30-Minute Yoga Flows Artwork
Season 8 - Episode 5

Hip Opening Flow

30 min - Practice


Find more freedom in the hips in this fun, energizing flow. Challenge balance in a Tree Pose, build strength in Eka Pada Koundinyasana, and settle into a sweet hold in Double Pigeon, enjoying the freedom you found in your hips. You will feel expansive and invigorated.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


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Thank you for being here today and joining me on this fun little journey through our hip opening experience, this hip opening sequence today. We're going to get right to it and start in child's pose. If you need a rolled up blanket behind your knees in child's pose, feel free to set yourself up. Otherwise, take your knees a little wider than your hips, bring your big toes together and as you back up the seat, start to crawl those hands forward and lower the brow to the floor. Take a moment to check in with the rise and fall of the breath.

Child's pose is that great opportunity to tune out the outside world and bring your attention and focus to the present moment. As you enjoy the breath, walk your hands over to your right side of the mat so you feel the stretch on the left side body. If you want to feel a little bit more, bring the left ear to the floor and breathe fully into the space where you feel the stretch on the left side body, creating more space for the lungs to really expand. And then walk your palms back and we'll do that same thing on the other side. Walk your hands over to the left side of the mat.

Option to bring the right ear to the floor, breathing to the space where you feel the resistance on the right side of the body, really inflating the breath. Enjoying all four parts of the breath, the pauses after the inhales and the pauses after the exhales. Great. Come on up to meet me in table pose, palms under the shoulders, knees right under the hips. We're gonna do some torso circles here to strengthen up the arms.

Lean your hips and shoulders to the right and then lengthen forward all the way forward and then hips and shoulders all the way over to your left. So as you're gliding, as you're turning counterclockwise, shift your weight forward, press into each finger, mindfully so you're not sinking into the wrists and then back up the seat. If you want to work with a little bit more strength today, you can bend the elbows, hugging them to the midline as you lean forward, firing up the triceps and the chest muscles and then back up the seat over the heels. Two more rounds in the same direction. This will help us create a little heat for the journey today.

One more. As you back up the seat, back it up towards your right heel and walk hand over hand to the left. If you want to do a side stretch, swing your left toes around to the left to encourage a little bit more depth in that side stretch and then once again breathe into the area where you feel the resistance. Great. Come on back up to your table pose and we'll take those torso circles the opposite way.

Lean your torso to the left, hips and shoulders all the way forward and then circle over to your right and back up over the heel. Pulse with your breath. Remember you can add those bent elbow variations so that you feel the firing up of your tricep and the chest muscles. Squeeze to the midline with your elbows if you're doing this one instead of splaying the elbows out. We've got two more full rounds exploring the hip and shoulder joint and then back up your seat over the left heel and then walk hand over hand to the right and the opportunity to swing the right toes around and lean back into your left side body so you're really feeling the stretch in your left side body.

Enjoy one more round of breath here. Nice full inhale and then exhale. Come on back up to your table pose. From your table pose we're going to go right into our first down dog so walk your hands a palm print forward, tuck the toes under, lift the hips to the sky and pedal the legs out nice and slow, feeling the hamstrings, feeling the calves. Enjoy that hamstring calf connection as you actively push forward with both hands.

Great everybody. Give it one more round of breath. Gliding forward for our first sphinx pose, bend the elbows lower all the way down, untuck the toes and then replace the palms with your elbows for an easy lower back stretch. As you press down into the tops of the feet, spiral the inner thighs inward and then glide your ribs forward, let the head and neck just soften so you feel that little release at the cervical spine. Excellent.

Let's go back into our second down dog, replacing the elbows with the palms, pressing up through table or plank, hips to the sky, back to that down dog. Lift the heels to the sky and pivot your heels to the right for a little side bending down dog. Lower the heels, right foot behind the left and bend one leg at a time so you feel the side stretch on the left side body. Push actively forward with a right hand, give yourself a nice big breath into the left side body and then rise up to the tops of the toes, we're going the other way. Pivot your heels to the left, right foot in front of the left, bending one leg at a time, pushing strongly forward with your left hand and breathing into the resistance that you're feeling on the right side.

