Good Morning Yoga Artwork
Season 5 - Episode 6

Clear Your Hips

40 min - Practice
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Alana guides us in a sweet practice to clear the hips in a sequence of low lunges, standing postures, and hip opening postures. You will feel a sense of relief and open awareness.
What You'll Need: Mat

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(water swooshing) Good morning. This practice is designed to help open the hips, clear the hips, especially if they're feeling sticky, maybe first thing in the morning or at some point of your day. Join me at the top of your mat. We'll just start with the feed wide and come into a squat, just to, like, check the water. So bend your knees.

You're gonna ease your way into your hips. You might lean a little bit from side to side. And, depending on your legs and your heels, your heels might be lifted or grounded. Then, settling into your squat, the hands might come together, the elbows might press into the inner thighs, as you find a bit of length out of the low back. Softening the jaw, beginning to feel the legs awaken, feel the hips awaken.

Take a nice, full breath here. As you exhale, plant the hands, extend the legs toward straight, til heel the feet underneath your hips. Coming into a standing forward bend. Soft bend for your legs. You might bring the hands around your elbows and just bend the knees and let yourself sway a little bit from side to side.

Just feeling the spine begin to lengthen, feeling the head release. Begin to become aware of your breath. (exhales) Nice. And then release the hands soft, and through the knees, chin to your chest, and slow, begin to roll up towards standing, keeping the chin in. And then slowly rolling up, pressing down through your feet, feeling your heart, your shoulders, and your head.

Just take a few moments to stand and become aware of how you feel. Drawing your awareness down into your feet, spreading your toes. (inhales and exhales deeply) Feeling the lower back begin to widen, perhaps, the spine lengthen. Just find a comfortable stance that feels good for you this morning. Palms might open.

Beginning to draw your attention, your awareness towards your breath, and then inviting your breath to deepen. We've been working with this idea, this three-dimensional breath, so not only breathing in the front of the ribs and the front of the body, but can you feel the expression also in the back of the body, side body? With each inhalation, the lungs stretching into the intercostal muscles, the ribcage. Then, on the exhalation, the lungs emptying, belly softening. Few more moments tuning towards the breath and begin to allow the base of the skull to widen.

That might feel like the chin drawing in a little bit and the back of the neck lengthening. Tailbone beginning to drop towards the heels. Beginning to bring your feet a little closer together, spreading the toes. We'll make our way into a sun salutation from here. Let's find a clearing breath together.

Inhale. (inhales deeply) And exhale everything. (breath swooshes) Breathing in, inhale, circle the arms up. Take a moment to lengthen. And then exhale.

Maybe a soft bend through the knees as you fold forward, drawing the navel towards the spine, releasing the head and the arms. Inhale, lengthen the spine, lengthen. Exhale, bend the knees, and step back into your first plank. Take a moment in plank, right? Shoulders over the wrists, strong and active through your legs, awake in the belly and the core.

Lower the knees to the floor or, nice and slow, lower all the way onto your belly, keeping the elbows in, as we inhale up for cobra. Pressing down through the tops of the feet and lifting the heart. Wide through the collarbone, spacious through the throat. And then exhale, release. Tuck your toes under and press back into your downward facing dog.

Let's take about five breaths here this morning. Spreading the fingers wide. You might come high up onto the balls of your feet, bend your knees a little bit. Then begin to walk it off, feeling one knee bend and stretching the calf and heel to the floor and kind of bicycle the knees, the legs. Settling in.

Take a nice, full breath. (inhales deeply) Exhale everything. (exhales) From here, walk. Or you might hop your feet towards your hands. Inhale, half arch, lengthen the spine and exhale, forward fold.

Spread the toes, strong legs, inhale, circle the arms up to the sky. Lengthen. And exhale, release the arms. Taking a moment here to pause, catch your breath, catch the spine lengthening, grounding through the feet. Hands come together.

Clearing breath, inhale, exhale everything. (breath swooshes) Inhale, circle the arms up. Lengthen and exhale, forward fold. Releasing the head and the arms. Inhale, half arch, lengthen, and exhale, plant the hands, step back into your plank.

