The inner leg and hip area can be tough to release. It's an area that is difficult to build strength in and more difficult to stretch out. However, Yin is VERY effective here! With longer held poses, the inner leg can be gently mobilized for a deep hip opening and stretch. And yes, I know NO ONE likes Frog pose but we work up to this pose very mindfully and I think you will find it is much more accessible in this practice! Join me by video link below or practice with the practice guide. Enjoy!
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Hold: 2-6 minutes
Come onto your seat using a folded blanket under your hips to give you a little lift and tilt forward. Bring the bottom of your feet together a little ways away from your hips. Lengthen your spine then slowly fold forward allowing gravity to pull you. Allow your back to round and your forehead to rest on the blocks and rest your hands on your feet or the ground. To come out, press through your hands and come back up. Bring the bottoms of the feet flat and windshield wiper the knees side to side.
1/2 Child's Pose Variation
Hold: 2-5 minutes
Come into Child's pose with your legs, big toes together and knees close together. Keep one leg tucked under and take the other out to the side - heel down and toes up (use a block under your hips if that is more comfortable to sit back on). Take a deep breath and then fold forward letting the outstretched leg fall forward. Come down as far as you feel comfortable and lengthen your spine then fold deeper. Take yourself to 2/3 of your maximum and breathe. Sense the deep sensations in the inner legs and hips. To come out, press back up, gently pull the outstretched leg back in and take 5 breaths upright with your seat on your heels or out in front. Take the second side.
Low Flying Dragon
Hold: 3-5 mins/side
Come into a kneeling position (blanket for knees), take one leg out in front in a low lunge position, walk it over to the side, angle the toes outward and come ont the outside edge of the foot if possible. Take hands on inside of the foot, using blocks for your hands to give you support if you hands don't quite reach the floor comfortably. You can lift back knee off the floor and draw it back further then release to the floor. Breathe into the hips and legs, allowing them to release and open. Stay here for 3-5 minutes. To come out, slowly ease back and take either Child's Pose or Downward dog for 5-8 breaths. Take the second side.
Extended Child's Pose or Tadpole Pose
Hold: 3-5 minutes
Come onto your knees. Bring your big toes together and take knees wide apart. Keeping your hips low to the heels (prop with blankets or blocks if needed), allow your torso to drop forward, resting your head on your fists or hands or the floor. Allow your head to be supported fully with the weight on the space between your eyebrows. This will bring some softness to your whirling thoughts and quiet your mind (hold here for 2-3 minutes). Use a block for your head if needed for comfort. Remain here for 3-5 minutes. Gently press up to come out.
Hold: 2-4 minutes
Take the blanket underneath you and fold over the edges. Bring your knees onto the double fold aligning your knees with your hips, your ankles with your knees and flexing the toes. Take your elbows underneath your shoulders and slowly allow the knees to slide open more and more until you have reached 2/3 of your maximum depth. You can use a bolster or blocks to support your torso here or simply hang out - lowering all the way to the floor with your body in alignment if that feels appropriate for your body. To come out, press through forearms, tuck heels back in and begin to drag the knees closer together taking the weight on the forearms. Sit with heels under your hips for 5 breaths and notice the "rebound" effect of energy flowing through the body.
Tipsy Half Frog
Hold: 3-5 minutes/side
Come onto your belly placing elbows under shoulders or slightly in front as if taking Sphynx pose. Pull your body forward slightly using your hands and then relax your entire body. Gently slide your right knee out to the right level with your hip and take your right ankle level with your knee at a 90 degree angle. Softly flex your foot. Breathe here and allow gravity to pull you down and slightly forward. You can rest your head on a block or drop your chin to your chest. To come out, gently tuck your foot back in and slide the leg back to straight. Rest here with your forehead on your hands for 8-10 breaths or take 10 cat/cows. Return to your Sphynx pose and take the second side.
Supine Windshield Wiper Twist
Hold: 3-5 minutes/side
Come onto your back. Walk your feet as wide as your mat and allow the knees to drop over to the left side. Turn your head to the right and take your arms out wide. Allow gravity to pull the knees to the ground and slowly release lower back tension. You can take the left heel onto the right thigh for a deeper pose. Come back to center and switch sides.
Hold: 5-10 minutes
Allow the heels to settle out to the corners of the mat, slide your shoulder blades underneath your body, and take your hands out to the sides, palms up. Take some deep breaths, coming back to the 3 part breath - first in the belly, then in the chest and finally the collarbones - and extend the exhale even longer. Allow yourself to sigh a few times and let it all go! Take a 6 count inhale, 6 count exhale, 6 count hold at the bottom of the exhale for 3-5 rounds. Focus on your breath and let go.
I have been "playing" and experimenting with yoga, aromatherapy and healthy living since my late teens - researching, testing, reading, investigating, and learning anything that would make my life - and the lives around me - better naturally.
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