Lengthen forward once again for plank pose, bend the elbows, lower all the way down, we'll meet in sphinx again, replacing the palms with the elbows but this time we're firing up the core muscles so tuck the toes under, squeeze to the midline and lift your hips off the floor to engage the core. Move the heels back in space, the crown of the head forward and pull the navel up to the spine so you're really feeling some heat generating in your core area. Excellent. Lower all the way down, replace the elbows with your palms for a nice low cobra pose, soften the shoulders back, move the ribs and heart forward. Any little movements that feel intuitive to you right here to give yourself a little space for the shoulders is always nice to feel.

Send it back to your down dog either through plank or table, a little opportunity to move around freely in this down dog yogi's choice before we walk or float the feet around the hands. So if you're stepping forward, step the feet right around the hands and we'll come into a melasana, a wider fold, bend the knees and bring your elbows inside. I'm going to turn this way so you can see all these fun variations that we're going to do from melasana. Take your melasana a little wider, bring your fingertips to the floor, heel toe your feet another six inches out to the left and the right. So knees and ankles are lined up and bring the hands on top of the knees, glide your heart forward for this cow tilt to the spine and then round the spine as you exhale for a cat tilt.

Give yourself two more of these wide legged cat and cow tilts to start helping us open in that hip area. Last one. Good. Now we're going to add my favorite, bring your hands to your hips. It's like a little sumo wrestling move.

We're going to circle the right knee up and over to the left and step it back out so you can channel your inner sumo wrestler. Take a couple of pulses, circle the knee up, step it out and then last one, circle it up, step it out, bring your forearms right on top of your thighs. Glide the left inner thigh away with a left hand, lengthen the tailbone down and either pause here or if you're enjoying this, left arm up and over the ear for the side stretch. Take that left shoulder back as you reach up and over the ear with a left arm. Bring the left hand back to the hip.

One more round of those sumo wrestler circles, bend the knee, open the hip, step it back. So if you've never seen sumo wrestlers, this is one of their warm ups to get the hips open that they start out with. Last round and then come back to that wide legged stance once again, left forearm on top of the left thigh, press the right inner thigh away, lengthen the tailbone down. This is a great spot to be or take the right arm up and over the ear and lengthen through the right side body. Enjoy the breath here.

Great. Come on back to center and we'll rise all the way up and straighten the legs. Turn your toes forward and hop your feet right to the center of the mat. Our special balance today, hip opening variation of tree pose. So feel free to use the wall if you need it for balance.

We're balancing with the left leg. Turn the right heel out. Keep the right heel where it is or bring the heel up to the calf or somewhere above your knee. Focus on a point in front of you, establish your drish to your focal point and then draw the left inner thigh to the midline, either keep the hands here or take the right arm over the head to bring in that side stretch for the right side body. If you can't get enough, left hand reaches for the right wrist, pull it over and breathe into that area of resistance on the right side body.

Great. Shake out the legs. Let's see what's happening on the other side. So right leg is the balancing leg. Find your focal point.

Bend the left leg, turn the hip open and either keep it on the floor, bring it to the calf or somewhere above the knee. The knee is moving away from the midline. Draw the right inner thigh towards the midline to keep the balance and then send that left arm to the sky if you're exploring. Same opportunity. Hug the right inner thigh to the midline.

Find that nice big side stretch. Option of reaching up with the right hand and pulling that left wrist over to the right to increase that nice side bend as you open the hip. Great. Release it. Shake out the legs.

Let's come to the front of the mat and we'll set up for tadasana, feet are hip distance. Let's bring the palms into prayer for a moment. Close the eyes and connect with the rise and fall of our breath. So one more opportunity to reconnect with the rise and fall of the breath. Let something go with that next exhale.

Inhale the palms to the sky. Look up towards the palms, hinging at the hips. Exhale soft fold. Bring the palms to your shins, lengthen the spine, flat back, lean forward just a little bit, engage your core. Bend both knees.

Walk or float back to your plank pose. Bend the elbows lower all the way down. Back bend of your choice, you can keep it nice and low for your sphinx pose or start to come up a little bit more in your cobra, maybe even the up dog if you're ready. Any little intuitive movements just to bring a little space to the front of the body. Pass through table or plank on your way back to your down dog.

