The Vinyasa Show Artwork
Season 5 - Episode 3

For the Love of Hips

45 min - Practice


Rosemary guides us in a creative exploration of our hips, flowing through a series of Surya Namaskars (Sun Salutations) and standing and seated postures to stretch and open the pelvis and hips.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video

Jan 18, 2016
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(rumbling surf) Hi and welcome back. We're gonna be working with some nice deep hip opening today. Definitely traditional hip opening, as well as some outer hip, maybe even hopefully into the IT band hip opening. As always, do what feels good, modify as you need to, and enjoy. We'll start actually on the hands and the knees, and then shift into Gomukhasana from here, simply by drawing the right knee up, and then crossing that right foot over the left knee.

Open the feet out a little bit, and then ease back onto the sit bones. Okay. And modify, you can walk the feet out or in a little bit, adjust to get the sit bones rooted. Take a moment with a tall spine. Big inhale, and then slowly exhale, walk the upper body out and down.

When you feel you're kinda at your edge, plant the hands on the earth, inhale, pull the earth towards you, lengthen it a bit more, and then exhale. Go ahead and release down. So there's this sweet relationship between the musculature and the back of the neck, all the way down the length of the spine, into these outer hips, with the fascia connecting it all. So when you release the head a little here, it can deepen the stretch all the way down to the back body. See if you feel that.

Full five breaths into those outer hips, making any subtle adjustments your body needs. A couple more breaths. Okay. And then slowly inhale. Simply walk the upper body back up. Exhale, ground.

And then press yourself back up onto the hands and the knees. Lift the right leg, take it back. Take a breath in the neutral for a moment. Exhale, just let it go. Shift to the other side, so draw the left knee forward, and then wrap it around the right, walk the feet away from the hips a little bit, sink back onto the sit bones.

Take a moment. Make sure you're as even as possible through your seat. And then big inhale, nice and tall, through the spine. Then exhale, walk the upper body out. When you're at your max, inhale, lengthen, pull the earth towards you, and exhale.

Go ahead and release again, simply letting the neck relax, letting the head fall and the back round. Full five breathes. One, two, three, and four, and five. So, nice and easy, inhale, walk the upper body back in and up. Exhale grounding here, and then slowly press yourself back onto the hands and the knees, unwinding legs.

Take a breath to center and ground. And then in hale, tuck your toes, and exhale in downward-facing dog. Straight up and back about five breaths. Play with it. And then as you're ready on an inhale, walking the feet forward, towards the front of the mat.

Take your feet about hip distance, soft bending the knees, Uttanasana, standing forward fold. Give yourself about three breaths here, whatever feels best. Hands drop or hold elbows, really soft and surrendered through the neck. And then if you do have hold of the elbows, let your hands release. Keep the head heavy and the neck soft, and slowly with your inhale, roll the body all the way up to stand.

And when you arrive, exhale, roll the shoulders down and back, shake it out a little bit, and Samastitihi, feet together, hands to prayer at the heart. Take a big inhale, steady exhale, and Surya Namaskara A. Inhale reaching up. Exhale, bow out and down. Inhale halfway up.

With your exhale, hop or step back, and lower as you chose. Inhale, lift the heart, and exhale, and downward-facing dog. Let's take five breaths here. Send the heels towards the earth, lifting through the sit bone, rolling the shoulders away from the ears really soft through the neck. And then one more breath.

At the bottom of your exhale bending the knees, hop or step to the front of the mat. Inhale, lengthen. Exhale, fold. Inhale all the way up. Exhale, let's draw the hands to prayer at the heart.

Two more cycles, inhale out and up. Exhale, fold. Inhale halfway. Exhale, hop or step back. And lower, inhale, lift the heart.

Exhale, and downward dog again. Five breaths, long spine, one, two, three, four, and five. Hop or step the feet forward. Inhale, lengthen. Exhale, fold.

Inhale all the way up. Exhale, hands to the heart. Once again, inhale up, exhale, bow forward. Inhale, lengthen. Exhale, jump or step back.

Chaturanga. Inhale, Urdhva Mukha, and exhale Adho Mukha Shvanasana. Five breath. Two, three, four, Hop or step forward. Inhale, lengthen.

