Move to Meditate Artwork
Season 4 - Episode 3

Deep Hips

40 min - Practice


Dive deep into your hips, which represent our ability to move forward in life, exploring lunges, Modified Side Plank, and Half Cow-Faced Pose. Nuria leads us in a seated meditation, and offers several mudras, or hand gestures, to assist in calming the emotions. You will feel quiet and spacious.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket, Block

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Hi and welcome back. I'm so excited to share this practice with you today. We are diving deep into our hips. Our hips are the deepest joint in our body and they're a beautiful circular shape. So today's practice is what we call a mandala flow.

You'll be working in a circle around your mat. There's no straight lines in your hips so this practice doesn't have any straight lines in it. And let's get started. So let's set our blankets up right away so we're nice and comfortable for today's practice. You could use a blanket or some other soft cushy thing.

Just opening it up lengthwise in the middle of your mat and placing your knees onto it. And then we'll slide back into child's pose. Bringing the big toes to touch, the knees apart, hips towards the heels. Opening the hips up is an essential part for sitting comfortably in meditation. When our hips are tight, meditation can feel like such a struggle.

So I invite you to really take the time to go slow and deep today. Our hips don't like to be rushed. They like slow, sexy openings. This is your last breath here. And as you inhale, go ahead and look up halfway, lifting your heart up, exhaling, heart to mat, two more, inhaling up, and exhale.

Last one. This inhale coming up to your hands and your knees. Bringing the knees under the hips can spread from pinky finger to thumb, the hands on the mat, and we'll begin some big hip circles. Bringing your hips over to the right, inhaling the hips, pull through center, exhaling to the left and back. One more in this direction.

Let's go the other way. Exhale to the left, up and forward, exhale to the right and back. Feeling that circular motion and that circular shape of your thigh bone in the hip joint. As you next breathe in, come to center and we'll walk the hands of the mat into our heart melting pose. And so the hips stay around the knee, maybe forward of the knee slightly, the arms come up the mat, forehead or heart, maybe chest or chin, resting on the mat.

One more big breath. And on this breath in, slide all the way onto your belly. As you exhale, bring the hands under your shoulders and out to the sides slightly, tenting up on the fingers. Inhale, roll the elbows down and peel the front spine up and off the mat, big cobra. Exhale back down.

Two more, inhaling up, exhale down, and the last one. Exhales at the top and slow, exhale. Go ahead and inhale up to your knees, toes tuck and we'll exhale up and back into downward facing dog. Just spend five breaths here. Just see about bringing the roots of the thighs back, sitting bones to the heels, bringing the navel to the heart, the head and neck in a comfortable place.

Lifting up from your inner wrist to the inner shoulder. And on your next inhale, let's lift that left leg up and then take a big step, left foot on the outside of your left hand, so we're coming into a lizard lunge here. Big inhale, so you can lift your heart up, pull the mat apart with the feet, exhale, tapping the right knee to the mat. A little bit of curious exploration of our hip here, I'd like you to see if you can take your hip in a circle, but you're moving the hip socket around the thigh bone. So this isn't like literally happening, but it's an exercise in bringing awareness to somewhere that might be dark or obscure and that we haven't built some neuromuscular pathways in.

I'm just reversing that direction, moving the hip around the thigh. And then let's see if we can move the thigh around the hip, trying the other way. Don't worry if you feel like nothing's happening, not a problem. The exercise is to just bring awareness into this part of the body. All right, finishing off that last circle, then I invite you to come into a yin style lizard hold, so you could lower onto your forearms.

You could even use your block, so you're halfway in between the mat and your hands. This is where I'm going to stay today, releasing any attachment to alignment, concepts of doing it right, and instead soften into connection. I'll take another three big breaths here. On this next breath in, coming up to your hands, turn your left toes out to the side and bring your right hand out to the side, and you're welcome to use that block so you have a little extra height. Bring your hips forward, remembering that this poses a lot about a twist, so really finding that opening across the chest from the navel, looking back at your right foot, catching it with your hand.

