Intermediate Yoga Sequences

3 Hip-Openers to Prep for Lotus Pose

Increase hip flexibility and learn how to keep your knees safe with these prep poses for Padmasana.

Increase hip flexibility and learn how to keep your knees safe with these prep poses for Padmasana.

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Reclining Bound Angle Pose

Reclining Bound Angle Pose Supta Baddha Konasana with blankets and strap towels lotus pose

Supta Baddha Konasana

Benefit
Stretches the hips and hip flexors

Instruction
Loop a strap and place it across your sacrum, over the tops of your thighs, and around your feet. Place folded or rolled-up blankets under each of your knees and lie on your back with your heels together, as they were in Baddha Konasana. Stay here with eyes closed, and relax for 5 to 15 minutes to stretch the hips and hip flexors intensely.

See also Pre-Meditation Hip Openers

Legs-up-the-Wall Pose, variation

Legs-up-the-Wall Pose Viparita Karani variation Reclining Bound Angle Pose Supta Baddha Konasana on Wall sacral chakra

Viparita Karani, variation

Benefit
Isolates and intensifies hip opening

Instruction
Lie on the floor, with your buttocks close to a wall and your knees in toward your chest. Extend your legs up the wall and open them into a straddle. Bend your knees into a Baddha Konasana shape. Using your hands, roll the flesh of your thighs open and gently press the inner thighs toward the wall. This pressure and the wall’s support will help you open your hips. Stay here for 5 to 15 breaths.

See also Why Are Hip-Openers So Good for Me?

Ankle-to-Knee Pose

Fire Log Pose Agnistambhasana lotus pose

Benefit
Works the hips while helping you find and maintain length in the spine
Instruction
From a seated position, place your right knee on top of your left ankle and your right ankle on top of your left knee. Flex your feet to prevent your ankles from overstretching. Inhale to lengthen your spine. Exhale and stay upright or fold forward, with your forearms on your top leg or on the floor in front of you. Be mindful not to round the lower back. Hold for 5 to 15 breaths. Switch legs and repeat.

See also9 Poses Your Hips Need Now