Hip Stretches

Tight hips make it difficult for the glutes to activate and create extra stress on the low back. When your hips are stretched, you create less tension in the hamstrings and back and allow for more ease in the yoga practice.

Lizard Lunge

This grounded hip stretch opens the hips, hamstrings, groin and hip flexors.

Front foot placed at the edge of your mat
Front knee is stacked above the ankle
Hands are on the inside of your front foot, arms are straight
Hands can stay pressed into mat or option to place forearms on the mat (shoulders above elbows)
Back knee can stay lifted or rest on the mat, back toes can stay tucked or untucked
Lengthen out of your spine
Shoulder blades draw towards one another
Inner thighs squeeze together
Gaze towards the top of the mat, head in line with spine

Modification: Place hands or forearms on blocks at the top of your mat.

Squat Pose

Yogi squat helps to relieve lower back pain, opens hips, ankles, groin and Achilles while feeling grounded.

Feet wide on the mat, toes turned out, heels dialed in
Feet stay flat on the ground (may need to widen stance or lift hips up)
Palms pressed together at your chest
Elbows on the inside of your knees
Crown of your head towards the ceiling
Shoulder blades draw towards each other
Weight is in your heels
Gaze is forward

Modification: Place a block underneath your tailbone for support.

Pigeon Pose

This pose offers a grounding hip strengthening which can help to alleviate back pain and provide a rest at the end of practice.

Front leg is bent at the knee, front foot is flexed
Front knee is wider than the hip, possibly along the side edge of mat
Back leg is straight behind you, top of back foot presses on the mat
Hips squared to the front of the mat
Upper body can stay upright, fingertips on the mat & shoulders over hips w/ spine long
If possible, fold forward and relax upper body over front shin on the mat, arms can extend long in front of you on the mat, shoulders relax away from ears
Front shin does not have to be parallel to the front edge of mat

Modification: If the front hip is hovering off the mat, place a block or rolled up towel under that hip.