This pose is perfect for tight hips because it stretches the hip rotators (the buttocks area) and the hip flexors (the long muscles that run along the front of your thighs and pelvis.) If you practice it consistently, you'll notice an increased suppleness in your body, since your pelvis is the central hub of your movements.
Keep your waist long
Start on all fours, placing your hands directly below your shoulders, and your knees below your hips. Bring your right knee forward until it touches your right wrist, keeping your right thigh parallel to the sides of your mat. Slowly, inch your right shin and foot toward the midline of your body until your foot is directly below your left hip. Now, straighten your left leg towards the back of your mat.
Instead of leaning forward, walk your hands back and lower both sides of your pelvis toward the floor. As your pelvis releases, be sure your hips don't lean to the right. You need to keep your hips as level as possible to get the full effects of the pose. As your hips continue to settle, press your fingertips firmly into the floor and lengthen the sides of your waist to help keep your lower back long and free from strain.
Fold into the stretch
Walk your hands forward, inhale deeply as you lengthen your torso, and exhale as you fold forward, lowering your elbows to the floor. If the stretch feels too intense, lift away from the floor and use your arms to support more of your weight. If you have space to spare in your hips, lower your torso and let your weight settle onto the floor.
Look at your front thigh. Make sure it's parallel to the sides of the mat and that your front foot is directly beneath your back hip. Continue to breathe into your hips and allow your belly to melt toward the floor. After five to10 breaths in the forward bend, inhale to come back up. Press down through your fingertips as you lift your hips away from the floor and transition all the way to the Downward Dog position. Take five deep breaths and observe the sensations in your body. Then, switch to your second side.
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