Chair Yoga Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 7

Juicy Hips

30 min - Practice


Karen guides us in a yummy chair practice designed to lubricate the hips. We begin by warming up the pelvic and spine, before easing deep into the hips.
What You'll Need: Mat, Chair

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Hi, everybody. Welcome back. Today, we are going to get into our hips a little bit. And I think you're going to really enjoy the lubrication. And it's just going to feel really, really yummy. So we're going to start off by working into a cat cow while seated. So make yourself be nice and comfortable, but give yourself enough space at the back of the seat, so you can curve in. So when you're ready, just the palms are resting on the tops of the legs, feet are nice and steady. And we're just going to inhale and find that tall spine that we've been working on. And let the abdominals help you a little bit. They're just pulled back and stretched up a little bit to give you some length, some support. And with our exhale, we're finding the feet, we're finding the sit bones, the inhale bringing us up nice and tall and having the extension come all the way up and out through the crown. Nice. And when you're ready, we're going to take a deep exhale and roll all the way inward. So we're rolling the spine. So we're tucking a little bit through the pelvis, the belly button is going to the spine, the chin is tucking. So we have this big deep curve happening in the spine. And we're getting all of the breath out, ready for the inhale. As you come forward, rolling here through the pelvis, arching through the back as the heart comes through, the shoulders squeeze a little bit and the head moves a little bit up towards the ceiling. And exhale, let's roll it on out. Beautiful. Now keep that going. We're going to do this for about four, six or eight times, whichever feels really delicious for you. It's all great. Just allow for it to happen. And it can be as slow or as fast as you would like. But do try to have the movement work with the breath and the breath work with the movement. And we're just getting warmed up here through the whole body because you're feeling this down through the feet, working all the way up through the legs, the pelvis, the spine and through the crown. And then just come to a nice natural, relaxed, tall spine and just move a little bit closer to the edge of the chair. Your buttocks are still on the chair and I don't want you to fall off. So ground your feet a little bit, but have them be nice and wide. We're going to start doing some windshield wipers seated. So when you're ready, nice inhale here at the center. And as you exhale, just tip the knees towards the left and let them drop and feel the insides and outsides of the feet. Inhale, bring it all the way up and exhale, roll over to the other side. And let's have that happen a bit more. And I want you to try and work with squeezing the blades to the back a little bit so the shoulders stay behind you, right? And this action is happening with the rotation through the waist body, through the knees and hips, on the sit bones. If you like, if you'd like to, you can move the head with the knees in the same direction, get the cervical spine moving, or maybe you might consider putting the head in the opposite direction. You'll decide and you can certainly play with that for a bunch of times. And then make your way back to the center and let's heel-toe the feet to where they're underneath the knees. Release the hands and take that reset breath. Inhale, tall, exhale, release the shoulders, soft jaw, soft gaze, soft heart, and just enjoy a breath or two right here before we move on. Okay, so to move on, we're going to find our concentration and our weight a little bit on the left foot here as we pick up the right knee and exhale, bring it in towards the abdominals and just release it. Let's go to the other side, pick up the left and exhale and squeeze, inhale, release, and go to the other side. We're just alternating here, just feeling the movement through the buttocks, through the hip, the pelvis, a handful of times. Each time you pull it in, maybe you can bring it a little closer to the chest, extend up through the crown, just feeling the whole body from top to bottom. A handful of times here, each side. We're going to add on here in a moment, picking up the right knee and when you're ready, release the left hand. It can be on the thigh and we're just going to take that right knee out to the side and bring it in and take it out. So it's like this little rotation happening. It's like the femur bone is just moving there in the hip socket. Oh, and it just feels so nice to open it up and cross it over. Beautiful, handful more, one or two more. Nice. And then just move to the other side, pick up the left knee, bring it on in and extend through the crown as you feel grounded through the sit bones and take it out and bring it in. So it's just this nice rotation. You can move here on the sit bones, but really try to have that action happen where the knee is rotating, the hip is rotating a couple more times. Just even this side out with the other and try to still find the extension through the spine so that you don't fall back. Let's have that happen for two more times and release. Beautiful. We're going to add on a little bit more. This time we're picking up the right knee. We're going to hold behind the knee this time, take it out to the side, bring it into the center and fully extend to the center of the room. Come up through the crown and release, pick up the left knee, extend out, bring it in into the center of the room and release.

