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Day 7: Beginner

Hip Openers with Rebecca Urban

Got stiff hips? Join the club. Tight hip muscles are a virtual epidemic in our modern world. The causes are as varied as cubicle life and competitive sports. Even carrying a wallet in the same back pocket day after day, year after year, can contribute to hip problems.

Yoga comes to the rescue in the form of hip openers, poses that stretch the muscles of the hips and thighs, increasing range of motion. Hip openers can improve your alignment in other poses, ease back and knee pain, and even change your gait for the better. The physical effects aren't all. Many people store stress and negative emotions in the pelvic area, and a hip-opening practice can help. Untying those emotional knots can be unpleasant or overwhelming, but the benefits are immeasurable. Whether this practice presents a physical or emotional challenge, let the breath be your lifeline. Calm the breath, and the body and mind will follow.

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Challenge Tip

It's tempting to avoid postures that challenge us physically or bring up powerful emotions. We can even rationalize it: If yoga is about finding contentment, why not dispense with the tough stuff? But coping with tough stuff on the mat trains us to cope with the tough stuff that's an inevitable part of life. The poses we're most resistant to are often our best teachers.

Today's Recipe: Wild Rice and
Dried Cranberry Cookies

These gluten-free cookies are a delicious substitute for traditional oatmeal raisin treats.

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