Hip Opening Yoga Poses

Hip Opening Yoga Poses

Navasana Series (Boat Pose Series)

Sit down on the center of your mat, rocking back slightly so that you can balance on your Sit Bones. Engage your core as you begin to extend and straighten your legs, lifting them as high as you can. Keep the back straight and extend the arms forward alongside your legs. Breathe deeply as your core begins to work in junction with your hips and legs. Remember to relax the muscles of your face.

With an inhalation, draw your knees towards your chest, keeping the feet off the ground. Keep your spine long and the chest open. Hold this pose for a full inhalation before extending your legs back into full Boat Pose on your exhalation. Repeat this sequence 10 to 12 times.

Yoga Crunches

Lie down on your back in the center of your mat. Allow your lower back to naturally curve so that there is room between it and your mat – this will keep you from straining your low back.

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On an inhalation, raise both legs straight into the air so that they are perpendicular to the ground. Begin to lower your left leg down just a few inches above the mat. Try to keep both of your legs straight as you do this. Exhale. On your next inhalation, lift your shoulders up off of the mat and reach your hands forward on either side of your right leg. Try to keep your chest and the space between your shoulder blades open. Do not hold your breath!

Stay in this lifted pose for 2 to 3 full breaths before lowering your shoulders back down to the mat. Rest here for a breath or two.

With your legs in the same position, inhale and lift your shoulders off the mat again. This time, bring your hands to the outside of the right leg. Keep the spine elongated and the face relaxed as you work here for 1 to 2 breaths.

Lower down to the mat completely and rest for several breaths before repeating this series on the other side.

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