Keepin' it Real Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 4

Spacious Hips, Quiet Mind

30 min - Practice


Robert guides us through a floor practice designed to invite us deep into the hips. We breathe and move slowly through a sequence of Low Lunges, Eka Pada Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose), and Agnistambhasana (Double Pigeon Pose). Your mind will feel more clear and focused, and your hips will thank you.
What You'll Need: Mat

About This Video


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(waves crash) Hey, how's it going? This is Robert, welcome to Yoga Anytime. This is a morning, wake up, start your day kind of a sequence. Get the blood flowing. A little attention into your joints, the knees, hips, etcetera.

I know that it helps me so, let's get started, see how it feels for you, follow along. So, we're gonna start in child's pose. So go ahead and take your knees about as wide as your mat and try bringing your big toes to touch, see how that feels. This can be a lot of different ways for you. You can bring your knees more hip width, a little closer.

I prefer them a little wider so that I have a little more space for my stomach to breathe, okay. So from here bring your palms down toward the mat and begin to sink the hips back toward your heels. Somewhere in the vicinity of your heels. Sometimes a blanket is helpful or a pillow in between your legs and your butt, right, to kinda cushion it up. So go ahead and find your range of motion.

For me, I can bring them back, feels pretty good. Then I bring my forearms down and in the morning, I don't wanna necessarily want to bring my hand too far forward, a little too much tension on my shoulders. So I'm gonna slide my elbows farther back and then, place my head on my hands as I stack them. So, find a variation that works for you, right. For some, stacking your fists is helpful.

I want you to really press the forehead down onto a solid surface. Okay, so kinda wiggle around and find your position. Your toes might feel a little uncomfortable, you might have to curl them under. (breathes deeply) Begin to find a steady breath, breathe in through your nose. And out of your nose. (exhales deeply)

Remember right, this is ideal for starting your day but you can do this anytime, any time you have that space if you wanna carve out time throughout your day. Settle in for another five or six breaths. What feels good for me is if I move my hips to the left and to the right. Just kinda like feel where by body is now and begin to breathe into those spaces that are bringing or causing tension or feel tense. (breathes deeply) Gonna take two more nice big deep inhales and exhales.

And as you do that, begin to stretch your arms nice and long out in front of you about shoulder width. Spread your fingers really wide, you know, this is your foundation, right. So you don't wanna have semi-grounded, you wanna really spread wide, press the finger pads down. Press into the center of your palms and on an inhale come forward up into table top. See if it makes sense for you to keep your hands exactly where they were.

Your hands may be a little farther out from your shoulders and that's okay, as long as it feels okay for your shoulder. So from this position here, bring the knees under the hips, we'll begin a little cat cowl. Good healthy movement for your spine, flexion and extension. So, on your inhale let the belly drop out. Really lazy, lazy, lazy belly.

Sit bones rise and bring the chest forward and you don't necessarily need to exaggerate the neck movement, keep the head a little bit more neutral and in line with the spine, okay. So there's your inhale. The exhale will be to do the opposite, cat pose. Pull the belly up toward the back body, drawing your tailbone down, you're moving the pelvis into more of a posterior tilt. Look towards your thighs, pull your belly up as far as you can, extend your tailbone down.

That's the exhale. Inhale, we'll do about five rounds. (inhales deeply) And exhale. (exhale deeply) What I want to encourage you to do is to make the length of the movement the length of the breath. All right, so if your breath is three seconds or so, that's the movement, right.

Exhale, so three, two, one, spread the shoulder blades really wide, that's the exhale. We'll so three more rounds, inhale. And exhale. (exhales deeply) Inhale. It's so hard not to look up, so I understand if you're looking up every time, I'm doing it myself.

I just remind myself, it's not necessarily making the pose better, right. Neutral, let's go one more round. Exhale, round it out. Inhale. Good, one last exhale into cat pose.

(exhales deeply) Back into a neutral position. Good, find yourself on your mat, as neutral as you can. Now the movement here is going to be from a child's pose position. So I'll talk you through it as we go and then you can find your own rhythm. So again, with the knees a little bit wider, come back into child's pose, stretch the arms out and try not to shorten your hands during the movement, I really want you to stretch them out as far as you can.