And settling down dog, really shift your weight to your left leg, bend the right leg, draw the right knee up into the chest and circle the right knee away from you, keeping the right leg bent, keeping the down dog, isolate the hip opening circles by staying in down dog and not moving forward to plank. Explore your range of motion. Next time you bend the knee and open the hip, pause right there for hip opening dog, right inner thigh away from the floor, press actively forward with both hands. Heel step the right foot right between the hands, pivot your left heel to the floor, line up the heels, bring the right form on top of the right thigh and draw the left rib cage back for easy side angle. Bring the left fingertips on top of your left shoulder, we're just going to explore that shoulder joint just like we did with a hip joint.

Bend the elbow, let the right ear soften to the right shoulder and explore your range of motion right here. Next time that left elbow reaches to the sky, extend the arm, take it up and over the ear for a nice easy side angle, lengthen the torso and softly rotate the torso to the left. Rise all the way up straight in the right leg, one breath in reverse triangle and then we'll meet in warrior two, bend the right leg, bring your hands to your hips, lower the back hip and then tee the arms, flip the palms to the sky, taking a little cow tilt from the rib cage up and a little cat tilt from the rib cage up, drawing the navel up and back. Try not to move from the navel down, let everything be from the mid and upper back as you explore your range of motion in the upper back and shoulders. Line up the palms with your shoulders, tee the arms, straighten the right leg, bring the left hand to your left IT band for reverse triangle and then bend your right leg, we're just going to pulse right into half moon, so if you need your block, slide your block forward, slide your left foot forward and then lift the left leg to the sky.

Think of a breath or two here, shorten your stance for reverse triangle. As you reach up and back, lengthen the right side body, feel the side stretch and then pulse back forward to that easy entrance into half moon, use the block or keep the block in your hand for this one as you lift the left leg off the floor. Shorten the stance, step the left leg back for reverse triangle, left hand, left IT band, right palm to the sky. We've got one more, let's stay in our half moon and just really be in the posture for a couple of breaths, slide your left foot forward, right fingertips, lengthen the spine, use the block, softly turn your torso to the left to open up to the left side of the room. Step your left leg all the way back this time, one more time in reverse triangle, right palm to the sky, drape that right hand over the head, reach for your left ear and then drape the left hand around the waist, bend into the right leg for nice little trapezius stretch and this posture will help us with one of our finishing poses later, you'll see it's a lot of fun, give it one more round of breath, release in the trapezius muscle, brilliant.

