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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Yoga Poses for Tight Hips


One of the most common complaints I hear from clients is having tight hips. Tight hips result from a number of different causes, but the most universal reason people experience tightness in their hips is from sitting too much. When you sit at a computer for most of the day, your hip joint is in constant flexion, shortening the hip flexors and causing tightness. Oftentimes, a weak lower back accompanied by aching shoulders is a telltale sign that the computer is the culprit.

So, how to fix this? First, check in with your HR department to see if they have an ergonomic workstation consultant who can set you up with a body-friendly setup. If not, HR will often reimburse you for an ergonomic chair or laptop dock.

Second, here are some yoga stretches you can do on your own whenever those hips start to bother you:

Lizard
1. Begin in downward facing dog. Step your right foot forward between your palms, keeping your hands on the floor. Lower your left knee to the mat, and release your elbows to the floor as well. Wither rest your hands on the ground or bring your hands together in prayer position.

2. Continue to squeeze your right knee toward your body and gaze forward to encourage your hips to lower toward the floor. After five breaths come back onto your hands. Tuck your left toes and step your right leg back. Step your left foot forward, and repeat this pose on the left side.


Pigeon
1. From downward facing dog, step both feet together and bring your right knee forward between your hands so your outer right leg is resting on the mat. If your hips are more open, inch your right foot away from you. Make sure your left hip is always pointing down toward the mat. If it begins to open up toward the ceiling, draw your right foot back in toward your body.

2. Stay here with your hands resting on your right leg or walk your hands out in front of you, allowing your torso to rest over your right knee. Hold here, breathing into any areas o tightness and tension for at least five breaths.

3. Then place your hands on the mat in front of you, tuck your left toes and step your right foot back. Step your left foot forward and repeat Pigeon on the left side.


Butterfly
1. Sit on the floor, bending both knees and bringing your feet together. With your hands, open your feet up like a book and use the muscles in your legs to encourage your knees to lower further toward the floor.

2. Lengthen your spine, drawing your belly button in toward your spine. Relax your shoulders and gaze either in front of you or toward your feet. Slowly begin to fold forward, drawing your torso toward your legs.

3. Keep your hands on your feet, pressing your elbows against your inner knees, or extend your arms out in front of you to encourage your spine to lengthen After five breaths, come to sit up and straighten your legs.

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