Take a moment to pause in plank. Then slow lower the knees or lower all the way down onto your belly. Inhale, cobra, peel the heart up. Wide through the collarbones, upper back, and then exhale, release. Tuck the toes under.

Come up onto the knees or draw the elbows into the ribs. Strong through the core. And press up into plank, pressing back and downward facing dog. Taking a few breaths here as you settle in and lengthen. From here, let's inhale, the right leg high to the sky.

Square the hips and exhale. Shoulders over the wrists, knee to nose. Get round through the upper back. Inhale, reach the right leg to the sky. This time, we'll exhale, float the foot between the hands.

Coming into a lunge. First step is to wiggle back through the ball of the foot, lengthen forward through your heart, and then let the left knee lower down. Together, we'll inhale, draw the hips back, flex the foot, draw the toes to the face and exhale, bend the knee and sink in. Hips might draw forward, the heart might brighten. Inhale from the belly.

Pull the hips back. Come onto your right heel, lengthen, exhale, sink and soften the jaw and the eyes. One more time. We'll inhale, pull the hips back, find length. Exhale, sink in.

You might stay here. You might inhale, the arms up to the sky. Bend the left arm. Bring the left hand to the left elbow. As you inhale, reach up, out, and over to your right, sinking into your hips.

Feel the support up from within, up through the pelvic floor. Inhale and then exhale, release. Let's do that on the other side. Bend the right elbow. Left hand to the right elbow, inhale.

Take it up, out and over to the left. Breathing. Press into the ball of the right foot. Inhale, come back at the center, and then release the hands. We're gonna bring the hands on the inside of the right leg and toe-heel the right foot slightly wider for, like, a lizard variation.

Now, you might begin to lean a little bit from side to side here. Explore the sensation through that left hip, through the back thigh, through the jaw. Breathing into where you feel it. You might stay up on your hands. You might begin to come onto your forearms as you kind of press into the ball of that right foot.

Breathing. Relaxing the neck, relaxing the eyes. Let's take one more inhale here in this little lizard. Then come up onto the hands, lift the back leg and then pivot onto the outer edge of the back foot. From here, the hands might walk out at a diagonal to your left, as you reach the hips away from the hands, finding length here, sinking into your right hip and rooting through the outer edge of the left foot.

(sighs and exhales) Okay, walk the hands back around the front foot. So you might reorganize to heel that front foot back. Then step the back foot in. We'll come into a pyramid variation here. Extend the right leg toward straight, inhale, lengthen the spine, and then exhale.

You might begin to fold forward. Bring your forehead towards your left shin, drawing the right belly back as you play with screwing your hips forward. Notice here the quality of your breath. Can you find a smooth, even breath? (breathes deeply) When you're ready, bend your right knee, come on to the ball of your back foot, and step back into your downward dog.

Walking it off a little bit here. When you're ready, inhale, forward into plank pose, shoulders over the wrists. You might lower the knees all the way to the floor, or lower yourself down. Inhale, up, cobra, or upward dog. Pressing into the palms.

Find length up through the spine. Draw the shoulders down the back and exhale, press back, downward facing dog. (breathes deeply) Let's take in one more breath here and downward dog, finding a bit more length. When you're ready, we'll inhale, the left leg high to the sky, and exhale, take the knee to the forehead, get round. Inhale, left leg to the sky, and then exhale, we'll bring it all the way through between the hands.

Wiggle back through the ball of your right foot, and then lower your right knee down to the floor. As you inhale, draw your hips back, come onto your left heel, find the hamstrings. Exhale, bend the left knee and sink in. Inhale from the belly, pull the hips back, come onto your left heel. Exhale, sink in, the hips might float forward, the heart might brighten.

And then exhale, pull back, lengthen. Exhale, sink in. From here, you might tuck the back toes and inhale, the arms up to the sky. Bending the right elbow, bring the left hand to the right elbow and stretch it up, out and over to your left. Lifting up through the pelvic floor as you find length on the right side.

