All forward bends will affect the hips, but this session draws more specific attention to that area.
By opening the hips we create space for the lower pelvic organs and increase hip joint mobility.
Set up in Supta Baddha Konasana, with a bolster or two folded blankets. Take a few minutes here to let the body respond to the opening in the upper back and the hips and to bring some quietness to the face and to the breath.
Come up into Forward Virasana and allow the thighs to descend, more consciously. Notice how this helps to extend the spine forward.
Stand up for Uttanasana, with the feet about a foot or more away from the wall, buttocks resting on the wall. Go forward to capacity. Allow the spine and trunk to release more and more as the thigh creases move back towards the wall.
Now go to Adho Mukha Svanasana (Dog Pose) placing the heels up the wall. This helps to lift the thigh creases and the buttocks higher, releasing the spine by creating space in the groins.
Then come to Adho Mukha Svanasana, feet together, and raise first the Right and then the Left leg back. Keep your hips level.
Full Arm Balance to lift our mental energy and engage the arms.
Go into Adho Mukha Svanasana and step forward for Parsvottanasana, hands to the floor or to the shins or blocks if you need support to keep the legs straight. First the Right leg forward and then the Left.
Back to Adho Mukha Svanasana, and then step forward and turn for Prasarita Padottanasana.
Set up in Sirsasana, or try a Headstand preparation using the seat of the chair for upper back support. Head off the floor for the chair preparation.
Set up for Supta Padangusthasana 1 and 2. Draw the foot and heel higher in each variation, to bring greater depth to the thigh crease to open the hips a little further.
Use a blanket for support for the buttocks in Baddha Konasana. This will allow the spine to lift more in order to release the inner thighs out and to bring the knees down.
Upavistha Konasana, with or without support. Lift the spine up and then extend forward to capacity. Keep the thighs and backs of the knees pressing down to the floor.
Prepare now for Janu Sirsasana, with knee support as needed. Use a belt for these forward bends if you are not able to reach the extended leg foot without rounding your back.
Triangmukaidpada Paschimottanasana, with a folded blanket under the hips to keep the pelvis level as you go forward.
Paschimottanasana. Walk the hands forward to capacity. Use blocks for the hands if needed. This can help you bend further forward from the hips while keeping the front of the body long.
Bharadvajasana 1, with blanket support as needed. Keep the Virasana thigh down as you turn away from the feet.
Set up for Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, with a bolster and half folded blanket, or use a few folded blankets for height. In this version, you will spread the feet wider to bring the heels to the floor and the legs to the outer sides of the bolster.
After 5 minutes or so, slide back and stay in simple cross legs for a few breaths.
Come up for Virasana forward over the bolster support, resting the whole pelvis and trunk onto the support. Feel the release of the front thighs and observe the breath as it comes into the back of the ribs.
Then lie back for Savasana, placing the blankets and the bolster over the upper thighs to help release the legs down and to quieten the nerves.
Illustrated sequence of video
Download and print the free illustrated sequence of this video.