And the breath is like this, so you'll pull the foot away as you inhale, opening your heart up, and as you exhale, you'll bring the heel towards the hip and maybe the forehead towards the mat, inhale, pulling away, exhale, last one, and exhale. Moving on up on that breath in, release the foot without slingshotting it. Turn your left toes, so they're forward, you can place your block to the side, keeping it handy for the next side, and then we'll pop that right knee off the mat and we're going to turn the feet parallel and bring our hands over to our right leg, dropping the hips down, left toes coming up. You might lift your left arm, take a breath, and as you exhale, bringing yourself over to the other side. One more time, over at the back of the mat, take a big breath in, and then we'll exhale and walk the hands on up, coming to that front left foot again, take a big inhale.

On your breath out, you're going to roll to the knife edge of the right foot and step the left foot about halfway down, so it might be right around the line of your knee, so it's a modified side plank. On your inhale, I'd like you to really lift your hips up and roll the inner arch of that foot up, exhale bringing your hips towards the mat. Let's take two more, inhaling up, exhaling down, inhale up, and exhaling all the way down. You can pause for a moment, letting your right shoulder reach up to the ear, the ear to the shoulder, nice big side body stretch, and we're going to go ahead and roll all the way to the back of the mat. So you'll roll onto your tush, both sitting bones down, the left knee stacks on top of the right knee, and you begin to draw that left foot back in alignment with your right hip for a half komakasana, or half cow face pose.

Just inhale and elongate the spine, and on the exhale, folding, rounding forward, and as you next breathe in, lengthen the spine, exhale, fold, and just one more like that, big breath in, and fold. Taking this next inhale to roll yourself back up, you'll place your left foot right next to your right knee, and on your breath in, lifting your hips up, exhale, sit those hips down. Now we're going to go all the way to the front of the mat, so this left leg is going to turn back to the front side of the mat, both hands swing around, tuck your right toes, lift your left leg up, and place it into pigeon. Take a big breath in, coming to the fingertips, lift the heart, exhale, soften into pigeon pose. Let's spend three breaths here, you're welcome to melt a little deeper, or you can stay on your forearms or your hands, I'm going to stay here today, and this is your last breath.

Standing up, both palms down, tuck your right toes, and lift your left leg up and back, back into down dog. Let's rinse that out with a vinyasa, so as you inhale, come forward into plank, exhale, bending the elbows halfway, hovering plank, inhale, rolling over the feet, tailbone towards the heels, take a big breath, lift the heart, up dog, and exhale back into down dog. Inhaling your right leg up into single legged dog, and on this next breath in, look forward and step the right foot, the outside of the right hand, coming into lizard lunge. See about splitting the mat with the feet, compacting the hips, and lifting the root of the left thigh, one more big breath, and drop your left knee to the mat, we'll explore those hip circles here, so we're moving the hip around the thigh bone, going twice in one direction, and then twice the other way, and remembering that this is more mental than it is physical, so building some awareness into this part of our body. See very subtle this one, if you can take the thigh bone around the hip, going twice in one direction, and twice the other way, right toes can turn out slightly, and you're welcome to use the block for a long hold in lizard, or you can come onto your forearms, releasing attachment to alignment, letting the needs of the body shape the pose.

