Too Tight to Stretch Artwork
Season 2 - Episode 3

Mobility in the Hips

20 min - Practice


Emily guides us a short sequence to help create more strength and mobility in the hips. With the support of a chair, wall, strap, and blanket, your hips and legs will feel more stable and open.
What You'll Need: Mat, Chair, Wall, Blanket

About This Video

Aug 23, 2016
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(splashing waves) Hi everyone, welcome back. This practice is to help you create a little bit more strength and mobility in your hips. And for this we'll be using a chair, a strap, and a blanket, and you'll also want to be near a wall space. Come to the top of your mat and stand in mountain pose. So your feet will be parallel, hip width apart, and toes pointing straight ahead.

And just close your eyes for a moment and gently draw the weight slightly back towards your heels and tune into your breath. (breathes deeply) (breathes deeply) Bring your hands to your hips, open the eyes, and we'll start here with just some very simple half-forward folds. So you can bend your knees just a little bit to create a little bit of ease in your low back and take a nice big inhale here. And with your exhale, start to tilt your pelvis forward, shifting the hips back. Keep the back of the neck long and come down halfway and then press through your heels, gently contract your gluteal muscles to bring your self all the way back upright.

And then let's try that again, shift the hips back, slight bend in the knees here. Nice long spine. Come all the way back up to stand. We'll do three more just like that. Exhale as you hinge forward and inhale as you come all the way back up.

(breathes deeply) Good, last one. Think about creating a lot of length between the crown of the head and the tailbone. On your exhale contract your glutes. Come all the way back up to stand and then release your arms down to your sides and hopefully that just started to wake your hips up just a little bit more. Now find your chair and bring your chair so that the seat of the chair is facing the wall space.

Place the legs right up against the molding so that you don't slide anywhere. Bring your hands to the back of your chair. And I have to hinge forward just a little bit to get mine in place and then step your right foot back. We'll come into a high lunge so you'll have your feet hip width apart. Bend your front knee and lengthen through the spine.

Take a nice big breath in here and then as you exhale begin to straighten that front leg and start to hinge forward just a little bit more. Inhale, bend the front knee, lift the chest. Exhale, begin to straighten that leg, it may not straighten all the way. It'll just go 'til you find a comfortable stretch. Good, let's keep going like that for three more breaths.

Each time you exhale and straighten the front leg you can send your back heel straight back and down towards the floor. (breathes deeply) Last one here. Then the next time that you inhale, come back into that high lunge position. You can use your chair here to stabilize you and just take a few breaths here, relax. So you'll take a few breaths here, just holding your high lunge.

Gently lift up through the low belly. Relax the shoulders down. You can really feel how this is strengthening your whole left hip and thigh. And then on your next exhale begin to straighten that leg and send your right heel straight back. Folding forward.

Again just folding as far forward as it feels comfortable for you here and that's really nice to have the chair so that you can stop when you need to. (breathes deeply) On your next inhale bend your front knees, step your back foot up to meet your front foot and then we'll change sides. Step your left foot back, have your feet hip width apart. Inhale, bend your right knee deepening your lunge, lifting the chest, and then exhale, straighten the front leg and begin to fold forward. Inhale, front knee bends, tracking that front knee right towards the ankle, exhale and fold.

(breathes deeply) Last two times here. Inhale to high lunge. Exhaling to this pyramid variation. Last one, front knee bends as you inhale, exhale, folding forward. Next, inhale bend the front knee, pause here.

Start to lengthen from the tailbone to the crown of head. Draw the naval back towards the spine. Feel for driving down through that front heel, reaching back through the back heel. And then on your next exhale begin to straighten that front leg until you find a comfortable stretch and fold forward. (breathes deeply) On your next inhale bend your front knees, step your back foot up to meet your front foot, and then find your strap.

And my strap already has a nice loop in it so you can always set this up a little bit before your practice or you can put it in now. And we'll use this loop to bring around the, around our left ankle. So we'll just fit this strap around the ankle. Try to line up your knees and hold as close to the foot as you can here and then flex that left foot and draw the heel in towards the back of your hip. Keep lifting up through the low belly to drop the tailbone down towards the floor.

So you'll feel this opening up the front of the left hip and thigh, as well as, strengthening your right hip as you're standing here in a balance on one leg. (breathes deeply) Good, on your next exhale slowly release, carefully take that strap off of your ankle and then change sides. Bringing the strap around the right ankle, here flex your right foot. Try to line up your knees as if you were standing in mountain pose again. Flex your right foot and then try to crawl your hands as close as you can towards your foot so you're quite stable here.

Lift through the low belly, lengthen up through the crown of the head. Breathe deeply here. (breathes deeply) Your next exhale slowly release, take the strap off of the foot and just set your strap and your chair off to the side. Come back to your mat and stand with your legs really nice and wide apart, line up your heels. Turn your right toes out to the right and kick your left heel back slightly.