Exhale, fold. Inhale all the way up, and exhale, hands to heart center. Three Surya Namaskar B with a little variation for the hips. Bending the knees, inhale, reach it up. Utkatasana.

Exhale, fold, out and down. Inhale halfway. Exhale, hop or step back, and through the flow. From here, inhale, take the right leg to the sky. Exhale, open the hip, bend the knee.

One full breath, and then you inhale, lengthen that leg. Exhale. Step the right foot forward, root the back heel down. Inhale, Warrior I, Virabhadrasana A. One more breath.

And then as you exhale, open it into Warrior II, Virabhadrasana B, to feel that opening through the pelvis, through the hips. Three breaths. And then exhale, take the hands to the earth, step back. Vinyasa is always optional. Feel free to let it go if you need to, and back to downward dog.

Second side, inhale, left leg to the sky, exhale, open the hip. Enjoy a breath here. And then inhale straight up, exhale. Simply step it forward, and go through the back heel. Inhale Warrior I, Virabhadrasana A.

Drop through the tailbone, lift from the lower belly, stay tall, inhale. Exhale wide open. Warropr II, Virabhadrasana B. Second side, sink down into it. Feel the hips opening, feel the inner thighs, especially on that left side, opening.

Three, Two. With the exhale, hands to the air, step back. Again, your Vinyasa or let it go. Downward dog, just three breaths this time. One, two, Bottom of the exhale, bend those knees, hop or step it forward.

Inhale up. Exhale, fold. Bend the knees, inhale, Utkatasana. Exhale, Samastitihi. Two more, building the phase.

Bend the knees, inhale, take it up. Utkatasana. Exhale, fold forward. Inhale halfway. Exhale, hop or step back, your flow.

Inhale, right leg up. Exhale, open the hip, bend the knee. Inhale, lengthen it. Exhale, step it forward, root the back heel. Warrior I, inhale up.

Exhale, open, Warrior II. Stay for a big inhale, exhale, hands to the earth. Step back, Vinyasa or straight to downward dog. Take a breath. Inhale, left leg up.

Exhale, open the hip, bend the knee. Inhale, lengthen it. Exhale, step it forward. Ground the back heel. Inhale, Warrior I.

Exhale, open, Warrior II. Stay for your inhale. Exhale, hands to the earth. Step it back, Vinyasa or let it go. Three breaths, long spine.

Bending the knees, hop or step it forward. Inhale up. Exhale, fold. Bend the knees, inhale, Utkatasana. Exhale, Samastitihi.

Last cycle, bend the inhale, Utkatasana. Exhale, fold forward. Inhale halfway. Exhale, float back and through. Inhale, lift the heart.

Exhale, take it back. Right leg, inhale up. Exhale, open the hip. Inhale, lengthen it again. Exhale, step it forward, root the back heel.

Inhale, Warrior I. Exhale, Warrior II. Stay for a big inhale. Exhale, hands down. Step back, Vinyasa or not, always let it go if you like.

One full breath. Left leg, inhale up. Exhale, open the hip. Inhale back up. Exhale, take it forward.

Root your back heel. Warrior I, inhale. Exhale, open at Warrior II. Big inhale here. Exhale, hands to the earth.

Step back. Wash it all the way. Three breaths. Go ahead and bend those knees, hop or step forward. Inhale, lengthen.

Exhale, fold. And then bending the knee, inhale, take it up, Utkatasana, and exhale, come back just down, Samastitihi. So, from here, we're gonna put it to Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana. Lots of variations of this posture, so do what you can. Begin by rooting through the right foot, and then if possible, you're gonna take that right foot all the way up into half lotus.

Okay. If that is too much for you knee, simply cross the right ankle over the left knee, take the hands to the heart, and sink back like a figure four with the legs. If you're comfortable up in half lotus, we're gonna move on from there. Keep holding the foot with the left hand, reach the right arm back. Maybe just hold that left arm.

Maybe you can find your right big toe. If not, totally okay to grab strap. Then, again, you have a choice. You can stay tall, just work with this, or take an inhale, and exhale slowly. Fold forward, left hand comes down to the earth.