Take a nice, full breath. (breath swooshes) Inhale, back to the center, release the arms up. Then bend the left elbow. Bring the right hand to the left elbow, taking it up, out and over to the right. Breathing.

(inhales deeply) Inhale back up to the center, release the arms up, and then exhale, release the hands. From here, we'll toe-heel the left foot slightly wider and then release the hands on the inside of that left leg for lizard. Take your time here to begin to explore. You might lean from side to side, exploring the sensation through the hips and that back right thigh. (exhales) Notice where you can soften through the eyes, the jaw.

You might stay here, you might begin to come onto your forearms. Pressing down through the ball of the left foot. Most likely, this side feels different in your body. (breathes deeply) Again, notice the quality of your breath here. (breathes deeply) When you're ready, come back up onto your hands.

Tuck the back toes and then pivot onto the outer edge of the back right foot. From here, walk your hands towards the right at a diagonal. You're rooting through the outer right edge. The left knee's bent. Then, here reaching your hips away from your hands a bit, finding length and breathing.

For me, I feel like a real strong burning through that left hip. Softening. (breathes deeply) Whenever you're ready, walk your hands back, toe-heel the left foot into the center and we'll come into that pyramid variation, extending the left leg towards straight. This can always feel like a relief after coming out of the low lunge. Inhale, lengthen and then exhale.

You might fold forward, bringing the shin towards, the forehead towards the shin, maybe drawing that left belly back a little bit as you square your hips. (breathes deeply) Breathing. When you're ready, bend the left knee and step back, downward facing dog. Walking it off a little bit here. On the inhale, we'll come forward into plank, exhale, lower the knees or lower chaturanga, keeping the elbows in, inhale to your cobra or upward dog, drawing the shoulders down the back, lifting the thighs if you're in up dog.

Exhale, press back to downward facing dog. From downward dog, hop or walk your feet towards your hands. Inhale, half arch, lengthen your spine. Exhale, maybe a soft bend through the knees as you fold forward. Inhale, circle the arms up to the sky.

Reach up and lengthen. Exhale, release the arms, taking a moment to pause, feeling the feet, feeling the spine lengthen. Hands join together, clearing breath, inhale. Exhale. (breath swooshes) Moving with our breath, we'll inhale, circle the arms up.

Exhale, forward fold, releasing the head and the arms. Inhale, half arch, lengthen. Exhale, step back into your plank. From plank, lower the knees or lower chaturanga. Keeping the elbows in.

Inhale to cobra or upward facing dog. Exhale, downward facing dog. Taking a breath here. We'll inhale, the right leg high to the sky. Exhale, right knee to right elbow, shoulders over the wrists.

Inhale, right leg to the sky. Exhale, we'll bring the right foot between the hands. Pivot onto the outer right edge of the foot. Inhale, come up warrior II. Take a moment, settle into your warrior II.

(breathes deeply) Good, and then we'll come into horse stance. So begin to shift your weight. Turn your left heel out and come into horse. You might bring your hands onto your legs as you sink down into your hips. I know I like to lean a little bit from side to side here, again, like, just checking in.

Good. From here, the hands might get light and then bring your left hand underneath your right. So finding this eagle wrap through the shoulders. Now, let your sit bones reach towards the floor here. Feel that opening through the hips.

Here, you might begin to round your back. Take a breath into the back of the body. (breath whooshes) Sink down a little bit lower. You might bring your elbows up towards the sky. Inhale and then exhale, we'll open the arms up and come into warrior II on the other side.

Right foot turns in, left foot turns out. Ooh, sink down into your left hip. (exhale whooshes) Good, we'll come back into that horse stance. Turn both feet out. Bring the right arm underneath the left and sink down.

Good, and take a nice, full breath into the back of the body. You might play with a rounding forward. Can feel, like, a nice stretch through the shoulder blades and the back as you release the neck. Or you might reach the arms up, or the elbows up, sinking down. One more inhale, exhale, soften the jaw.

Let's inhale, the arms up to the sky. Turn the feet parallel and then release the hands down the legs, coming into a forward bend. Walk the hands underneath. Heels of the hands in line with the heels of the feet. And then drawing the shoulders up the back.

