Feeling a bit of post-Christmas tightness in your hips? Too much lounging around on the sofa watching festive oldies? Fear not - Go Yoga has your back!
Ease yourself towards the New Year and into a more flexible state with these three delicious hip-openers.....
Restorative, relaxing and easy to adjust - Child's Pose is the ultimate starting posture for when you begin your practice.
Start by kneeling on the floor and sitting on your heels. Touch your big toes together, then separate your knees about as wide as your hips. As you exhale, draw your stomach down in between your thighs and walk your palms out ahead of you so that they are stretching forward.
You should instantly feel the benefits to the inner thighs and hips - creating a gentle stretch that also relieves neck and back pain.
Close your eyes, inhale and exhale for ten long breaths and then slowly move back to kneeling.
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Another of our favourite restorative poses - this one also allows for the easy addition of props and modifications so that you can tailor it to your body and how you feel at the time.
Start by lying flat on the floor with your back to the ground. Adjust your shoulder blades and buttocks so that you are fully comfy and settled. Take a few breaths here.
Next, bend both your knees and allow each knee to fall away to the sides, drawing the soles of the feet together. Some people love to introduce a bolster here - planting it under the spine so that it stops at the neck, so the head gently rests over the top section.
Use the palms of your hands to gently press down each inner thigh away from your torso, further releasing the hips open. Then gently rest your arms down beside you, palms facing upwards.
You can stay here for anywhere from 5 - 10 minutes, slowing your inhales and exhales. Some of us like to also place blankets under the outer thighs for further support to the groin and knees.
Wide-Legged Forward Bend
Now to get onto your feet! Gently bringing yourself up into Mountain Pose, take a few grounding breaths to get used to your balance here in standing. Notice how you feel and the sensations in your body. It's best that you are length-ways on your mat now.
Step the legs apart gradually so that they become enough wide apart to feel it in your inner thighs. You feet should be parallel to each other and toes facing forward. Take a deep inhale and with your exhale, slowly hinge forward with a straight spine, lengthening forward to a right angle. Then place your fingers down onto the floor in line with your shoulders and let your whole upper body gently gravitate towards the ground.
Take three breaths in this position and then release the hands from the floor - taking a hold of each elbow with the opposite palm as if in Rag Doll. Ensure that your torso is a straight as possible. Allow gravity to take force and relax into the fold. You can stay here in this final position for around ten breaths or until feels comfortable for you.
To release out of the pose - bring your hands back to the ground beneath your shoulders, gently straightening the spine back into a right angle and then gently back up to standing. Walk the feet back together to find Mountain Pose once again.