Everyday Somatic Yoga Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 3

Hips for Life!

40 min - Practice


This inspiring class will increase awareness and mobility in the region of the hips. We begin in a stimulating seated breathwork practice, before moving through oscillating somatic movements to explore external and internal rotation patterns and range of motion in our hips. We flow through modified Sun Salutes and standing poses to visit the spaces we have brought awareness to and integrate them into familiar movement. We return to our somatic movement, and finish with a breath practice. Your hips will feel stable and spacious.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket, Block


Read Full Transcript

Hey, my friends. Welcome back to another somatic flow session where we will be focused on the region of our hips we'll explore some external and internal patterns in our hips. And I'm particularly interested in the internal rotation of our hip since this is a range that many of us lose as we age. You might want a block for the practice today. You might want to start on a blanket We'll start in a seat, and I'd like to share a breath practice to start that I call full cycle breathing.

So to do this, we'll focus on the inhale. 10 times will inhale. You could do in and out of the mouth or the nose. And at the top of your breath, at the top of the 10 breaths, we'll pause the breath, and then we'll do a slow, smooth, steady exhale. On the inhales, you might feel like you're still sitting on a little bit of breath.

So focus more on the inhales than you do on the exh hail because it's a stimulating breath practice. Let's begin. Alright. So sitting comfortably. You can take a breath in. Exhale it all out.

And we'll start with those 10 inhales. Pause the breath at the top. Tuck your chin if you like. Hold it. As long as you comfortably can.

And then long, smooth, steady exhale. Notice if there's any state change after that. And join me on my back on your back. So we can come on down, feet planted underneath knees, and walk your feet a little wider. So about the distance of your mat, your arms can rest by your sides.

And we'll start with letting our right leg roll in. So this is that internal rotation of the hip. Try to keep your pelvis as grounded as you can and see how far down your right knee can go comfortably, maybe reaching the end range there, take a breath. Open up your right knee towards the ceiling, roll to the pinky toe side of your foot, and see how far you can get your right knee to fall out. Without lifting the left side of your pelvis. And then we'll oscillate through that.

So rolling in and rolling out. You could do this with your breath. You might close your eyes and imagine that you're crazy glued, your sacrum bone, the back of your pelvis to the ground and notice your true range of your hip here. On the right side. You might notice things like bumping up against pain or more intense sensation. You might be curious about how the range might change after doing this for a couple of moments.

I'm always really surprised at how little range I have when I don't move my pelvis in low back. So let's do this for 5. For 3. And in the somatic section, you can tune into what is easier for you. Is it that internal rotation, 2, or the external rotation? And try to pour a little bit more effort into the opposite. So the part that's a little more challenging for you, try to emphasize that part.

Let's switch sides So left leg in, rolling to the big toe side, and then out to the pinky toe side. And here's the fun part. You get to really notice the differences from side to side, seeing if you can keep your sacrum crazy glued to the floor. Not much movement in your low back, so a fairly neutral spine. And check out your true range on this side.

What is different? Maybe there's a bit more intense sensation or a little more movement or less. Maybe there's looseness to the movement or stickiness. And this is the part where you get to pour in a little bit of the opposite. Emphasize the part that feels a little more challenging.

If you're really good at one or the other, try to re focus on the release part instead of the activation part. Let's do this for 3. For 2. Maybe with your breath and for 1. Nice. And then you can draw your knees in here.

Give yourself a little hug. You can roll to the side or rock and roll right up to a seat, and I'm going to demonstrate this next part facing this way, long edge of the mat, You might want to sit up on something a block or a blanket, but we'll start with our legs in a v position from our pelvis. You can take your hands behind, and then start to let your knees fall in and out. Side to side. So you'll have one leg going into that internal rotation pattern and one leg going into the external rotation.

And it's fine if a hip pops up off the floor. If you want to make this a bit more challenging for yourself, you could take your hands off the ground. Could do this with your breath for 3 for 2. And for one, let's let our knees fall to the left. So now our left leg is an external rotation.

Our right leg is an internal internal might feel here a little bit sticky. So if it does and there's you're bumping into quite a bit of pain, you can come up on a block or a blanket. So that's always an option. And see if you can bring your internally rotated hip a little closer to the floor if it's not all I'm just rocking into that joint. Taking a breath there.

Taking a moment. Now there's an option here to start to walk your sternum over your left shins. You can start to walk forwards. It's okay if your right hip comes off of the floor and walk a little or a lot forwards until you get a stretch in your left outer hip here. You might bring your elbows to the floor, maybe even stack your hands and let your forehead come down.

