Pigeon pose is a very good outer hip stretching pose. The main mistake people do with this one, is that they put too much of their body weight forward. Move backward instead and try to get your thigh closer to the floor. Take around 7 breaths in the pose on each side.
One thing that you might find helpful is to place your forehead on your fists in order to rest your head and relax the shoulders as well as the neck. This will ultimately bring even more pressure on your thigh. Once you’re done with one side, switch the legs – and don’t expect that both of the sides of your body are equal, one side is usually stiffer than the other. If you are super stiff in your outer hip, you will want to modify this pose to not injure your knee.
The s-sit position does the same, but more gently. You can find the alternative and a more thorough tutorial in this UNLOCKED video:
2. Lizard stretch
This pose helps with stretching the hip flexors, the hamstrings, and the quadriceps. Begin by stepping your right foot forward to the outside edge of your right hand. Both arms should be to the left of the right leg.
Continue by lowering your left knee down to the ground, releasing the top of your left foot and distributing the weight evenly across both hips. If you feel any discomfort in your back knee, fold the mat over lengthwise or tuck a folded blanket underneath it.
By lowering down onto both forearms, you can deepen this pose even further. You can use a yoga block here as well. Also, feel free to customize this pose, by moving side to side or back and forth. Another variation is to grab your back foot, drop down your hip and add a twist. So as you can see the lizard stretch can be modified in different ways to make it your own.
I’ll admit it – this one is going to feel tough. But you should still be warm after your training, hence sliding into the backband more easily. Keep in mind, that this pose is meant to stretch your upper, not your lower back. With regular backbends, you can increase mobility, while strengthening the supporting muscles around the spine. Backbends are also front body stretches – so they benefit from open and relaxed hips and surrounding muscles including the top of the thighs and the psoas. Set into the pose by catching your heels, rolling your shoulders back, lifting your chest and moving your hips forward. Continue to push forward and lift up. BREATHE!!!
This is a 2 for 1 stretch, that targets both your hips, as well as your shoulders. Keeping your shoulders mobile and flexible is super important to help you maintain good form and prevent injuries. As a prop here, you will need your belt.
While sitting in a squat, stretch the belt overhead and go up and down behind your back. Remember to keep your elbows straight, this exercise is meant to improve the elbow joint mobility too. If you have a difficult time raising your arms past the point of most resistance, don’t cheat, just widen your belt grip a little bit and go slowly over that point where you feel the most uncomfortable. Do about 20 reps of this and if you can’t maintain a squatting position, just sit on your knees instead. Sitting crosslegged is another option.
Again, if you want a more detailed tutorial on easy shoulder stretches w/elastic band, check out the video below:
5. Seated Hamstring – Side Bend Stretch
Don’t put away your belt just yet. For this last pose, you are going to sit on the floor and stretch out one of your legs while keeping the other one bent. Wrap the belt 2x around your extended foot. If you are stretching the left side of your body first, grab the belt with the left hand and place your right hand on the outside of your leg.
Lift up and away from the floor and start twisting the body, focusing on stretching your waist and your lat, not the hamstring. Take just 3 breaths here. Continue by letting go of the belt and folding over your right leg (keeping the knee extended or bend), and trying to touch your knee with the forehead, giving your hamstring a nice stretch here. The final step is to combine the two poses in one ultimate seated hamstring – side bend stretch.
Congrats, now you only have to do the exact same thing on the other side as well.
|Pigeon Pose & Lizard Stretch||Backbends||Squat & Shoulder Stretches||Seated hamstring & Side Bend Stretches|
|Day 9 of startup week has really nice tutorials for these 2 poses:
Other programs that have them are: Foundation Program, Yoga for Rocks Inverted guard (has some really nice modifications for lizard stretch and pigeon pose), Yoga for Rocks Hips, Yoga for Rocks Legs Day 5
For more advanced members: Hip week program
|Programs that include backbends: Foundation Program, Back Pain program has gentle backbends for if you have back pain, 40+ program
For more advanced members: Intermediate week
|Yoga for Rocks shoulders (if your shoulders are very stiff), Shoulder week program, 40+ program
For beginners: new 10 in 10 program
|Yoga for Rocks Inverted Guard, Yoga for Rocks Legs, Backbody Week, Back Pain Week has some really nice hamstring stretches + side bend stretches for if you have back pain, 40+ program|