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4 Yoga Poses To Stretch Your Hip


Flexors
by Jackie Kinealy

February 28, 2016 5:24 AM

A beautiful example of the mind-body connection of how releasing muscle tension


can reduce anxiety and stress is the psoas, a thick, hard-working muscle that
connects your low spine to your upper thigh bone. The psoas is located deep in your
body, and its main job is to bring your thighs closer to your torso, like when you sit or
run.
Releasing tension here can make a big dierence in how your feel emotionally. At the
end of a long day, you can de-stress using a few simple yoga postures that lengthen
and relax the psoas. Because the psoas is so deep in the body and often chronically
contracted you may not even realize that yours is tight. But when you stretch and
release it, you will notice a big dierence in how you feel physically and emotionally.
Try this 10-minute sequence to unlock your psoas muscle after work or before bed.
With a more relaxed mind, you make space to give more love to your family and
yourself.

1. Diaphragmatic Breathing

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Jackie Kinealy

The diaphragm shares an origin point on the low spine with the psoas, so relaxing the
diaphragm with deep belly breathing will begin to relax the psoas as well. Sit
comfortably on the edge of a thickly folded blanket. If this is uncomfortable, lay on
your back or sit on a chair. Begin to breathe in and out through your nose so that your
belly gently expands and falls. If youre in the habit of sucking in your belly, try to
release that and let your belly move happily and freely. Breathe for 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Variation On Supported Pigeon Pose (Pada


Rajakapotasana)

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Jackie Kinealy

Come to hands and knees in a tabletop. Slide your right knee up to a couple inches
behind your right wrist. Instead of taking the right ankle behind the left wrist like in
regular pigeon, scoot your right heel to just outside of your right thigh, like in heros
pose. Extend your left leg in a long, straight line behind you. Come onto your palms or
ngertips to keep your upper body lifting away from your lower body. You should feel
a stretch in your left upper leg, near your hip. Take at least 10 deep breaths, then switch
sides.

3. Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)

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Jackie Kinealy

Plant your right foot on the ground with the knee above the ankle. For now, keep your
hands on the ground or on two blocks on either side of your foot. Extend your left leg
behind you and place the knee on the ground, using a blanket or a pillow if its more
comfortable. Press down with your feet and gently pull your inner thighs toward each
other as you inhale and lift your upper body so that your rib cage is above your hips. If
you feel a good stretch in your left hip and upper thigh, stay here. If you want to go
deeper, you can grab hold of your left foot with your right hand and gently twist your
torso toward your bent leg.

4. Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

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Jackie Kinealy

Youll need a yoga block, or a 6-inch stack of books for this pose. Have your prop
nearby as you come onto your back. Bend your knees, and plant your feet about
palm-distance away from your tailbone. Lift your hips o the ground and slide your
prop underneath your sacrum, the at, lowest part of your back located just above
your bottom. Rest your sacrum on the prop. It should feel comfortable, so play around
with scooting your prop up or down until it is.
Related reads:
16 Yogis On How Yoga Changed Their Lives
5 Breathing Exercises To Increase Focus
If You Only Do 5 Yoga Poses, Do These

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