Take a breath in. Take a breath out. Nice. And then you can walk back up a little, but stay a little to that left side and explore from your right hip, lightening or lifting your right foot off the floor. So you might do that a couple of times This is quite challenging for many of us. So if you're getting a little less of a lift, that's normal to start.

You might even try lifting your knee right off of the ground. So this movement. Lightning or lifting. One more time like that. And then option here to let your right leg come all the way around, sliding it on the ground until either your ankles cross or your shins cross.

Some of you might be even be able to stack your shins and fold a little forwards with a double pigeon shape. Your breath in. Your breath out. Let's walk it back up. Slide that right leg all the way back into this 9090 or zed sit, lean back if you like.

And take your legs all the way over to the other side. And notice what's different here in your internally rotated and externally rotated hip, you might rock a little bit into this hip to get curious about bringing the left hip a little closer to the floor. Some of you might have it on the floor. Some of you might need to sit up on a block. You can experiment with having a closer angle in pointed toes or a wider angle in flexed feet.

Let's start to come over this right leg. So we'll walk it a little bit forward It's okay if your left hip comes off a little, aiming your sternum center of your chest over the center of your shin. You're welcome to bring your forearms down or stack your hands. Move like you. Take a breath in.

Your breath out. Great. And we'll walk back up. Stay a little leaned over to the right. And initiating the movement, if you can, from your left outer hip from your left inner thigh as well, can you lighten or start to lift your left foot off of the floor? You might be doing this a little slower, a little quicker than me, explore it. You can also play with lifting your whole shin off of the floor. For a few beats.

Whenever I find a movement that's a little foreign me a little challenging. I get pretty excited about it, knowing that I'm increasing these neural connections to parts of my body. Then can lean quite a bit over and swing that leg all the way around to either cross at ankles or shins. Or perhaps even stack your shins and then start to walk forwards. Any amount, take a breath in there.

Your breath out. Anytime you need to, feel free to let out a sigh. Let a little movement come in. You can walk back up there. And slide that left leg all the way back around to your zed sit, and then bring your legs back up to the v position.

Hands leaning back behind you or not, let your legs fall side to side and see if you can notice any difference in the feeling of this movement for 3. For 2. And for one. So good. Okay. We'll shift it forward. So we face the front of the mat in a tabletop.

Shoulders over your wrist, knees, over your hips. Let's inhale into a cat cow movement arch in your spine. And then as you hail round under. I like to take this movement when you inhale. You can shift a bit forwards.

And when you exhale, you can shift a bit. Back into your low back. Let's do that for 3. Shifting back on the exhale for 2. And for one, getting movement and hydration into our back body.

Shifting forwards. And as you're ready, tuck your toes, reach up and back into down dog, And if this is the first downward facing form of your day, can you feel any difference in the region of your hips? As you're ready, take your feet towards your hands, you can come into that halfway lift forward fold. Let's come all the way up. Press heels into the earth.

Reach. And release your hands into a prayer form if you like. You're invited to make the sound of, your breath in. Your breath out and hail from taking a breath into your hands. Release your hands by your sides.

Circle your arms up reach. Forward fold. Length in your spine. Step back into your down dog. Roll through to an angry cat plank, lengthen it out. You can take your knees down to lower to a Chaturanga or to your belly, untuck your toes, hands, forwards, cobra, or up dog.

And exhale back, maybe to your knees, to your downward facing form. Your breath in. Your breath out. One more breath, your hips might reach up and back. Your knees might bend a fraction.

Bend your knees as you're ready step or hop if you like hands to the or feet to the front of your mat, exhale forward fold. Arms out and up. Come on up. Release your arms. Variation arms up.

Forward fold. The length in your spine there Step or hop back, find your down dog. Roll through to an angry cat plank. You can firm your legs if you like lower to your belly or tachadaranga there. Untuck your toes.

Find your backbend. Up and back to down, we're facing form. Feed together at the back of your mat. Inhale your left leg high. You can open your hip if you like.

Bring your left foot into warrior one stance. Back foot on an angle and inhale find your warrior 1. On your exhale, open to warrior 2. You can shift your feet there. Inhale reverse your warrior.

Exhale parallel your feet to the long right edge of your mat hands to your hips. And he'll lift and open your chest, tailbone heavy, exhale forward fold hands to the floor. And he'll come up and turn your toes out, knees out, bend your knees, sink into a wide squat, and then straighten your legs any amount you might come up onto your fingertips here to firm your kneecaps. Exhale, bend into a low squat. Inhale, straighten your legs, any amount.

