Deep hip stretch for releasing tension and pain

Hip tightness and pain is a big concern and often prevents people from being as active as they’d like. And you are especially vulnerable to tight hips if you sit too much, as most of us do.

Even simple things like walking and biking and hiking become problematic when the hips are tight and painful. Fortunately, yoga has many wonderful postures to open the hip, and today Wendy Krauss Talis will share a modification of one that is helpful — the pigeon pose — with you…

This version is much gentler on your knees and hips, as you won’t have your weight over your knees because it will be done lying on your back. She fondly calls this supine pigeon and it is a gentle way to open the hips as you can control the intensity, and work up to holding longer and longer.

Supine pigeon

Slowly lie down on the floor.

Bend your knees and pull them in close to your chest.

Keep the right knee folded in and slowly lower the left leg, extended straight. Once the left heel in on the floor, pull the right knee in closer.

Release the knee and raise your right arm him and to the inside of the right knee and under the calf and then grab hold of your right foot with your left hand. (see video for details).

Relax in this position as you inhale. Exhale as you pull the leg in toward your chest.  Take as many breaths as you need to until you find your stopping point.

Hold the final position and relax there for a few breaths to relax the muscles and open the hips.

Straight leg raise

Next you will either hold your right foot or toe with your right hand.

Keep your shoulders down and left hand by its side and inhale.

As you exhale, use the strap or hand to take your extended right leg out to the right side. You want to turn your head to look in the opposite direction.

Hold for a few breaths to relax the muscles and open the hips.

Waist twist

Return your right leg to center and then raise your left knee, keeping the foot on the floor.

Now cross your right foot over or onto your left thigh/knee. Place your left hand on your right knee and extend your right arm out to the side.

Now pull your left hand down to move your right knee toward the floor while turning your head to the right to allow a nice cross stretch.

Hold for a few breaths to relax the muscles of the lower back and hips.

Repeat on the opposite side

Return again to center, pulling both knees again to your chest. And now repeat the entire sequence on the opposite side.

Please watch the video and follow along with Wendy for details and proper form. Enjoy this modified yoga supine pigeon pose with additional movements to help release tension and open those hips!

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Dr. Mark Wiley

By Dr. Mark Wiley

Dr. Mark Wiley is an internationally renowned mind-body health practitioner, author, motivational speaker and teacher. He holds doctorates in both Oriental and alternative medicine, has done research in eight countries and has developed a model of health and wellness grounded in a self-directed, self-cure approach. Dr. Wiley has written 14 books and more than 500 articles. He serves on the Health Advisory Boards of several wellness centers and associations while focusing his attention on helping people achieve healthy and balanced lives through his work with Easy Health Options® and his company, Tambuli Media.