With Winter Comes Tight Hips and a Tight Lower Back
WHAT ARE SOME GOOD YOGA POSES FOR TIGHT HIPS?
Low lunges are great for the hips. Stepping one foot forward in between the hands and extending the back leg long pressing the heel to the back wall as your press one hip forward. Also, pigeon pose is one of my favorites! This time instead of placing the foot down you bring the entire shin onto the mat and extend the opposite leg long behind you and fold forward over your front leg. Make sure to really focus on your breath as you go deeper into the pose and hip.
WHAT ARE SOME GOOD YOGA POSES FOR A TIGHT LOWER BACK?
Child's pose either with the knees open or together, depending on what feels best in that moment, is a great pose. Standing forward fold or ragdoll can be a nice one, just make sure to bend in the knees if you are especially tight in the hamstrings or lower back. Twisting can also be a great release as long as you do not have any low back injuries. Lying on your back hugging your knees in and allowing them to fall over to one side and then the other as your look over the opposite shoulder. HOW CAN I INCORPORATE THESE POSTES INTO A GOOD SHORT ROUTINE THAT I COULD DO AT HOME/WORK?
- Starting in Downward Dog (DD) Inhale the right leg up. Exhale step the foot forward into low lunge. Take 5 breaths.
- Come back to DD and do the other side.
- Come back into DD and same thing inhale the right leg long, this time into Pigeon pose. 5 breaths
- Repeat on the left side.
- Downward Dog, step the feet to the top of the mat and hip distance apart (two fists length). Bring the opposite hand to the opposite elbow and allow the torso to drop towards the mat. Keep supporting the low back by drawing the belly up and in towards the spine and again allow the legs to bend or straighten or both!
- Find your way onto your back and hug the knees onto the chest. Allow the knees to fall to the left as you look over the right shoulder. 5 breaths. Switch.
- Hug the knees back in and grab the inside of the feet as you draw the knees down towards the mat and into the upper arms for happy baby. Breathe into the low back and the space between the thighs. 5 breaths.
- Hug the knees back in and then let go into Savasana (corpse pose)!! Stay as long as you can...surrender.
Sara Packard, RYT Registered Yoga Teacher
Sara received her 200-hour Yoga Alliance certification from Zuda Yoga in Sacramento, CA under the guidance of Anne Marie Kramer and Dr. Bill Prysock. She has been teaching yoga since 2009, most recently in New York City until recently relocating to Boston. Sara has taught for Crunch Fitness, New York Yoga, as well as being a frequent guest teacher at O Yoga in Syracuse, NY. She was also the yoga teacher for the NYC Marathon team, "Fred's Team" through Lululemon, and has extensive experience teaching yoga to athletes and dancers.
She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theater from Ithaca College. She believes in the power of yoga as both a physical practice and a mental release as well as a way to tap into our personal strength in a safe and non-competitive environment. Sara lives in Charlestown, MA with her husband Justin and their pug, Oscar.