Flow Sequence To Happier Hips

Flow Sequence To Happier Hips

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Yoga is known for it’s benefits in flexibility, reducing stress and relaxation, and if you are lucky enough to not have stiffness from your everyday activities, you are one of the lock ones. However if you’re not so fortunate and your tight hips are making themselves known every time you so much as walk to the grocery store, get up from your desk or getting in and out of the car — expressing themselves in the form of low back pain and muscle stiffness then taking some time to prevent further compensation from happening will make your hips a lot happier.

Tight Hips Can = Low Back Pain

Low back pain is the leading complaint in the workplace. With the invention of the chair, our bodies have to conform to an unnatural state of “sitting.” For people who sit a long time at work, the hip flexors and rotators become tight, and the gluteal muscles become weak and under active and thus this places great deal of strain on the lumbar spine. Moving on down the rabbit hole, this stress can cause the spine to change shape, increasing forward head carriage, destabilization of the postural muscles and a reduction in thoracic spine mobility.

The Joint By Joint Approach

The first thing you should notice is the joints alternate between mobility and stability. The ankle needs increased mobility, and the knee needs increased stability. As we move up the body, it becomes apparent the hip needs mobility. And so the process goes up the chain –a basic, alternating series of joints.

  • Lose ankle mobility, get knee pain
  • Lose hip mobility, get low back pain
  • Lose thoracic mobility, get neck and shoulder pain, or low back pain

Stiffness, tension and (dis)ease in the body can be debilitating. Anytime we don’t acknowledge our weakest links or confront them; we demonstrate the same behavior that caused the compensation in the first place. Carving out time every day to reduce these compensatory patterns from occurring is the first step to a pain free lifestyle and longevity in your sport and day to day activities. 

Hip Opener Series One

This sequence is designed to unwind tight hips, improve your range of motion in the spine and spiral fascia lines, improve circulation, and alleviate back pain.

Featured Corrective Yoga Pose: Locust pose and Lizard pose

Featured Yoga poses included in this series is the lizard, modified to integrate the spiral line fascia systems; as well as Locust pose at the end to encourage strengthening and lengthening of the back in extension.


* Strengthens the upper and lower back, arms and legs
* Improves mobility in the elbow joint and tissues of the forearm
* Helps to stretch the chest, shoulders and abdominals
* Prepares the body for deeper back bending
* Improves posture and counter balance using the floor as a proprioceptive tool.

Repeat this sequence once to open up the body, or repeat a few times for a corrective yoga session.

 Follow this 5min video: Video Link Here. 

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Ode To Child’s Pose


We’ve all done it one way or another. Looked forward to the moment in a power class, in between vinyasas or after a long held side plank, that we can gently glide into the one and only, Child’s Pose or Balasana.

Sometimes we hold it longer or choose it over Downward Dog, just to get that wondrous lower back stretch a little deeper. Those hips opening a little wider. The thighs stretching, knees gently bending, head resting. Oh, it’s so good.

But at times, my ego gets in the way of my practice and I think my Child’s Pose tendencies just aren’t good enough. I’m spending too much time relaxing and not enough time challenging myself.

So lately, I haven’t been to many yoga classes, and instead I’ve been riding my bike to and from work. It’s an hour each way and definitely a challenge (for me at least). One thing I completely forgot about cycling is it’s pretty tough on one’s posture. I’m a little hunched forward and my neck is firmly held in the same position as I go over bumps and up and down hills.

I’ve been really  noticing the effects of cardio, which are great, but also the effects of not doing yoga. Unsure as to what stretch would help by upper spine and neck muscles, I went to my default before bed one night. Child’s Pose.

Amazing. Light stretching, deep breathing to really open up my ribs, arms reaching along the ground. I felt better after a few minutes.

I’ve heard several teachers call Child’s Pose one of the most important postures in yoga. So, I decided to explore it’s benefits as reinforcement (not that I need it) to sit back and embrace Balasana for all it’s worth.

I’ve found a nice explanation here: http://www.yogawiz.com/blog/yoga-benefits/yoga-for-child.html in an article called Child Pose Yoga: Relieve Stress, Anxiety, Tension And Fatigue

Here’s  an excerpt:

it helps to restore normalcy to your body’s circulation after performing the pose. Performing this pose is also beneficial for strengthening and toning the muscles in certain areas like the hips, ankles and thighs in particular… In addition to these benefits, the Child Pose also helps provide relief from certain types of back and neck pain.

So as much as our egos may want to throw us into something a little harder on the body, a little more physical, a little more active. There’s nothing quite like curling into that comfortable, beneficial ball with no worries and the ability to be completely present – just like a child.

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