Keep them there as you inhale into table. And the exhale, right, you're not gonna be using muscle, it's not a low push up or a Chaturanga. What you're going to do is inhale into table and then begin to let your thighs come down, your hips and then as soon as you start to feel a little tension, right, in the low back, start to bend your elbows, bring your hips down, your belly. You can get a little schlumpy in the shoulders here, right, it's a little, it's okay. And then pull yourself forward and down.

That's the exhale. Inhale through cobra, a little abbreviated updog and then pull from your belly up into table top on the exhale and all the way into table, finishing off our child's, finishing off your exhale. Keep the hands where they are. See if we can get a fluid motion here with the breath. Inhale, table. (inhales deeply)

Exhale. (exhales deeply) Inhale. Exhale. Now for me, when I do this first thing in the morning, just feels right, it feels like I'm giving the body the attention it needs and deserves to begin the day. Two more rounds, inhale.

And exhale. Using a little strength in the arms. Good, inhale. Exhale. (exhales deeply) One last round, inhale.

And exhale. (exhales deeply) Inhale. And we'll finish in child's pose, take another few breaths here. This is also a really nice time to, potentially, right, if it makes sense for you to set your day up, right. First thing in the morning.

For me, focus throughout the day is really challenging and so my intention could be to practice focus. Make a list. Basically, it could be your way of setting your intention for the day, what's important to you, what do you need to work on. And you weave that into the breath awareness, the body awareness and you're kind of setting yourself up to succeed, I think. In my experience, it's really helped me.

I don't do it everyday, I'm not gonna lie to you but I try. Okay, so here, child's pose, finish off there. Now, let's come back up into table top position. We'll set up for downward facing dog. So, for me, try this out.

If you're accustomed to doing it and you're in auto mode, and you come from child's into table and downward dog, just try this, see if the alignment works for you. So from child's, your deepest child's right, stretch it out and when you come up, don't change the hand position, table top. Not gonna change anything here but bring my knees more hip width, I'm gonna curl the toes and on the breath out, on the exhale, downward dog. Breathe in. And exhale, begin to lift the knees, shoot the seat back, stretch the spine long, continue to exhale and straighten your longs as much as it makes sense for you, right.

So if you straighten your legs and this happens, can you feel that, right. That's probably not the best down dog for you, you wanna soften the knees, bend them, I encourage you, I implore you to bend your knees. This will free up the spine, your pelvis, right. Reach the belly and the chest toward the thighs. Keep the fingers spread wide and begin to kinda like press one heel down, move over, press the other.

If there's any kind of natural movement that feels good for you here, explore it. Okay. (exhales deeply) Spend another five breaths. So make sure that you've got that even flow, that breath right, so the breathing is incorporated into the posture, the movement. So inhale through the nose.

Exhale through the nose or even the mouth. (exhales deeply) Let the head hang heavy, two more breaths. Okay, let's move into a nice, deep, long lunge here. So I'm gonna step the right foot all the way to the right pinky, okay. So go ahead and lift your right foot up and step it up.

Now, for some, it's gonna be like (grunts) you know, bring the back knee down and help it along. So there's not real perfect way to do any of these, get the foot there. Now once you get it situated up in the front of the mat, see about stretching the back leg back a little bit. Okay, check in with your knee, how does your right knee feel, how does the back knee feel. Take a deep breath here.

Go ahead and take a deep inhalation, breathe in fully. And then let a big exhale out through the mouth. (exhales deeply) Okay, so you kind a enter the posture with minimal tension, let's say. Okay, so for me, I'm gonna bring the hands on the inside of the foot. And you can stay right here and keep the chest up.

Inner right thigh stretching deeply, right, starting to open the hips. What I might encourage you to do is take that right hand on the inner right thigh and begin to kinda gently guide the right knee over toward the right, lifting the right arch of the foot up. This is going to enhance the stretch quite a bit. You can stay just like so or even bring the right hand back down. Maybe even the left forearm.

The right forearm. Check in, maybe take another deep breath in. Let a bit exhale out. (exhales deeply) Stew in this for a few moments. Like as you're doing this, I want you to kinda check in.

Like ask yourself, does this make sense to me? When I'm stretching here, does it make sense? Where is it, are you gaining some sense of knowledge, some insight, right? How does this make sense to you in your daily life? Okay, so here for me, I feel like, wow, this is a great hip stretch, hip opener, if you will.

