Gentle Hip and Hamstring Openers
The rain has finally arrived in California and the North West and that got me thinking many of us all over America (especially in the east) have been inside a lot more lately. Most of those outdoor activities we love are on hiatus – meaning we are probably spending a lot more time that we should sitting down. All that sitting is a recipe for tight hips and tighter hamstrings, Even for those of us that are avid skiers and snow-sport lovers tight hips are still a winter concern if your looking for optimal performance on the mountain.
1) Warm up with a few sun salutations
2) Reclining Pigeon
Hold this pose for 10 good breaths rocking gently back and forth (only by a few inches) to deepen the stretch.
3) Reclining Pigeon with extended bottom leg.
If your right leg is crossed over the left then extended the left leg straight and rock slightly for 10 breaths. To deepen the stretch grab hold of the left leg big toe with the left hand peace fingers, holding the right leg open with the right forearm.
4) IT Band Stretch
Release the right leg down keeping the left one extended arms out to a T similar to the bellow picture.
From this position (but without the strap) turn the big toe in towards the center line of the body and let it drop across the midline by a few inches. The further you turn in the toe the more it will stretch.
5) Knee into chest
Draw your left knee into your chest and hold for 10 breaths.
release the leg down and spend a moment to see if one leg feels longer than the other.
Repeat all steps on the other side.