Let's do the other side. Pick up the knee, externally rotate, internally rotate, send the foot to the center of the room and release and you'll feel this really working. The legs, the quads, the hamstrings, two more. Let's find the breath. Nice, beautiful, and bring it in. Exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale, and release. Inhale, nice and tall. Find the feet, find the sit bones, release the shoulders, two full breaths here. Find an even flow and find your left side and find your right side in the feet, in the hips, in the lungs, and then just find that beautiful spine. Breath in and up out through the crown. Exhale, ground, beautiful. We're going to add on from here. We're going to pick up the left foot. The left ankle is coming to the right knee and we're just going to inhale nice and tall and just come up and it's like you're tipping the pelvis forward a little bit just to give you that height, that nice erect spine. As the left knee opens and we're going to take a breath here, inhale as it opens. We're going to exhale and bring the belly to the spine as the knee comes towards the midline of the body and inhale open. Take your time here. You can really feel the rotation here in the hip, but you can also feel the whole leg activating and it can feel really, really nice. Press down through the right foot so that the right hip stays nice and steady and it's just the left hip rotating. Very nice, beautiful. And then on your next inhale, allow for that knee to stay open. Inhale nice and tall. Exhale, leave it open for two full breaths.

Feels very nice, very steady. And then just pick that up and we'll go to the other side. Picking up the right leg, right ankle on the left knee, taking a moment to find the height in the spine, to find the grounding through the sit bones. And this exhale is opening the knee. This inhale is opening the knee. Nice, taking a few moments here. Deep inhale and then as you exhale, bring the belly button to the spine and allow for the knee and hip to rotate towards the midline of the body. And go ahead and open it up and exhale, roll it through. And we're going to do this even this side out, but each time you're just finding that deeper rotation, that extra bit of flexibility, mobility. And it just feels really, really nice to take the time to get in there and open it up and out. Nice, beautiful. And when you're ready, hold it open, take that couple of breaths that will bring you up nice and tall and ground through the sit bones, the knees opening. This will be different for all of us and each side will be different. And when you're ready, just release the knee. Beautiful. Let's take a little cat cow from here. So inhale tall. And then as you exhale, release into your cat. And inhale, allow for the body to come forward. Heart comes forward and arching of the back. Oh, it feels so delicious. And exhale, let's round it out and inhale, come forward. Beautiful, nice natural spine. We're going to come back to lifting the leg up, taking a moment to open the left knee and inhale nice and tall. We're going to hinge at the hips here as we exhale and fold forward. Again, this will be different for all of us. Some of us will be up high, some of us will be landed on the leg. It doesn't matter where you end up. I'd like for you to consider having a nice flat back, exhaling deeply, looking down towards the floor. So this, the crown of the head is going towards the center of the room. And exhale, but I want you to breathe deeply into that left hip. It feels so nice to stretch this out. But it's sometimes very nice to just place the hand on the hip where you find that first point of contact and breathe into your hand. And exhale deeply and allow for the body to come cross the leg and into the center of the room. Stay here for two more deep breaths. So find the concentration, meet the body with the breath.

Take a moment, even the breath up. Nice and steady. Beautiful. When you're ready, inhale, rise, nice flat back. Exhale deeply into the buttocks and release the leg. We'll go over to the other side. So picking up the right knee, right ankle onto left leg, taking that time to inhale tall and exhale ground through the buttocks, opening up the right knee. Again, this will be different for all of us. This side might be different than the other side. Inhale tall, hinging at the hips here. Exhale, lead the body into the center of the room and take time and break it down if you need to. Inhaling, coming forward, exhaling towards the leg. The eyes are downwards. The crown of the head is into the center of the room and you'll feel this really nice stretch in the right hip, hopefully. And if that feels like it needs a little TLC, you might want to hold it and bring the awareness and the breath deep into the hand. So it's like with your internal eye, you're directing the breath to that point of contact and lo and behold, there's a beautiful stretch. When you're ready, inhale, come all the way up, nice flat back, abdominals to the spine, supporting the back. Exhale into the sit bones, down through the foot, release the leg. Oh, that feels so good. Let's do a little cacao. Exhale into cat, inhale into cow. Oh, that feels so good. Exhale, round it out and inhale, come forward, nice neutral spine. So from here, we're going to move into a very nice twist. So just shift back a little bit into the center of the chair. We're going to even up the knees. So when we twist, we're going to twist at the waist body so we won't shift through the hips and we won't shift through the knees. So we'll see how that goes. So nice inhale, get less nice and tall. And as you exhale, just feel the feet, feel the buttocks and take a nice deep inhale here, tall. Exhale, the left hand is coming to the right knee and the right hand is coming through the chair at the back and you'll feel the lower seat and you'll just twist on the exhale as the right shoulder twist, the waist body twists and you can just look to the side. We're going to take a couple of breaths here. We're inhaling tall and exhaling, we're twisting through the waist body. The head might twist a bit more towards the shoulders, but I don't want you to crank through the twist at all. I just want you to feel height with the inhale, the abdominals working, the shoulders twisting, the heart reaching, the rib cage moving. All this action is happening.