And then release those arms into warrior two, windmill the hands around the right leg, lower the left knee to the floor and as you straighten the right leg, pause for a second and walk your right foot off to the right a couple of inches, think 12 o'clock, 1 o'clock with your toes as you straighten the right leg, feel free to use your blocks, turn the right toes to the right and walk your hands to the left, just a little bit, this will facilitate that hamstring hip connection, if you don't feel this pulling the toes back, turning the toes to the right, then start to back up your seat a little bit, just inside of that left heel and then I promise you're going to feel that one, relax the face, relax the jaw, enjoy the hamstring stretch, give it two more rounds of breath, one more, bend your right leg, keep the toes pointing in the same direction and walk your palms forward, if you want to feel more, lift the big toe side of the right foot off of the floor or back up your left knee a little bit, that'll help you open up the hip flexor psoas area, soft pressing away of the right inner thigh might be a nice opportunity, if you can't get enough, bend the left leg, reach back with the right hand and start to move the heel away from the seat to further deepen that hip flexor release on the left side body, great, and then go ahead and release that left foot to the floor, we're going to practice our strength session now, I'm going to move a little bit this way so you can see me a little bit more, keep the right foot where it is, the left knee where it is, walk your hands a palm print to your left, so you're moving more towards 11 o'clock, hug your elbows in, tap the right knee to the right tricep as you bend the elbows, we're going to do this a couple of times, maybe walk the hands a little farther forward if you need more space, tap the knee to the right tricep, if this steel is feeling good and you're able to bend the elbows, lift the left knee off the floor as you tap, if you can't get enough, tap, lean forward, lengthen the spine like you're going to take a back bend and see if the left foot will come off the floor, remember this is a practice, so if it doesn't happen today, no worries, let's send the right leg to the sky, open the hip and hip opening down dog, shake it out, move it around, celebrate side one, gold stars, gold stars for everybody, alright, lower the right leg down, shift your weight to your left leg, bend into the left leg, shift your weight to the right leg actually, inhale the left leg to the sky and we'll move right into our hip opening circles in down dog, draw the left knee into the chest, circle it away, exploring your range of motion as you actively press forward with both hands, the next time that hip opens, pause right here, press the chest towards the thighs, push actively forward with both hands, take a nice big inhale, exhale, step the left foot right between the hands, pivot your right heel to the floor so the heels are lining up, turn the right toes in slightly, left elbow on top of the left thigh, draw the right ribcage back for easy side angle posture, fingertips of the right hand on top of the right shoulder, explore your range of motion in the right shoulder letting that left ear soften towards the left shoulder giving you a little trapezius stretch, next time the right elbow moves to the sky, extend the arm, keep it stacked over the left or take it right over the ear and softly turn your torso to the right, bring that right hand to your right IT bend, straighten the left leg, reverse triangle, inhale the left palm to the sky for your side bend, if you need a block for your half moon pose, set that block up, bend the left leg, slide the right foot forward, walk the fingertips forward at least a foot so you can extend the spine and open to the right, step back a little shorter stance for your reverse triangle, inhale the left palm to the sky, reach up and back, lift through the right ribcage, reverse triangle and then bend the left leg, focal point, find your drishti, slide the left hand forward, slide the right foot forward and lift it off the floor hugging that left inner thigh to the midline, last round right here, step back into your reverse triangle, nice big inhale stretching the side body and this time we're pausing and holding our half moon pose, reach forward with the left fingertips, opening up through the right, right foot parallel to the floor, right hand to the sky, stacked over the left, step all the way back with that right leg, last variation of reverse triangle, this time left palm cups the right ear, right hand drapes around the waist, bend into the left knee, feel the trapezius stretch, soften the left shoulder down to the left bicep, little shoulder release here, enjoying the soft stretch, one more round of breath, beautiful everybody, windmill the palms around the left leg, lower the right knee to the floor, straighten the left leg and then just kind of bring the left hand inside, walk your foot off the mat to the left a little bit so we get a little hip opener here, turn the toes slightly to the left to open the hips, always opportunity to use your blocks and then walk your hands to the right, back your seat up if you need to, feel more, try to keep the left foot flexed, breathe into the space on the left side body, really try to inflate through the left side body, great, walk the hands back to center, bend the left leg, you'll feel the front of the right hip releasing, if it's okay on the ankle knee you can do a little guidance away of the left knee from you to open the hip further and if you still can't get enough, bend your right leg, reach back with your left hand, as you move the heel away from you that will open up the hip flexor on the right and dropping the right ear to the shoulder always feels nice for the trapezius stretch, are you ready for that arm balance, prep again, remember it's just prep so we don't have to do the whole thing, bring the left hand inside, good, I'm going to turn this way just a little bit more so you can see me, walk your hands a palm print to the right over to one o'clock, lengthen forward bend the elbows, left knee taps the left tricep and then straighten the arms, pulse with your breath, lengthen, hug to the midline and then straighten, opportunity to lift that right knee off the floor as you bend, that left foot might come off a little bit and then straighten, if you can't get enough, lengthen forward, imagine you're moving the heart forward for a little back bend to help you lift the back side of the body off the floor, lower back down, great efforts everybody, left leg to the sky, bend the knee, open the hip, celebrate side two being done too, lower your left foot to the floor, bend both knees, look towards the hands and just hop halfway to the hands and turn the toes out with that little hop so you're going back to your malasana, from malasana choose your way down, if this is intense on the knees bring the hands behind you and then carefully lower all the way down to your seat, releasing those glutes even more in our last pose that we're going to hold for a little bit, so straighten your left leg, place the right ankle on top of the left knee, bring the hands behind you to open up the shoulders and bend the left leg, if you need to feel more slide your hips a little closer to your left heel, we're going to do a little rock left and right to release the outer hip and then I'd like you to give you the option here, option one, this is your version of double pigeon, just keep moving the chest forward, option two, walk the left foot across the mat and see if you can stack the right knee on top of your left ankle, you may want to put a block underneath that left knee, be kind to yourself in whichever variation is right for your knees and then just let gravity do the work, close the eyes, feel out any areas in the outer right or left glute that might be clenching, contract them purposefully and then see if you release a little bit more, do the same with the muscles in the face, do the same with the jaw, notice how it feels to hold just for a couple more breaths, wonderful, we're going to switch sides, you can try the funky way if you want to, the right foot slides across, touches the floor and then we keep both knees bent as we turn so that the opposite leg is on top, if you're doing the supported version of double pigeon, the left ankle is on top of the right knee as you walk the chest a little closer to the thigh, give yourself a little windshield wiper release for the glutes and then set up for your version of double pigeon which could be right here, keeping the foot flexed or walking the right foot across the mat and then allowing the left knee to drop, lifting the sternum, lifting the chest wherever you're finding yourself, try to find ease in whatever challenge you're experiencing, relax the muscles of the face, relax the jaw, sometimes even a little smile helps you in challenging poses, you're sending the opportunity for your body to feel that smile throughout this whole hip opening experience. Wonderful, enjoy those last couple of breaths, maybe contracting the glutes and quads and releasing them and then as you open the eyes, thank yourself for a nice beautiful hip opening journey, we're going to close up the hips in a restorative version of bridge pose so engage your core, lower all the way down, we did a lot of hip opening so close the hips up, stack them up, press your triceps into the floor, if you have a block and you'd like to use it, place the block under the sacrum, press strongly down into your forearms to lift the hips. Great everybody, two more rounds of breath, push into all four corners of the foot, opening through the heart center, one more and then lower down nice and slow, massage your way all the way down, walk your big toes together, cross the right leg on top of the left, closing up the hips again, cactus feel goal of the arms, let your hips, your knees windshield wiper left and right to release the outer glute, lower back, closing up the hips, one more round of breath, the next time the knees come back to center, slide your hips a couple of inches to the right so that you can drop the knees to the left with alignment for a nice easy twist, looking straight up or turning the head to the right and using those exhales to soften in a little bit deeper, slowly unwind, bring those feet back together, slide your hips back to the center, cross the left leg on top of the right, same cactus feel goal arms, a little windshield left and right, massaging that outer left glute, lots of wonderful juicy work on the hips today, hope they're feeling good, the next time the knees come back to center, lift the hips, slide them to the left an inch or two so that you can drop the knees to the right, looking straight up or turning for the soft twist, nice counter balancing postures that set us up beautifully for shavasana, as you unwind, glide your hips back to neutral, straighten one leg at a time, turn the toes softly out, squeeze your shoulder blades together, palms facing up, take a nice big inhale and let something go with the exhale, melt in to your shavasana, enjoying the space that you've created, enjoying that tingle of energy, enjoying the clarity in your mind, feel free to stay here for a couple minutes and really savor your journey inward or go ahead and roll over to your right, use your left palm to help you up to your seat, find a nice comfortable cross legged seat, hopefully those knees are dropping a little closer to the earth after that hip opening journey today, thank you for being with me, thank you for exploring and thank you for going for the challenge today, namaste.


