This sequence aims primarily at working into the hips. The feet and legs are also important to be able to gain even access into the hip joints. Points, and the sequence itself, facilitate those connections.
Start in Supta Baddhakonasana, lying over a bolster or two folded blankets. For this session try placing the feet against the wall, to help keep the feet in close to open the hips more fully without using the belt.
Come up for Virasana forward, placing the wrists on the edge of the support to help work into the shoulders and to release any upper thoracic tension.
Stand up for Uttanasana, placing the feet as wide as your mat. Notice the steadiness that this brings and how it helps to broaden and release from the back waist.
Adho Mukha Svanasana, Dog Pose, first with the feet wide, and then with the feet brought right together. Notice the difference in the lift of the hips when the feet come in close together. And from here, extend first the Right leg back and then the Left, to encourage freedom in the hamstrings to help connect the legs to the pelvis.
Full Arm Balance to the wall, starting first with the Right leg up and then with the Left first. Observe the feeling of having less familiarity when you go up on the ‘off’ side. Having to deal with the slight awkwardness of pushing off from the less used side brings a greater understanding of how our hips work.
Utkatasana, first with the feet apart and the pelvis placed against the wall. Then step away and do the full pose away from the wall. Keep the weight even through both feet, as observed when placing the pelvis to the wall. This will set up a good balance felt further up in the body.
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 1, 3, and then 2. Use a chair back for your heel to rest on. Finish with the bent leg version, placing the outer calf and ankle to the back of the chair.
Now repeat those actions in the supine position, Supta Padangusthasana 1, 2, 3, and 4. Finish with half Padmasana. The Padmasana action is easier when we are not bearing weight down onto the knee and leg. It is a good way to explore that action.
Come up to sit in Baddha Konasana, with the height of a folded blanket under the buttocks.
Start with the fingers pointing backwards, to fully open the chest by helping the back ribs to move deep in. This in turn will facilitate the lengthening of the spine, which then releases the inner groins and hips further. Then maintain that opening as you bring your hands to hold the feet.
Set up for Gomukhasana preparation and then the full Goukkhasana pose. We also include the arm variations in each of these poses.
We finish with two inversions: Sirsasana (Headbalance), or modify the pose to Cross Bolsters.
Then set up for Viparita Karani, with the buttocks and back waist resting on a section of a folded bolster (or blanket), heels to the wall at about 70 degrees. This is restful for the legs and hips and brings a feeling of quiet energy into the chest.
Slide back and finish in Cross legs Savasana.
Illustrated sequence of video
Download and print the free illustrated sequence of this video.