hasta Padangustasana 2 and 1 with the upper foot on a chair back, Garudasana (Eagle Pose) and finish with Ardha Chandrasana, back foot to the wall to help with balance and to maximise the opening across the pelvis and the lift of the back leg.
Sirsasana preparation with block or full Sirsasana follows.
Come to sitting on the floor and set up in Vajrasana (feet together), Virasana (feet apart with brick or blanket support under the buttocks), Gomukhasana preparation and full pose, Baddha Konasana and Upavistha Konasana. Notice that some hip work is done by drawing the legs closer and some by opening the hips and knees outwards. In between each pose, you come back into Dandasana to feel the full flush of fresh circulation through the legs.
Finish with the twist Bharadvajasana and then set up for Setu Bandha with the buttocks/sacrum supported on one upright block.
Then come down into Virasana forward, and release the back further with a simple cross-leg twist.
Savasana concludes your practice by helping you to come to neutrality and to experience in that quietness the body and the mind at the end of the session.
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You are welcome to download the PDF of the sequence and print and distribute it freely. You may have to wait up to 30 seconds for the PDF to generate. Please credit the teacher who created it. All illustrations from Dona Holleman’s ‘Yoga Darśana’, RIMYI Institute texts and Yoga Vastu illustrators for original asana drawings.