Two more breaths here, inhale tall. Exhale, feel the twist. Inhale tall and exhale, come all the way around, releasing the head nice and slowly, releasing the arms and look directly in front. Let's take a cacao, exhale into cat. Just release the twist there. Inhale, come on forward and then exhale, just release into a nice neutral spine. Again, just checking the knees and the hips. They're nice and steady. Inhale tall, exhale, let's rotate to the left. The right hand will come to the right knee, the left hand behind you, through the chair at the back. Inhale tall, keep the feet steady, exhale through the waist body, the left shoulder descends, opens, twists, the rib cage is twisted, the abdominals are twisted, the waist body. And we're going to take a couple more breaths here, breathing down through the feet, up through the crown. Inhale tall and exhale, come on back around, nice and steady, nice and slow and we'll take our cacao. So cat, exhale, inhale, come on forward, arch a little bit and exhale right into a neutral spine. Beautiful. Okay, so we're going to take a moment here to move on the chair. We're going to rotate to the right. So let's just turn with the full body, the full hips on the chair for a moment. Just feel yourself on the chair and we're going to just lean into the side of the chair for a minute as we release the left leg. And we're releasing the left knee to the floor and there is a bit of manipulation here on the chair and we're looking for some 90 degree angles. So my ankle is directly under my right knee and I'm going to drop my left knee towards the floor. You can have the toes tucked or flat behind you and we're finding that deep height going upwards. We're also feeling the knee, the gravity dragging this down a little bit and it's a lovely release here in the hip crease. It's a lovely release in the back. It just feels so wonderful. So just staying here for a moment and it's a little tricky but if you press into the big toe of the right foot and the heel, it feels very stabilizing and most of this leg is on the seat of the chair.

And when you're ready, we're going to inhale and bring the left arm up. So you have this beautiful stretch through the fingers and it goes all the way down to the knee, right? And it just feels so beautiful. It feels long and stretched out. It just feels so, so nice and just enjoy it for a full inhale tall. Exhale, release. Beautiful and release the arm. Nice. So we're going to bring this knee in. We're going to tip over towards the back of the chair, bring the knee forward, settle up, settle down and roll over to the other side. So just come through the center, make your way over to the other side. Just taking time. We're going to lean over to the left, drop down the right knee and this is where we just play with finding our way on the chair. Again, we're looking for those 90 degree angles. The left ankle is under the left knee and the right knee is under the right hip. And again, we're just allowing for everything to go down, stretch open and inhale up tall. It feels very, very nice. Pressing through the big toe and heel of the left foot, releasing everything in the right hip. And when you're ready, inhale, allow for the arm to come up. Oh my goodness. Stretching through the right fingers, the abdominals just encouraging the back to be strong and releasing through the knee. Oh, feels so nice. Nice and open. Nice and strong, nice and lubricated. And when you're ready, release the hand, lean back into the chair so it's easy to release the knee. Beautiful. And come on around to the front. Nice. So I'm just going to add onto that and create what looks like a crescent or a high lunge. So we're going to take the legs over to the right one more time. And we're going to drop the left knee to the floor and settle this right thigh on the chair. This time we are going to tuck those toes of the left foot. And as we do that, we're stretching through the back of the knee, through the back toes. And there's a little bit of shifting here on the chair. We want to find that nice bend in the front knee, which is very easy because you're very supported here. And when you're ready, we're going to inhale and bring the left arm up. Nice, beautiful, tall crescent. Pressing through the back toes, pressing through the back heel, pressing through the back of the leg. Inhale nice and tall. And when you're ready, we're going to dip over to the right. Exhale, tip on over. Oh my goodness. Let the head go to the floor on the right. It can go to the armpit or look up to the hands. Whatever feels good for you. For my neck today, I'm going to look at the floor. Breathe. Inhale, come on up, directly up, release the hand, tip over and bring the leg forward. Nice. So I want you to take a breath here because that's a lot of movement in the hip and just allow for things to settle down before you move over to the other side. Okay, let's go to the other side. So settling in, releasing the back leg, sorry, the right leg. And this time we're tucking the toes and sending the heel and toes behind us, feeling nice and steady in the left leg. So again, we have those lovely 90 degree angles. We're pulling through the back hamstring and the back knee, pressing out through the heel. And when you're ready, we're getting the right arm and allowing it to pull us up to the ceiling, stretching, maybe arching a little bit and inhaling here and exhaling. We're going to tip over to the left. And again, you're going to decide where your neck would like to be. And you're feeling nice and steady and supported here.