Just take two more big breaths, and using this inhale to come on up, place the block to the side, left hand can come out, you can use the block under it if you need to, right toes turn out, remember this is a big twist, and then a foot grab, and our breath cycle is like this, heel pulls away, heart opens, inhale, heel to glute, forehead towards mat, exhale for two more, breathing in, pull the foot away, breathing out, heel to glute, one more, pull the heel in, exhale, forehead towards the mat. Come up as you breathe in, soft release on the foot, let's turn the right toes forward, we'll lift the left knee, and walk the feet and the hands all the way around into Skandhasana, dropping the hips down towards that heel, you could reach your left arm out and your right arm up if you'd like to, taking an inhale, and then using your exhale to transition over to the other side, one more big breath on this side, left arm up, exhale through middle, finishing off here, take an in breath, and as you exhale you'll do a little crawl up to the front side of the mat, and we're sliding all the way into our modified side plank, the right foot goes halfway down, you roll to the knife edge of the left foot, let the inner right arch lift, lift your right arm and breathe in, exhale, hip to mat, left side, inhale, right arm lifts, hips lift, exhale, left hip to mat, one more, and exhale, lowering all the way down, you can pause for a moment, I really like this stretch, maybe drop your left ear to your shoulder, and then we're going to roll all the way to the back of the mat there, so both sit bones come down, your right knee's on top, and you'll draw your right foot alongside your left hip, you can place your hands in a comfortable place, as you inhale lift your heart up, nice long spine, and exhale, a little round, a little fold, do more like that, inhaling up, and exhale, one more, inhale up, exhale lower, hang out for an extra moment here, it's nice to bring the chin all the way in, and as you breathe in slow, roll up, exhale, place the right foot next to your left knee, inhale to lift the hips, hands come behind you under your shoulders, exhale lower, and then begin to turn to the top of the mat, coming all the way into pigeon, so your right knee is going to lead around, tuck your left toes, reaching the right knee up towards the front of the mat, and as you inhale you can pop your heart up into a proud pigeon, and exhale, soften into it, three breaths here, let's use this next inhale to come on up, tuck the left toes and bring the right foot next to the left one, you're welcome to stay here in downward facing dog, or you can join me in vinyasa, if you're joining me we'll come forward into plank, taking a breath, exhaling into chaturanga, inhaling into our up dog, and exhaling back into down dog, looking up at the top of the mat, take a little step for a little hop and bring the feet to the hands, coming right into uttanasana, and as you inhale lifting up halfway into uttanasana, and standing fold, exhale back down, then take your feet a little bit wider than your hips, and toe in, go ahead and look for your block, grab it, bring it on the high height, right underneath your shoulders, for some flossing, sciatic flossing, so you'll look for a bit of a cow back here, taking a breath, and then we'll bend the left knee, and press the hips to the back right corner of the mat, that right leg stays straight, you should feel like a pretty powerful opening on that outer right leg, big inhale, exhale let's switch sides, so now the right knee bends, the left leg straightens, pressing your hips to the back left corner, big inhale, and exhale switch, big breath in, right leg straight, and exhale, left side, big breath in, left leg straight, and both legs straight to release, exhale, coming into malasana, so take your block and place it just a little bit behind your heels, then you'll spin your heels in, so now your toes are out, your heels are in, and as you breathe in, you can sit your hips down on the block, remember it's got three heights, low, medium, or tall, so finding the one that's right for you, we'll bring the elbows to the inner knees, elongate the spine, hands are in this prayer position, this pose is really about a nice long spine, so take a big breath here, maybe bringing the chin in a little bit, and then from this place I'd like you to round the back, and interlace your fingers on the back of your head, then you'll press your left elbow into your left knee, and roll the right side up and open, exhale release, right elbow into the right knee, left side rolls up and open, and exhale and you wanna come back into that rounded back position between sides, inhaling the right elbow lifts up, exhale, inhale left side, exhale release, go ahead pull your block out from underneath you, we'll knead it again though, so keep it handy, and sit all the way onto your tush, let's bring the soles of the feet together, we'll do a little bit of pelvic rocking, more in the hips, so as you breathe in you'll tip forward to the front of the sitting bones, and as you breathe out you'll roll back towards the sacrum, sinking that with your breath, inhale