Try to balance out through the pelvis, dropping that right hip of it, and gaze at the left big toe. Three more breaths. And then to come out of it, go mindfully if you're in the fold. Inhale just halfway up, stay there for your exhale, and then inhale all the way up, then slowly exhale. Let's all release that right leg.

Shake it out a little bit, and come to stand. Okay. Second side, it might be a little different. Be mindful of the left knee. Draw the foot up into half lotus, or again, if this doesn't serve, cross the ankle, flex the left foot, and sink down from there. If you're all right in the half lotus, reach your left arm back, maybe simply holding the right arm and pausing there, maybe taking hold of that left big toe.

You can stay tall or inhale, and exhale, fold. Root the right hand. Knees down into drop, that outer left hip, and breathe for five, four, three, two, and one. Come out slowly. Inhale halfway.

Stay here for your exhale, and then inhale. Go ahead and come all the way up. Exhale, really shake it out. Nice work. Okay.

Feet together, hands to prayer a the heart center. Take a big inhale and exhale. From here, bending the knees, inhale. Scoop it back into Utkatasana, and then just pause, Exhale, take your hands to prayer at your heart. Keep the weight in the right foot, strong through that right leg.

Then pick up the left leg and wrap it around for Garudasana, maybe once, maybe twice, maybe the foot hooks behind. If you're wobbly, just keep working with what you've got. Otherwise, inhale, arms out, and exhale, left elbow under the right. And for this variation, let's round the back and curl in. So try to oval towards your knees, draw the forehead towards the wrists, breathing into it.

Three, two. Okay then, we're gonna open into Warrior III. Inhale, extend the arms wide. Exhale, extend that left leg back. Breathing here with any arm variation for three, two.

And then moving into open hips. Root that right hand down. Take the left side of the hip for Ardha Chandrasana half moon. Find the stability in that standing leg, flex the left foot. Once you're rooted, extend the left arm up to the sky.

If you like to stay here, beautiful. Enjoy what you've got. If you'd like to play with Chapasana, left hand holds left foot, and then open through the heart as you draw that left foot back and out, letting a little bit of a back bend, breathing into those left tip flexers. Three, two, then one. Okay.

Then extend the left leg and the left arm again if you're in Chapasana. Take a big inhale, and gently exhale. We'll float back into a Warrior II. Bend the right knee, extend the arms out wide. Steady yourself for a breath or two, and the go ahead, inhale.

Lengthen the right leg. Exhale, turn the feet to parallel, hands to the hip for Prasarita Padottanasana. Drop the tailbone, inhale, lift the heart, and exhale. Simply fold forward, take the hands down to the earth, about should width. Inhale, lengthen.

Exhale, fold. So just about three breaths here. Then inhale halfway up, Ah, and here we go down into frog. So, however you best wanna get into it. I find kind of walking the feet back, crawling them in, until I can ease down onto the knees.

Make sure, as you come into this, that your feet aren't drawing in towards each other. That's gonna change the intensity of the stretch. You want them going straight back, perpendicular to the thighs. If this is really intense on the knees, you can fold them out over on either side, or you can even lay a blanket underneath both knees. So, this might be plenty for some of us.

If you feel for it, oh la la, come down onto the forearms and the elbows. Notice how it feels if you pull the hips back, if you draw them forward. If you come too far forward, you're coming all the way out to the stretch, so resist that. Kind of ease the hips back. If you're not getting enough stretch, draw the knees a little bit father apart, sink down through the hips, drop back a little, and keep extending through the heart.

Let's hold for five, four, three, two, hmm, and one. Okay. Never fun to come out of frog. Just do so mindfully. Walk the hands, and press.

Use the arms, and quarter walk the knees in a little bit. And then just plant through the hands, and try hopping back into Prasarita. All right. There we go. Inhale halfway up.

Exhale, hands to the hip, press through feet. Inhale all the way up. And then just nice and easy, exhale, step back to the front of the mat. Take a breath, release all attachment to the second side, and let's see how it goes. Bend the knees, inhale, Utkatasana.

Keep the legs, exhale, hands to the heart. Root through the left foot, pick up the right leg, and grow the second side. Do what you can. Again, if you're wobbly, keep the arms where they are. Otherwise, inhale, reach it out.