Okay, one more breath, okay. Now this is where it gets a little bit more complicated and you're gonna have to find your way there. But what I want you to do is bring the right knee back over toward the center, over the right ankle and walk your right foot over toward the left side of the mat, okay, pigeon pose. Bring the right knee down. (exhales deeply) Take an angle, more of an angle, possibly on that right shin.

Scoot the right heel a little bit towards your body, okay. That make sense? Now, flex that right foot quite a bit. This'll engage all the muscles and tendons around the right knee, protect it, basically. Okay, try to get the hips nice and even, prop yourself up.

Right now you're probably feeling a pretty deep stretch on the outer edge of the right seat, your IT band, your glutes. Huge up through the hip flexers. Now choose to stay here or possibly walk yourself forward. (exhales deeply) So the idea, my friends, we're friends, right? Is to feel the stretch, right, and when that tension is there, when you meet the tension, what works for me, is I meet it and then I back away a little bit.

Take a deep breath in. And then I let a nice long exhale out. (exhales deeply) Right into that space that is like, kind of like that little road block, right. And so, that may help you, it helps me. It kinda helps create that safe environment, if you will, in your body.

Okay, so go ahead and kinda take another two or three breaths here. (exhales deeply) Exit strategy, start to walk out. How that feels and then plop yourself over to your right side and then sweep that left leg all the way around. Pull the left knee in and take the left ankle over the right knee or right thigh. Okay, so basically, the right, it's a box pose, double pigeon.

Known, fire log also. Ankle over knee pose. Left ankle over the right knee, okay. Maybe situate your pelvis in a way, so you're sitting high on your sit bones. Flex the top foot quite a bit.

Now some of you will have this knee way up here. Take the right hand back behind you, your left hand on your inner left thigh. Sit up tall. This is where you are so might as well be in it completely, and breathe into this space here. And on the exhale, it might feel good to press that knee down a little bit or maybe don't press so much on the knee but on the inner thigh.

For me, I can bring the kneed down a little bit farther. (inhales deeply) Prop up, you can put your hands back behind you, maybe open the chest, breathe across the collar bones. Some of you may even fold forward. (exhales deeply) Take two more breaths. (exhales deeply) Good.

Start to exit out if you're folding forward. If you're up tall, pause for a moment. Take a breath. When in doubt, breathe, all right. Can't really hurt.

So now, we're gonna exit back into downward dog. So whatever makes sense for you. What I'm gonna do is tip back, swing my legs around. Make my way into table top, maybe even find a child's pose for a moment. Okay, from child's pose, I'm gonna do that same set-up.

Stretch the arms forward, spread the fingers wide, table top Curl the toes under. Lift the knees, maybe even pause here for a moment, lifting the knees. And as you feel like you wanna rise up, shoot your seat back first, chest toward the thighs. Take a breath in here and then keep the length in the spine and exhale up into to downward facing dog. (exhales deeply) Left leg, go ahead and step it up to the left pinky.

Bring the back knee down, get that nice long lunge. Now, I didn't offer it on the other side but if it feels better for you to keep that back knee forward more, right, that could feel better for you, so give that a shot. For me, I'm going way back right now, it feels good for me. So both hands on the inside of the foot. So it's a deep low lunge and as it feels appropriate for you you might even take that left knee and begin to kind of flare it open.

This'll enhance the stretch in the inner left hip region. Arch is lifting, knee is protected, feels okay, you're not pushing. Find the hand placement. Might be nice for you to get a big pillow, if you're at home, get a big pillow or a cushion. Bring the forearms down. (exhales deeply)

Take a few breaths, remind yourself of that intention. Kinda revisit it, maybe it's changed. Release some of the tension you may be experiencing in your eyes or your jaw. (exhales sharply) So it's not necessarily something you've got to do, this is an opportunity for you to pay close attention to where your body is now as it's given to you in this moment. How your breath is, how you can enhance your breath, feeling a little bit more energized, a little bit more alive.

Okay, pigeon pose. So go ahead and kinda like step by step (exhales deeply) walk out of it. No rush, this is your own personal practice, I'm just here to kinda give you a few tips and pointers along the way. Set the knee down. This side for me is much more open.