Lean into a wide leg forward bend. Breathing. From here, hands onto your hips and inhale, come all the way back up. Good, and we're gonna slide our hands down our legs again and begin to bend one knee and shift the weight over to the foot, the leg, and then bend and shift. Continue to move here in and out, back and forth, with your breath.

Bending, inhale, and then over to the other side. You might keep your hands on the floor here. You might play with letting your hands get light as you bend and shift and bend and shift. Finding a fluid movement through the hips, through the legs, as you come back and forth. Softening through the jaw.

Good. Next time you come over to the right, where you're at the top of the mat, shift over, bring your hands around the front foot and step back into downward facing dog. From downward facing dog, inhale forward into plank. Exhale, lower the knees or lower all the way into your chaturanga. Inhale to cobra or upward dog, taking a moment to pause, and then exhale, downward facing dog.

We'll reset. Inhale, the left leg to the sky. Exhale, knee to left elbow. Inhale, left leg to the sky. And then exhale.

Bring the left foot between the hands, pivot onto the outer right edge of the foot. We'll inhale, the top arm up for warrior II. We'll find this variation, again sinking down into the hips. Good, and then coming into horse stance, turning both feet out, heels in. Inhale, the left arm underneath our right for eagle.

Sink down, dropping through the sit bones. Softening through the jaw. (sighs) Opening up for warrior II. Left foot turns in, right foot turns out. Taking a moment here, feeling the legs, feeling the hips.

Good, shifting back into eagle. Right arm wraps underneath the left. Heels in, feet out. You might shift your weight a little bit side to side and then settle into the center, taking a nice, full breath into the back body. Good.

Then from here, inhale, the arms up to the sky, bring the feet parallel and then bring the hands down the legs. Again, walk the hands underneath you. Draw the shoulders down the back and bring the head towards the floor. You might bend the knees here, lengthening through the spine, breathing. Rooting through the outer edges of the feet and lifting through the inner lines of the legs.

This can be like a sweet release after all that work through the legs. Nice. When you're ready, bring the hands back underneath your shoulders. Strong for your legs. Inhale, come all the way back up.

Then we're gonna come back down, hands on the floor, bend the right knee, sink into the hip. And then over to the left. Bend the left knee and sink over. Just like we did on the other side, lean from side to side. Your hands might stay on the floor.

The hands might get lights as you shift your weight back and forth. Breathing. Good. Then, when you bend your left knee, shift your weight back to the front of the mat, toe-heel your left foot back to the center, spin onto the ball of the back foot, step back, downward facing dog. Here's our chance to just kind of reset.

Spreading the fingers, lengthening the spine. Again, we'll inhale forward into our plank, lowering the knees to the floor or through a chaturanga. Inhale to cobra or your upward facing dog. Pause, and then exhale, downward facing dog. Taking about three breaths here, walking it off, lengthening.

Then from here, walk or maybe hop your feet towards your hands. Take a few steps, you're walking. Inhale, lengthen, exhale, forward fold. Inhale, circle the arms up to the sky, reaching up. Exhale, release the arms, taking a moment to pause.

Drawing your awareness down into your feet. Feeling this life-sustaining energy moving. (exhales deeply) From here, let's step our feet wide and come into a wide leg stance for an extended side angle. We'll turn our left foot and our right foot out. Bring your right heel in line with your left heel.

It's a slightly wider stance than in triangle pose. Then bend your right knee. From here, there's options. You might bring your right forearm onto your right thigh. You might bring your right hand to the floor, if appropriate.

So finding one of those options as you sweep the left arm in front of your face and lengthen. Rooting through the outer edge of the left foot, and see if you can rotate your bottom ribs up. Breathing. Taking about three full breaths here. You might stay right here.

The other option, if you feel quite fancy, is to find a bind, where you bring your right arm inside and then you wrap your left hand or arm behind you, and you bend the knee. You might play with twisting the heart up. If this feels like incredibly uncomfortable, you're in pain, then come back into whatever position you were in in extended side angle. Good, and then one more inhale. Exhale.