forward, exhale back, last one, and exhale, and inhale to center, go ahead and bring your legs together with your hands, you'll straighten your right leg out, grab your block, and place your left foot on the block, so your shin is roughly below your knee, you're in a seated figure four, you could raise your arms over your head, take a big inhale, and as you exhale just come forward as much as feels appropriate for your body today, big flex in the left foot, keep pushing through the inner left heel skin, let's take an inhale, and exhale, and then use this breath to roll on up, placing your hands behind you, and bend your right leg, so from here we're in a figure four on the hips, nice inhale, lifting your heart up, up, you're welcome to stay right here, or if you want something a little spicier you could lift your hips up into a tabletop of figure four, go ahead and sit your hips down if they were up, and then we'll all reach for this right ankle and draw it along the left hip, so I call this pigeon 1.5, your left ankle is still on top of your knee and you'll bring your sitting bones down, so now this left knee is moving out to the side, you could sit on a block for a little height if you think that might help, if this doesn't feel like quite enough in your body, then there's an option for a double pigeon, so now you'll take your right leg and bring the right ankle right below the left knee, and I really like to put a little prop right in there, put some pressure on the left knee, keep flexing the left foot, and let's go ahead and come forward, and we're going to hold this for seven breaths, a cue I like to use is to push through the inner left heel skin, it's very subtle, see how that feels in your body, and then draw up from the outer left ankle to the outer left knee and all the way from the knee to the outer hip, we're about halfway there, maybe you're melting a little further forward, two more big breaths, feel free to open mouth, exhale, hip opening is heavy stuff, our hips are that deep dense joint in our body, and they represent our ability to move forward in life, go ahead inhale come on up, popping the block out if you used it or taking it out from underneath your hips, really nice to take a gentle back bend after that deep hip opening, so again hands behind you, fingers in any comfortable position, and as you inhale you'll lift your hips up to tabletop, really bringing the tailbone to the backs of the knees, and exhale sit back down, moving to the second side here, so left leg straight, block over to the outside of the left leg, right ankle, or outer foot on the block, and just see that you're on your sitting bones, that the flesh is moved off of them, big flex in the right foot, keep moving through this inner heel skin here, and sucking from the outer foot up through the outer knee and back through that outer hip, arms lifted, take a breath in, exhale coming forward just as much as feels good, you can squeeze your left heel bone back to your left sitting bone, take a big breath, and one more, and then let's inhale and come on up, place the block to the side, keep it handy though, we'll bend that left leg, lift the heart up, seated figure four, you're welcome to stop right here, or you could lift up into a figure four tabletop, and if you came to tabletop go ahead and sit down, and we'll prepare for pigeon 1.5, so you roll over to the left a little bit, grab the left ankle and pull it back, so here's 1.5, just working on the right leg right now, and that might feel like enough for you, in which case you can stay, otherwise you can join me in double pigeon, so then we would bring that left leg so the shins are stacked, they're parallel, the ankle's right below the knee, and again it's nice to use a little block, so now both the legs are getting some love, some gentle pressure on that right knee, keep that big active right foot, begin to extend this like long front spine forward, for another five breaths, last one, and let's go ahead and inhale and come on up, and this time, block to the side, we'll take a bridge pose, so rolling onto your back, and as you inhale, lifting the hips up, you might bring the shoulders together underneath you and interlace the fingers, take three breaths here, see about bringing the tailbone to the backs of the knees, putting a little structure back in that openness of the hips, so hips are always a balance of flexibility and stability, building a little stability back into that flexibility, last big breath here, in a slow roll down, you can bring your knees into your chest, we're going to get ready to meditate here, feel free to do a little rock side to side, and then rock yourself up to seated, so our hips are super open, let's sit for meditation, I'm going to sit on my blanket today, I invite you to sit in a comfortable way, you could sit on your block or sit on your blanket like I am, I also invite you to sit in external rotation, so that can be easy cross-legged pose, sukhasana, since we did all that pigeon work, it's nice to just reveal the sitting bones with a gentle lift of the flesh off the sitting bones, so that you feel really grounded through them, I'm just getting