One more time. Low squat and tear hips. Straighten your legs. Now let's start to barrel roll our chest so you can let your knees bend and barrel roll your chest to the left, to the earth, to the right, to the sky. And don't worry about getting it perfectly.

You can switch directions. It's a little bit inset to like for 3. 2. Lubricating your hip joints here and your spine for 1. And then we'll sink into that squat again.

Hands on knees. Come on up so you're in a wide legged squat. Upright. So you can let your hips sink a little. Let's pulse into our hips five times. So 5. I'm really feeling this in my hips. 4, 3, 2, and 1.

If you like, you can come up a little higher and then reach up onto your rate, tippy toe, and turn your right knee in internal rotation of your hip and then reach your right knee back behind you, come back into your wide legged squat. Up on left, tippy toes roll in without moving your pelvis too much, if you can. Open up, sink. One more time, both sides roll in. You can let your hands float if you like. Out, roll in with your breath, and out. So nice. K.

We're going to turn warrior 2 to the back of our mat. Reverse that warrior, and then frame your right foot with your hands, step back to downward facing dog. Either stay there or if you like, roll to angry cat plank, straighten it out, lower into your Chaturanga or to the floor. Untuck your toes. Inhale.

Open your chest. Exhale. Up and back. Downward facing form. Feet together at the back of your mat, right leg up. You can open your hips there.

Right foot to warrior 1. Grab it forwards if you need. Inhills here warrior 1. Exhale wiggle your feet to a warrior 2. Inhale reverse that warrior.

Exhale parallel your feet to the long edge of your mat hands to hips. Inhale lift and open your chest. Exhale, fold forward's hands to the earth. Inhale, toes out knees, out heels in, sink down into your squat, straighten your legs any amount, tighten your kneecaps. Sync with your breath, straight and sink.

Deep in the groin crease there if you like. Straighten. And then with soft knees start to barrel roll your chest and have fun with it. This is one of my favorite movements. You can switch directions. Be a four legged creature here for 3.

2 lubricating your joints here and 1 sink down into your wide legged squat climb up. Hands on knees. You can really rest your arms towards straight here. Right. Tippy toes roll in. Imagine your sacrum bone is still glued to the floor here. Both sides how often do you see internal rotation in this?

Another thing that might be novel, let yourself Feel the newness of it, both sides. Nice. And then we'll come into warrior 2 facing the left foot front of the mat reverse that warrior, frame your left foot, step back to downward facing dog. Pettle it out. You can stay there, find a child's form, or angry cat plank straighten it out. Lower. Maybe it's a upward dog or it's a cobra, and then it's a downward facing form.

Preath in. Breath out. Left leg high. You can open your hip there. Take your left foot into warrior one stance, back foot on an angle. Inhale.

Sweep it up to warrior 1. Open it up to warrior 2. Wiggle your feet. Reverse that warrior. Make it yours.

Parallel your feet to the long edge of your mat cut your waist. Inhale open your chest. Exhale forward fold hands to the earth. And then turn your right toe out and start to sink into a Skandasana squat. So you might come up onto your right tippy toes your left toes turn up, I'm going to show you this with a block because some of you might sit right down in this, and some of you might take a block and sit on a block to come up. Now you might shimmy your right foot a little further away from your pelvis and start to find that internal and external pattern with your right knee in and out.

And what feels a little easier for you here is that Is it the rolling in or the reaching out? You could definitely use your hands to support it for 3. Sometimes I like to firm my left underside of my knee here too, to support it, to And some of you might be sitting on the ground one. So nice. Okay. So from here, you can use your hands or not. Can you stand right up into warrior 2 facing your left leg facing the front of your mat. Straight your legs and turn towards warrior 2 towards your right leg.

Facing the back of your mat. Reverse that warrior. We'll frame our right foot and step back into downward facing dog towards the back of the mat, little mandala flow. If you like, stay their child's form, or roll it into an angry cat, plank straighten it out, lower into Chaturanga or 2 of the floor. Your upward dog or cobra.

Oh, you're downward facing dog. Other side, right leg high, you can open your hip, right foot to your right wrist, where your one stands. Inhale your warrior 1. Exhale. Shame your feet into your warrior 2.

Inhale reverse your warrior. Exhale. Face the long edge of your mat hands on your waist. And he'll sink your tail, lift your chest. Exhale, bend your knees forward fold.

Turn your left toes out and your left knee out this time, and then your right toes flip up into your Skandasana squat. You might come up onto your left tippy toes. You might sit right down or grab a block and sit on your block. Wherever you are, your hands might come behind you, and you can work with that internal rotation, an external rotation pattern in your left hip. You might wiggle your left foot away from you. Keep going with it.