Sandra Židan
Great practice! Thanks, Wade! Namaste! 💜🌞😄
1 person likes this.
Hi Sandra Židan Have a great week and great to know you are moving through the series so strongly!!
Christel B
A welcome Monday practice; perfectly happy hips plus.
1 person likes this.
Christel B Happy Hips are the best - now you need to go have a dance session!! ahaha
Kate M
Love, love. Saying "hello" to the hips - ! Thanks for yet another great sequence, Wade !
1 person likes this.
Kate M Yes Yes I am with you! There is some liberation when we find freedom there- Speaking of Happy Independence Day weekend!!
Kate M
Happy Independence Day Wade! We'll be celebrating Canada Day in some manner here in PEI tomorrow! Love. love!!
Jenny S
1 person likes this.
The mood for today here on the US east coast is sultry…storms are brewing and the air is thick. This was the perfect class for today, feeling deeply into the hips and undulating around in a dreamy way just felt so good! I know I’m gushing again, but I loved this class 😍
Tracey S
Wow, this was incredible, such a wonderful hip opening flow. So happy to have found your videos, I really appreciate your knowledge and style of instruction. Thank you, Wade!
Wonderful as usual! Always love seeing your new videos pop up. This one was fun. You are skilled in keeping it interesting and surprising every time!! 🙏🏼
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