those last little wiggles out, and when you're ready, closing your eyes, and I'll guide you through a meditation, and then I will invite you to open your eyes, and we'll do some gestures together, so gestures are a simple way to calm the emotions, they work with the nerve endings of the fingers and run all the way up into the brain, hip opening can stir up some emotion, so just noticing what comes up for you in this moment, just like you're watching clouds moving across the sky, a little blips of weather pattern, and back to the sky, back to the space. You can notice what you're feeling in your hips, and just like those weather patterns observing without judgment, without frustration, I like to use the term curious compassion, isn't that interesting? Take a moment to release any effort that you're making, resting in that effortless presence, that effortless being that is you, and you're welcome to stay here with your eyes closed, and if you'd like to follow along this gesture, this mudra sequence, then you can blink your eyes open and look at me. We're going to take our hands into this shape right here, so the first two fingers touch, and the thumbs touch, and you're creating a triangle, and I'd like you to breathe, simply breathe, trying to expand this lower diaphragm, the pelvic floor diaphragm, and exhale, and we'll take two more like that, and exhale, last one, really expanding, feeling the belly open against the hands like a big Buddha belly, and exhale, and from here, you'll bring all five of your fingers to touch, so all the tips of the fingers touch, so these are these little nerve endings that run up into your brain, into the emotional part of the brain, then all five of those fingers on each hand will touch together, so this is called bija mudra, bija is a seed, our hips are like the center of creativity from which we plant little seeds that blossom forth in our life, so close your eyes, and bring your fingers to touch, right there, right below the belly button at that center of creativity, don't try to to reach for any kind of goal, simply be, notice what you notice, and notice if you feel a little calmer, and from this seed planted in that seat of our creativity, you can blink your eyes open, grows a beautiful flower, so you'll bring the backs of your hands together, and as you inhale that flower blossoms into a lotus, so now the pinky and the thumb and the heel of the hand touch, and you can rest this padma, lotus, right there at the space of the heart, maybe close your eyes again, letting your mind be soft and easy, noticing what you notice, and releasing any effort, any ideas of right or wrong, pro tip, you can't do it wrong, and finally, you can blink your eyes open, this beautiful flower brings us back to ourself, so you'll hook your thumbs and cross the wrists, so the backs of the hands face outwards, usually it's the right wrist on top of the left if you're right hand dominant, then you'll cup your hands and bring each of your fingers to touch, so you make this beautiful little bud called nirvana, or it's the mooja, the gesture of the inner self, lift the heart, close your eyes, and dropping back into that quiet space, and your limitless being in the presence that you meet on the mat, and without opening your eyes or disturbing your nerves, letting go of your mooja and letting your hands rest comfortably on your legs or whatever is a comfortable position for you all, and for our last few moments, we'll just be in quietness together, feeling the effects of the practice on the nervous system, noticing the quality of the mind, and the quality of the emotions, and when you're ready, slowly blinking your eyes open, holding your gaze in one spot, try not to look around, and when you're ready, moving forward from this place. Thank you so much for sharing your practice with me, I'll see you next time!


Suzanne L
1 person likes this.
Very nice and helpful but challenging for me.  I will keep working with it however.  The ending was lovely and will be incorporated into my daily routines.
Jenny S
1 person likes this.
This was just what my tired body needed today. During the first half I worked up a nice “shine” (sweat lol) and then in the second half it felt so good to engage in the seated deep hip work. The nirvana mudra at the very end was new to me, and I love it so much I’m going to use it during future meditations. Thank you 🙏🏻
Charlotte Bösling
Thanks Nuria! My hips haven't felt this good in forever. Plus I really like the asparagus-looking flowers. :)
Hi Suzanne! I'm so happy you enjoyed the ending  - it's a practice that is dear to me. 
Jenny, wonderful to hear you got what you needed! The nirvana mudra is pretty special, isn't it? 
1 person likes this.
You're welcome Charlotte! Happy hips = happy life?! I do love those gladiolas too. 
Brian M
1 person likes this.
Sweet hip opening practice! Thanks so much!!
Kelley S
1 person likes this.
Kate M
That felt so good. We dive into some deep waters here, with this exploration of the deep joint of the hips. Sitting felt so sweet. Thank you, Nuria.
Brian You are so welcome! Thanks for being here. 
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