We'll be setting up here for warrior two. Bend your right knee and as you do, be sure to track your right knee right over the ankle so we don't ever want our knee to be turning in as we're doing this pose. If you feel like that's happening because of tightness in your inner thighs just straighten the leg a little bit more so that your knee joint is always safe. From here, raise the arms up shoulder height and gaze right out over the middle finger of the right hand. (breathes deeply) You'll feel this working your outer right hip as it opens up the inner right thigh.

And as you take your next exhale, bring your right forearm to your thigh and stretch your left arm straight up towards the sky. You can look straight ahead here just to keep the back of your neck nice and comfortable. (breathes deeply) Press through your feet and inhale slowly, make your way back up to warrior two. Straighten your front leg, lower your arms, and parallel your feet. And then turn your left toes out and again line up your heels here just to give yourself a little bit more space.

Kick that right heel back and bend the left knee, tracking the left knee with the ankle. Raise the arms up shoulder height and gaze out over the middle finger of your left hand. Breathing deeply here. (breathes deeply) On your next exhale bring your left forearm to your thigh. Stretch your right arm straight up towards the ceiling here and then gazing forward, taking some really nice full breaths.

Anchoring down through that back heel here. Lengthening through the crown of the head. (breathes deeply) Good, on your next inhale slowly come on up. Release your arms, parallel your feet, and then step to the front of your mat. Find a mountain pose here and then on your inhale, sweep your arms out and up.

And as you exhale, place a nice deep bend in your knees, hinge at your hips, fold forward. And then as you inhale step back to your hands and your knees and you'll probably want to open a blanket up across the center of your mat here. We're going to go into a wide knee child's pose. So we'll open the blanket up halfway, bring it right across the center of the mat, and then touch the big toes together, open the knees apart, walk the hands forward, and you can just start out by coming down onto your elbows and letting your head hang. If you'd like to take this a little bit deeper, you can start to shift your hips back a little bit more towards your heels, allowing the forehead to come down towards the floor.

(breathes deeply) And then your next inhale, slowly make your way back up to your hands and knees and let's just crawl off of our blanket so that we can fold it into quarters and use it for underneath our heads. So we'll bring the blanket to the top of the mat and then find your strap again so that you have that handy and come all the way down onto your back. Get that nice support for the neck here. Once you arrive, cross your left ankle over your right knee, and you can stay right here, gently bringing the left hand to your inner left thigh, flexing your left foot and gently pressing the thigh away from you with your hand or if you have the space you can bring the knees into the chest and interlace your hands behind your right thigh or use your strap to create a little handle for your thigh. Once you have your hold, take an inhale and press your left ankle into your right knee so you feel your outer left hip muscles beginning to activate.

Pause and hold that for just a moment and then exhale and relax and maybe draw the knees in a little bit closer. We'll do that for a couple more breaths. Take an inhale, press your ankle into the knee, flexing the foot, activating the lateral hip rotators. And then release and notice if you have a little bit more space and one more time like that. Press the ankle into the knee, drawing the knee in a little bit closer if you can as you press this time and then just relax that press but hold your stretch.

(breathes deeply) Slowly release, place your right foot down, uncross the legs and change sides. Right ankle above the left knee, flex your right foot, stay here pressing with your hand into the right thigh or else draw the knees into the chest and again you can either use your strap or interlace your hands behind your left thigh. And I'll use my strap again since I did that on the other side. It gives you some nice space here. As you breathe in, start to press your right ankle into the left knee, flex that right foot so you're really stabilizing the knee joint.

Hold for a few moments and then release as you exhale. Maybe draw the knees in a little bit closer. And then begin that press again. Pressing the ankle into the knee, feeling that outer hip working a little bit here. Release, draw the knees in a little bit closer if you have the space and one more time like that.

(breathes deeply) Release your strap or your leg, bring your foot back down to the floor and then uncross your legs and take your strap, and you will probably already have your loop still here so you can just bring that loop around the arch of your left foot. Move your left leg out the left slightly and turn your left toes out and then bend your left knee bringing it down towards your left underarm. Send your tailbone down towards the floor here and breathe deeply in half happy baby. (breathes deeply) (breathes deeply) Let's slowly release the strap from your foot, bring your left foot back down to the floor, and then bring the strap around the arch of your right foot. Draw your right leg out to the right slightly and turn the leg out, toes out, and start to draw the knee down towards your underarm.

Send your tailbone back down towards the floor here. Breathing fully. (breathes deeply) Good, on your next exhale, release your strap, take the strap off of your foot and just bring your feet back down to the ground. Set your strap off to the side, stretch your arms out, close your eyes. Take a nice deep breath here.

(breathes deeply) And just take a moment noticing your hips and how they feel. (breathes deeply) And then let your whole body relax. (breathes deeply) And slowly make your way over onto your side and press yourself all the way up to sitting. Thank you for sharing your practice. Namaste.


I was able to get a really good release in my hip area. Thank you! It feels great.
Hi jean! Thanks for practicing with me. That is great news! It is so great to feel good results from your practice!
Nice practice! Thanks, Emily!
Sandra Židan So glad you liked it!! Hope your hips are happy 😊 

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