We'll inhale and come all the way up through the center. (sighs) Then we'll find the other side. So bring your right foot and your left foot out. It's totally new side, so just check it out. Good, and then here on this side, you might bring your left arm to your left leg.

Sweep your arm, your right arm, overhead. You might bring your left hand to the floor outside of your left foot. And then here, the work is to really lengthen, draw the ribs under and up, breathing. Again, if you're quite comfortable here and you wanna play with the bind, you can bring the left arm inside, wrap the right arm behind, and maybe the hands find each other. And if they are, the place to begin open the chest as you root through the outer edge of the back foot.

Breathing. If you're here, come back into whatever shape feels the best for you. Take one more full breath here. Inhale, come all the way back up. Walk your feet under your hips or play with bending your knees and hopping.

Take a moment to stand in tadasana. Standing on both feet, feeling your pelvis, your shoulders, wide through the base of the skull. (exhales deeply) Making our way towards the top of our mat and down to the Earth with a sun salutation. Hands together, clearing breath, inhale. Exhale everything.

(exhales deeply) On the inhale, we'll circle the arms up to the sky and then exhale, forward fold. Releasing the head and the arms. Inhale, half arch, lengthen, and exhale, step back into your plank. From plank, lower the knees or lower through chaturanga, keeping your elbows in. Inhale, cobra or upward dog.

Exhale, downward dog. As we move into pigeon from here, inhale the right leg high to the sky, and then exhale, get round, and draw it in, so draw the knee in as you set up for pigeon. Reach back through that left foot. Take a few moments here to settle in. You might, if you have a blanket handy, might tuck a blanket underneath your right hip.

Inhale, lengthening the spine towards the sky as you square the hips. You might stay right here and just work to soften and breathe. You might be inspired or invited to walk your arms forward, settling in. Of course, breathing into wherever you feel sensation here in pigeon. Allowing your inhale to help create maybe a bit more space in the body, and allowing your exhalation to help soften, release any tension or holding through the pelvis and the hips, maybe in the jaw.

Taking one more inhale. Nice, full exhale. When you're ready, slow walk your hands underneath you. Take a moment here to pause. We're gonna swing our left leg in front of us.

If you wanna roll onto your right hip, and then swing as we come into a seated twist. Wrap the left leg around the right leg, press into the ball of your left foot, and see if you can kinda ground on your sit bones, both evenly. It's not easy. We'll inhale the right arm up to the sky, and then exhale and twist. You might prefer the twist to wrap your right hand around your left leg, or draw it on the inside.

I prefer the wrap. See what feels best for you. Then we'll ground through the sit bones. Press into the ball of that left foot as you inhale, lengthen. Then exhale, twisting over your left shoulder.

Breathing here. Especially, like, breathe into the back of your body. (breathes deeply) Customize the twist for you so that it feels interesting. Let's take one more inhale, and then exhale, slow release. From here, we'll come onto our right hip again and swing our left leg around.

Come back into the shape of pigeon. Tuck the back toes under, press into the hands. Belly draws into the spine. And it might feel nice to lift the right leg up to the sky. Usually it does.

You might bend the knee and open and close the hip a little bit. Nice, squaring the hip, lower the right leg, come back into your downward facing dog and kind of, like, reorganize your hands and your legs. We'll find out on the other side. Inhale, the left leg high to the sky. Then exhale, draw the knee into your pigeon.

Walk back through the right foot and then settle in here. Again, you might tuck a blanket underneath your left hip. (exhales deeply) This side most likely feels different. I know it does for me. (sighs) You might stay upright.

You might begin to walk your hands and arms forward to deepen the sensation through the hip. Again, notice the quality of your breath here. With each inhale, creating a bit of space. And then the exhale, softening, releasing. Then maybe you might roll forward, releasing the head towards the floor, maybe the hands.

Drawing that back right hip towards the floor. Again, for me here, like, all the sensation is in that left hip. If you feel it anywhere other than the hip, like, if you feel in your left knee, you're gonna wanna draw your foot in and maybe come onto your back and find an eye of the needle so you're not putting pressure on the knee. Then just a few more moments. (breathes deeply) Again softening the jaw.