And exhale, right elbow under the left, interlace the forearms, and try not curling in. It accesses the outer hips a little bit differently with that same kind of rounding of the back that we've played within Gomukhasana. It's all connected. Three, two, and Warrior III. Inhale, unwind, take flight, reach it out, holding steady any arm variation.

Three, two. And then see if you can float into half moon. So you'll release the left hand down, take the right hand to the hip, and roll the hips open, stacking hips and shoulders. Flex the right foot. It will actually help your balance.

And once you feel pretty connected, take the right arm to the sky. Okay. If you like to stay here, beautiful. Otherwise, Chapasana, right hand to right foot. Open, open, open.

Maybe the beginning of a back bend. Definitely some breath into the right hip flexers. Three, two, and then gently, if you're in Chapasana, release the foot, release the arm, return to Ardha Chandra. And we'll meet in Warrior II. Gently on the exhale, float that right foot back, extend the arms out wide, and then inhale.

Lengthen the left leg. Exhale, cross the hands behind the back. Inhale, lift the heart. Exhale, go ahead and fold forward again, three breaths. Strong legs press through the toes, breathe into the upper back and shoulders.

One more breath. And then stay in your fold, exhale, release. We're gonna come back into frog. So again, kind of walk or hop the feet back a little bit, and then ease down onto the knees. Give it padding if you need to.

In this angle, you'll see the perpendicular shape of the legs. Then come down onto the forearms. Feel the hips drawing back a little, and breathe. Five, four, three, soft neck and jaw, two, and one. Okay.

Inhale, and walk back up onto the hands, and then creep the knees in a little bit. Try tucking the toes. Press through the hands to pop back into Prasarita. All right. Inhale halfway. Strong legs and core, axel hands to the hips.

Inhale all the way up. Exhale nice and easy, step it back, Samastitihi. Take a big inhale, ground on the exhale. And then inhale, sweep the arms up, and to exhale, simply bow forward. Inhale, lengthen it.

Exhale, hop or step back through the Vinyasa or straight back to down dog. Good. Take a big inhale, and exhale, child's pose. Drop the knees to the earth, the hips to the heels, knees together or wide, arms extending or back. We'll take a full 10 breaths here.

Let it be really comfortable. Support it if you need to. The beauty of child's pose, if we can hold it a little bit longer than usual, is the glute muscles, as they attach to the sacrum, get a chance to start to release, and then open all the way out into those outer hips. You can feel that surrender. Another five, four, three, two, and one.

Beautiful. Nice and easy, inhale, come back to the hands and the knees, tuck the toes, exhale to downward-facing dog. Before we come through to sit, enjoy a few breaths on downward dog, really long through the spine and the backs of the legs. And then gently soft bend the knees, hop or step through to sit. And extend the leg straight out for Dandasana.

We'll just take a couple of breaths here to ground and feel the earth. And then playing with Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana. Keep the left leg extended, and draw the right foot up into half lotus. Okay. So again, if this is too much on the knee, you can definitely modify, taking Janusirsasana style legs instead, right foot to the inner left thigh.

But if you're okay here with the foot up in half lotus, take that, reach the right arm back, find that big toe, or grab a strap or a towel, no big deal. Left hand holds left foot. Inhale, lengthen, and exhale, fold. Breathing, five, four, three, two, one. Inhale, go ahead and come up, and then exhale.

Simply switch the legs. You can support that right leg with the hands as you extended it out again, and then draw the left foot in, half lotus. Remember, Janusirsasana option, if there's any pain in that knee, if the foot is in half lotus, left arm reaches back, take hold of the big toe. Then right hand holds right foot. Inhale, lengthen, and exhale, fold.

And of course this is can be done with straps on both sides, holding the big toe or holding the foot. Breathing, five, four, three, two, and one. Inhale, come on up. Exhale, release. Maybe support that leg as you extend it out.

Give the legs a little rock, and balance, shake them out, and then classic hip opener, Baddha Konasana. Draw the legs in, soles of the feet together. I find rocking a little helps me to find the sit bones. You can do so if you like, and then thumbs on the inner arch, lift your fingers, wrap around. Take a big inhale all the way up that central chin, lifting through the heart, and exhale.

