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Poses for Your Hips

5 Poses to Build Heat and Find Release

This leg-focused flow will get your heart pumping and warm up your muscles.

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The dynamic movements of this flow prep the body for the static holds. It’s a good way to warm up the body and loosen muscles at the same time.

The following practice starts with a firm foundation in your Tabletop pose, and builds from there. This requires a strong and balanced core to maintain integrity in the spine. Your core supports your spine as you move it in articulation or stabilization. Articulation means you’re moving through the joints between each segment of the spine. Stabilization means you’re engaging your core muscles to hold your spine steady in space. Be sure to keep a strong, engaged core throughout the entirety of this practice.
A woman in Tabletop pose in yoga

Tabletop

Begin in Tabletop pose. Stack your wrists underneath the shoulders and knees underneath the hips. Keep a long straight spine and gaze down at the mat.

A woman doing a toe stretch in yoga

Toe Stretch

Keeping your right toes relaxed, inhale and roll over the toes to lift your right knee and press your right heel back, stretching toes. Exhaling, lower the right knee to the floor, returning to Tabletop pose. Repeat several rounds before holding the right knee off the ground for a calf stretch.

A woman doing a cow yoga pose with leg swing

Cat Cow with Leg Swing

From Tabletop pose, inhale and lift your right leg behind you as you arch your spine to cow back. Exhale and round to cat back, pulling your right knee toward your nose. Repeat several rounds

A woman doing a wag tail to side bend in yoga

Wag Tail to Side Bend

Inhale and take your right leg straight behind you. Exhale and tap your right foot outside your left foot. Repeat several rounds before holding in the side bend. Externally rotate from the hip so that your right knee and toes face to the right.

A woman doing a Donkey Kick to Outrigger Twist in yoga

Donkey Kick to Outrigger Twist

Exhale and donkey kick your leg to the right; inhale and return to Tabletop pose with external rotation. Repeat several breaths, then lower your right foot to the floor in line with your left knee.

Press into the left hand as you lift your right arm and twist toward the right. To make this more difficult, you can lower to your left elbow or shoulder as you twist. Return to center and switch sides.

Excerpted from Everyday Yogaby Sage Rountree, PhD, E-RYT 500. Rountree is the author of several books on yoga for athletes and yoga sequencing, including The Professional Yoga Teacher’s Handbook. She specializes in creating accessible classes for students from all backgrounds.