When you're ready, walk your hands underneath you, press your palms, chin to the chest, roll up. We're gonna bring our weight onto our left hip and swing our right leg around. It's very fancy. (chuckles) Wrap your right leg around your left and then press into the ball of your right foot. Inhale, your right arm up. Then, as you exhale, find your twist.

You might wrap or reach the arm inside. Press down through that right arm as you lengthen up through the spine. That feels so nice. Then exhale, press into that right foot as you twist to your right here. See if you can find a breath in the back body and a bit more ease through the face.

Then slow, release the gaze over the shoulder, unwind. We're gonna swing our right leg behind us. Tuck the toes under. Then from here, press up into our downward dog. You might lift the left leg, bend the knee and let the hip open and close a few times.

Then letting it lower again. From here, reorganize your downward dog. One last time, we'll inhale forward into plank, lower the knees or lower through your chaturanga, your low plank. Inhale to your cobra or upward dog, and exhale into your downward facing dog. From here, bend the knees wide and come into a wide child's pose with the big toes touching.

Then sink down into your hips, finding the symmetrical shape after pigeon. Bringing the forehead to the floor. Softening the jaw. You get a sense of breathing wide into the mid-lower back and the sacrum. Slow walk the hands underneath you, chin to the chest, draw your knees towards each other if they're wide and roll up for a moment.

Sitting on the heels. We'll make our way onto out back, draw our knees into our chest. From here, finding a happy baby. So bending the knees, bring the hands around the outer edges of your feet, draw your knees towards your underarms. From here, you might rock a little bit from side to side.

Rocking across the low back and the sacrum, softening through the jaw. (exhales deeply) Breathing. Nice, and then slow release the legs, hug the knees into the chest. (exhales deeply) Release the feet to the floor, bring the soles of the feet together, let the knees fall wide, stretch the arms overhead, find the elbows as you lengthen through your spine. Taking a few breaths into the side body, the back body.

(exhales deeply) Then releasing the arms. Bring the knees towards each other and the soles of the feet wider than the hips, just nice and easy windshield wipers. Side to side. Arms might stretch overhead. You might let your head move here.

Just taking a few moments then to extend your legs, taking a final relaxation, relaxing all of the effort and resting in the spaciousness through your pelvis, through your hips, through your legs. You're welcome to stay here as long as you'd like. When you feel ready to transition, draw your knees into your chest, roll to your side, pause for a moment. (exhales deeply) And gradually make your way towards the seat, tipping the head heavy as you press your way up. Keeping the eyes soft here, coming into a comfortable seat.

Maybe it's crossed leg, maybe it's one leg over the other. (breathes deeply) And then lengthen out of the waist, grounding through the sit bones, feeling the back body broaden a bit, letting the front of the heart brighten and wide through the base of the skull. Drawing our hands together, we'll find a clearing breath, inhale, exhale everything. (exhales deeply) More time, breathing in and exhale. Namaste.

Thank you for your practice.

Comments

So great. Thanks again for another wonderful morning.
Good morning, Kit! So glad you enjoyed the practice. It's amazing how 30 minutes of practice can make such a huge difference in our day. :)
It's always a joy to have your gentle voice lead me through a practice. Thank you!
Hi Erika! So sweet to receive your message this morning. I'm delighted to be practicing together. Thank you for being here! ~Alana
I feel like I want to comment after every video but this felt sooo good for my hips. The more I practice, the further my knees are heading to the floor in my meditation practice! Thank you Alana. I love your practices so much. X
Hi John Jackson, That's wonderful to hear! It's amazing to feel and see the shifts and new insights that get revealed (in the body, heart, and mind) with a steady and consistent practice. Developing awareness and tracking "the results" is key. Nice work! x
Wonderful practice, thank you, Alana Mitnick !
Lori! It's a JOY knowing you are HERE. So wonderful to be practicing together - online and in the flesh. :) xoA
Wounderful and lovely! Thank you! Love
Beautiful, Katarina! Wonderful to be practicing together from Sweden. Love, Alana
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