Get curious. About this upright orientation through your spine. What's easier for you? What's harder? What about left and right?

Let's go for 3. You could use your hand if you want for a little ink encouragement for 2. And for 1, k. From here, you can use your hands or not. Push it into a warrior 2 facing the right leg facing the back of your mat. Turn into a warrior 2 facing your left leg facing the front of your mat.

Reverse that warrior. Frame your front foot with your hands step back into downward facing form. Might stay there, take a child's form, or roll through to your angry, cut plank straighten it out firm legs. You can lower down your backbend untuck your toes. You're downward facing.

Dog. Press in. Press out. Okay. To your knees, shift your shins to one side, coming back to face the long edge of your mat in that v position, and we'll reverse our closing sequence. You might be sitting on a blocker blanket Let your knees fall left to right. And by no means, your knees have to touch the floor.

You can also play with angle with your hips. What I like about these oscillating movements is there's no endpoint to the forms. You get to be curious about your range, playful with it. And let's let our knees fall over to the left into our zed sit or 9090. Again, play with feet closer to hips, maybe pointing your toes, and start to let your right hip get a little close or 2 of the floor. That's the internally rotated hip.

A little wobble, little shift. I'm really noticing the ease that's there second time around. I'm curious what you're noticing. And then taking your sternum over the middle of your shin. So walking it forwards, In this variation, you might feel inspired to stretch your right leg out towards straighter maybe having the inner knee facing the floor and the inner foot facing the floor or rolling onto the center of your knee and pointing your toe into a bit more of your classical looking pigeon. Let's take a breath in and out here.

And we'll come on up. And if your leg is long, you can draw it back in. Perhaps staying a little shifted to your left. And then starting to lighten your right foot off the floor. Little pulses.

You could get curious about the whole shin coming off of the floor. For 3. For 2. And for 1, And then it's that big swing around. So in the swing around, you might slide your heel on the floor. Some of you might flow your leg off the floor as you bring it all the way forwards to cross that ankles or shins or stuck.

And then you can walk your sitting bones back, fold forwards any amount. Sometimes I think about widening my sit bones and then plugging them down to feel broad across the low back. This is an opportunity to take a longer, steadier, smoother exhale. So nice. You can walk on up. Lean left, so you're really in the bottom hip, slide your heel or maybe float it back to your zed sit.

And use your hands behind you to let your knees fall all the way over to the right. Play with angle, play with pointing, or flexing your feet, and letting your left hip come a little closer to the floor. Noticing if your left tip is different this time around on this side as you sync it a little closer to the earth. You're welcome to start to take your Sturn them over your right legs. You can walk forwards. Perhaps let your elbows come down.

If you're inspired to start to reach out through your right leg, you could do that with the inner leg facing the floor, or you could turn your toes and turn your knee and untuck your toes. A little more classical pigeon. For a breath in and out. Come on up and either sliding your leg forwards or some of you might float your leg forwards to cross at your ankles, your shins, or even stack your shins. Walk your sit bones back and lean in.

What I love about this particular sequence is that we get to traverse through activation and release, which is the somatic way, a pandiculation through the body where we really, bring information to the tissue through engaging it. And then go into release. In my experience, I get a little bit of a deeper release sensation from that. So hips heavy. You can roll all the way up here and take your leg all the way back into that zed sit. Explore it.

And bringing your legs back into the v. We'll face the front of our mat heels forwards. You might glue your heels to the floor. Take your hands on the backs of your legs and roll back down to your back body. You might let your hands go to take sacrum.

Low back. Mid back. Upper back to the earth. Feet underneath knees and walking your feet a little wider. So that they're about the distance of your mat.

Take a moment to notice the residue in the region of your hips. Maybe your low back. Here. So full circle. We come back to our internal and external movements are roll in and out of our hip on the right side. So up to you, your pacing. And bringing your awareness to the movement, does it feel any different now?

With your sacrum bone, the back of your pelvis, that flat bone at the back of your pelvis crazy glued to the earth. Can you feel a bit of a difference in your range on the right side? Do you have a bigger range? Does it feel smoother? Does it feel smoother? Personally, I don't notice a big difference in my range, but I notice a difference in the feeling.

Much smoother and stronger for me, much more controlled. So that's an invitation to tune into your experience. Let's go for 3 for 2. I also like to think of this. It's a massage for my hip, a hydration on my hip, and for 1. Back to center, left knee in, and out.

So this is my hip with a few more stories. I carried my babies on this hip, so it has a little bit more to say. You might feel that in your body and then notice the differences after that practice. Crazy. Grew your sacrum to the earth. Check out your range and the feeling of it.