Go ahead and fold forward, melting to the earth. If forehead isn't on the earth, and you have a block hand, really anything, you can rest the forehead there. Give the neck a little support. In five, four, three, two, one. Inhale, go ahead and come on up, and then same idea, slight variation, extend the legs out, so there's sort of diamond shape with the legs, rather than a triangle.

Hands where they're comfortable. Inhale, reaching through the heart, lungs, spine. Exhale, fold forward, and maybe the forehead rests in the sweet soles of the feet here. Again, if you're close but not quite, a block right inside the heels and the forehead there, or even between the feet and the forehead there. One, two, three, four.

One more breath, and five. Gently inhale, come on up. Exhale. You can use the hands to draw the knees together, and then you'll simply roll all the way down, onto the back. Draw the knees in towards the chest, rocking a little side to side.

And then let's plant the feet on the earth, just about hips distance. Rest the arms wherever they're comfortable. And then just kind of a windshield wiper, the knees, gently side to side. Starting a gentle twist. And then take the arms all the way out to either side, and the next time the knees go to the right, just let them naturally drop for a simple twist here.

If you prefer any other twist, please feel free, whatever feels best. So of course deep hip opening can be pretty powerful. Sometimes a deep release of emotion or energy. You wanna give yourself ample time to slow down, settle and integrate the practice. A couple more breaths here.

And then inhale, drop back to center, and exhale, knees to the left. Again, any twist you're intuitively drawn to. Then if anything does arise, much as possible, greet it with compassion, a lot of space, maybe even a little gratitude. If it's stored in there, (chuckles) and we liberate it through the practice, I try to see that as a gift, an opportunity to let something uproot, to let something go. Sometimes it's not always pleasant on the way out, but we can stay with it, again, with compassion, with space.

Ultimately, we're left a little lighter, a little more free. So next inhale back to center. And from here, nice and easy, exhale. Simply let the legs extend, draw the arms a little close in towards the body, palms up. For your final rest, Tulasana.

So, one last breath together. And as we inhale, we'll open the mouth, and maybe even let out a sigh, a sound, a growl, a roar, whatever feels organic for you. Big inhale, and exhale, (sigh) and go ahead and really allow yourself to surrender and to rest. If you have the time and space to stay in Tulasana and that feels good, please do so. Otherwise, gently deepening the breath.

With an inhale, reach the arms up and over. With an exhale, bend the knees, feet to the earth. Roll to the right, and then let's come up into a comfortable sit. You may, with those wide open hips, feel good in full lotus, maybe half lotus, really any comfortable cross, like a position that feels good. Rest the hands up or down on the knees.

Let your eyes closed. Tall spine, shoulders back and down. And let's take a few breaths here, kind of sealing in all that goodness. And then draw the hands to prayer at the heart center. And let's close our practice together with a sound of "um".

Exhale it all out, and together, a big inhale. (humming) Gently inhale, and then a soft bow forward as you exhale. And thank you so much. Be sure to drink lots of water to keep this all moving through. Enjoy the rest of your day, and namaste.


Christine L
1 person likes this.
Thank you for a lovely class! I just started my period late yesterday, so all of the hip opening felt great! My cramps are lessened now, and I feel open and ready for my day!

Thank you,, and namaste,

Cheryl S
1 person likes this.
wonderful class.
Rosemary Garrison
Thank you, Cheryl!
Peter M
Why is so much envious on hips on yoga?

Did enjoy the class and feel open even my stiff hips getting looser after two years of practice
Judy K
2 people like this.
Rosemary, I love your sessions. Please add some more! Perhaps a couple of hour long ones!?!
Kira Sloane
1 person likes this.
Judy! Rosemary just filmed a collection of 1 hour sequences for the Power Hour. xokira
Rosemary Garrison
Thanks, Judy! Kira is spot on! We have 5 power hour sequences coming in the New Year. I hope you enjoy them. Love and light, R
Celia A
2 people like this.
Love all of your classes, Rosemary. Your focus on the body and mind always sets me up for a mindful day. Thank you!
Rosemary Garrison
Thanks, Celia! This is wonderful to hear. Enjoy!
Michelle M
1 person likes this.
This is my most favorite practice on Yoga Anytime. My hips and heart thank you!
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