The chair is marvelous for this exercise. When you're ready, inhale, come on up, look directly in front, release the hand, lean into your chair, bring that leg forward. Take a moment to release everything, inhaling tall, exhaling, releasing into the sit bones and the feet. Receive the inhale and find grounding through the exhale and come on around to the front. Beautiful. That was a really big workout there. So we have one more thing that I'd love for us to do at this hip exercise. We're going to do what is very much like eagle arms and eagle legs. So we're going to take the right foot and cross it over the left knee. You can come forward on the chair a little bit, buttocks are even. And then we're going to inhale the arms out to the side and we're going to take the right arm and bring the right arm under the left. So some of us will have the arms, the hands come to the shoulders. Some will allow the backs of the palms to be meeting and some of us will wrap the hands so that you're in full eagle wrap. Nice. So you can press down into this left foot because it can be quite stabilizing and you're going to inhale and allow for the arms to come up. So the elbows come at least towards the nose and when you're ready, exhale, bring the belly to the spine. Remember that cat action you had earlier? That's what we're working towards and the elbows are going towards the belly. The forearms are coming towards the knees. Keep the chin tucked. Inhale, come on up.

Exhale, release. And see how deep you can go with the exhale. There's always a bit more and I want you to breathe into the mid to lower back and the hips. Inhale, one more all the way up. And exhale all the way down. So a little tricky to come out of it. We're going to come up with the inhale so that the elbows are in front of the shoulders. We're going to unwrap the arms and like wings, open up the arms and release them. And then just very carefully and gently lift the knee off. Nice. One more side, crossing the left knee over, stable through that right foot. So if you were standing, this would be your balancing leg. You have the balance of the hips on the chair, which is very nice, but we also want to be aware of the knee of the foot on the floor. Okay, when you're ready, inhale, arms are open. This time the left arm goes under the right. Yes. And we're finding where our arms are happy. And when you're ready, inhaling the arms all the way up, exhaling belly to the spine as we curve, we bring the elbows to the belly, the eyes are gazing towards the arms and the elbows are going towards the belly, forearms towards the knees. Inhale, rise. So as you're rising, allow for the length to happen and exhale, release, curving the spine, releasing any breath in the center, finding the hips in the lower back, inhale.

And last one of the exhale. Beautiful. Rising on the inhale to where the elbows are in front of the shoulders. And we're finding our wings as we open, blossoming opening. Oh my goodness, it's so gorgeous because you were wrapped. And when you're ready, release the hands, lift up the knee. Let the feet be nice and steady and stable, ankles under knees, knees in front of hips, buttocks to the chair. Inhale, nice tall spine, nice and erect, soft shoulders, soft gaze, soft jaw. Beautiful. Take a couple of breaths here. Steady things up.

Beautiful. Let's open the eyes, let the hands be at the heart. We're going to bring this heart, this beating, beautiful beating heart, 130,000 beats a day, this miraculous heart to the fingers, the fingers to the heart. Just taking a moment here, just finding gratitude for the body, gratitude for the breath, gratitude for the heart. Thank you for your practice. Namaste. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.


Jenny S
2 people like this.
I just love the different perspective using the chair offers...and that final pose: 🦅😘
Roslyn G
Hi Karen, this is the second chair yoga class that I have done and it was really good.  I found your instructions really easy to follow and I got a lot out of this class.

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