Could even close your eyes to land and locate in your hip, which is a big tenet of the somatic practice is to land your body weight and then locate an area with your awareness for 3. For 2. And for when? And coming back to both knees going skyward, you could even let them fall in towards each other here. And land in that region of your hips.

Take a beat. And the invitation year is to come full circle to our full cycle breath. One more time on our back body. So we do the stimulating breath, then we pause the breath, then we do the a long steady smooth XL, which is, the calming phase of the breath potentially. So when you're ready, we'll do those 10 focused inhales.

So your inhale breath Exhale it out to prepare in and out through the nose or mouth. Breathe in. Hold the breath. Pause. As long as you comfortably want to. Long smooth, steady exhale.

Free breathing? Notice the effect? And you're welcome to slide your legs out or stay in that position. You can open your arms. And allow yourself to settle into some stillness here for a few minutes.

As you Let this region of your hips connect to the earth. You might tune into the heaviness of the bones of your pelvis. It said that your sacrum bone is the last bot, the bone, the last bone in your body to disintegrate. The sacred bone. You might allow your weight really fall there, tether it to the core of the earth.

And you're welcome to let your breath be felt in your abdomen, in your low back. And you might want to linger here for a little while longer as long as you need to. I feel like after this practice, I'm quite grounded through my Public Center. So sometimes it's hard to get up. Take your time.

That you might wiggle your fingers and your toes. Perhaps a full body stretch. Your knees could come in and you can roll to a side. That makes sense. And push yourself up.

In a seat, if you'd like to close your practice with me with your hands together and anjali mudra at your heart, bow your head in and acknowledge that you took this time today to attend to your needs, the non negotiable work of self care. Perhaps you are inspired to pay that forwards to other beings and the earth. Peace. Shanti.


Christel B
2 people like this.
My hips feel great after those hip awakening movements and I am feeling peaceful. Thank you Lydia for a hip enlivening class.
Lydia Zamorano
Christel B So happy this one brought both peace and aliveness. Thank you so much for commenting Christel. With care, Lydia 
Jenny S
2 people like this.
This practice, perhaps more than any I’ve done before, really showed me the difference between my two hips - very revealing! I’m feeling more balanced now 😌 and I would also like to say I appreciate your lovely closing sentiments…thank you Lydia 🙏🏻✨
Lydia Zamorano
Jenny S Thanks for sharing that Jenny! I'm so happy to hear you found more balance with this practice. Wishing you warmth and peace this holiday, Lydia 
Michelle F
1 person likes this.
Hello there Lydia,
Great to be pracicing with you again.Gee whizz this hip sequence was absolutely d¡fascinating ----when you instructed to raise foot or leg in the bent 90 / 90 position ---wow my hips ...both and both times ...went into the most wickedly intense cramp i have ever expeienced - in fact I didnt even know you could have cramp in your hipIi leapt involuntarily! from the floor the first time, tried to stay with it the other 3 times and will deffo repeat this tomorrow to see if anything has changed ! Brilliant - thank you so much
Have a beautiful day
Michelle F
Hola again Lydia,
Just to follow up - I repeated the practice today and although my hips cramped again first time , they didnt do so on the repetion . I feel great and hhave a wee tiny zone of tension that I was previously oblivious too and am now trying to breathe into - I think it´s probably worth one more reetion tomorrow - 3 in a row!
Have a beautiful day
Lydia Zamorano
Michelle F Hi Michelle! Wow I'm so delighted to hear that you will be exploring this practice three days in a row! Thank you for sharing your insights and thoughts! The somatic practice has been a space for heightening my awareness, and it is wonderful to hear how other folks are finding benefit from this as well. With care and peace, Lydia 
Michelle F
1 person likes this.
Hi Lydia,
As  the third day was totally  cramp free, but still tight and pinchy well I decided to go on to day 4 and yes it was lovely today - not much more range but smooth and slipperry as opposed to tight and grippily!
Thank you so much - I really look forward to the other sessions in this season!
Have a wonderful day
Lydia Zamorano
Michelle F Wow! I'm loving hearing how this is unfolding for you Michelle! Thanks for letting me know. Wishing you a wonderful day as well my friend. Lydia 
Sandra Židan
What a great and calming practice! Thanks, Lydia, for sharing it with us! I do feel that I have larger range od motion in my hips after this practice! Namaste! ❤️🌹💖
1-10 of 23

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Yoga Anytime Logo

Just Show Up

Over 2,900 yoga and meditation practices to bring you Home.

15-Day Free Trial