I can keep this nice little angle here, stretch the knee back quite a bit. Prop up. (inhales deeply) You're welcome to stay here. You can walk yourself out a little farther. Again, that cushion is pretty helpful, it brings the ground up.

Spend five full, very quiet breaths on your own. See if you can really touch into where you're feeling the stretch most. Breathe into that space. Knowing it doesn't have to be anything other than what it actually is right now. The sense of feeling content.

Grateful. (exhales deeply) Relax some tension around the shoulders, neck. (exhales deeply) Now, go ahead and tip yourself over toward the left. This will help to, help you to exit. Prop your hands up, chest up.

Sweep that back leg around and we'll do the other side. So now it's double pigeon on this side. So what's helpful for me. In the beginning, when I was learning this, right, is I would sort of, from this position just kind of pull the ankle over but what I've found is helpful, if I pull the knee in, flex the foot and then feel that hip, it's like this external rotation of the hip, I think it's external. Okay, situate the legs.

Now, this is my right side, the left side, I'm much more open. We'll see what happens here. So, sit bones, so if you find that that pelvis is tucked under and you're rounded, get a pillow, get something that will help you to adjust the pelvis to more of a neutral position, okay. Flex that foot, protect the knee. Sit up nice and tall.

So you've got options, right, the hands behind you, I think, is nice. I like to fold forward, personally. But if you'd like, bring the hands back behind you and this just (inhales deeply) opens the chest, provides a little bit more space and opportunity for deep breaths, which will just make you feel better. Okay, so I'll take it two or three breaths here and then I'll probably fold forward. This is what I would do.

Remember, if the knee is up high, be cool, it's all good. Eventually, maybe, who knows, it'll come down here. But it doesn't really have to. Left hand back behind you, sit up tall and use your exhales to gently guide that knee downward, just a little bit, even if it's just a tiny bit. (inhales deeply) Be patient, be kind.

Now, I'll even reach those arms up, take a deep breath in. (inhales deeply) Keep the structure, right, keep the base, keep the flexed foot, protect the knee, breathe in and exhale. (exhales deeply) (inhales deeply) (exhales deeply) (exhales deeply) All right, two more breaths. (inhales deeply) One more time, breathe in through the nose. (inhales deeply) And out the nose. (exhales deeply) Slowly bring yourself back up.

You wanna pay just as much attention to the exiting the transition out of a pose just as you do as you come in and as you pay that attention in the posture, the exit is just as important, okay. So now that we've come out, we'll situate ourselves into a more of a comfortable seated position, okay. So, cross your legs. Again, really pay attention here to your pelvis. Make sure it's not tucked under too much, right.

This posterior thing. It's sort of, it's uncomfortable right? So what I want you to do is, get up on a pillow, get up on some kind of comfortable thing that gets you up and will provide this sensation or feeling or position in the pose, okay. So go ahead and get that set up for yourself. (inhales deeply) Sit up nice and tall, bring the palms to your chest.

Chest open, shoulder blades drawn toward one another. So you have sense of like strength in the back. Use your exhale to twist over toward the left. So by doing this, you're not forcing anything. Keeps the twist a little bit more honest.

That's the exhale. Now, breathe in as you come back to center. Exhale, pull he navel in, twist over toward the right. Good, inhale back over to center. (inhales deeply) Exhale. (exhales deeply)

Now here, once you meet your max, release the right hand to the left thigh and your left hand back behind you. Get up nice and tall, spine long, shoulders down. And use a little effort in the arms to deepen the twist, if it feels all right. Healthy rotation, we're just looking for simple, healthy rotation of the spine, okay. Find your edge, spend a few moments there.

If it feels appropriate, and only if it feels appropriate, look over the left shoulder, if not, keep the head a little bit more neutral. (inhales deeply) Keep in mind, right, if you're doing this, say, in the morning and you have to go and sit at the office all day, do this as many times in the day as you can, it feels... I think it feels good, it might not feel good to you. But over time, it will feel better. Go ahead and come back out.

Sit up tall, take a deep breath in (inhales deeply) and come over to the right. (exhales deeply) Release the hands down. Sit up tall and twist. Breathe in, let the stomach expand. Breathe out, pull the belly in, twisting a little deeper possibly, looking over the right shoulder, possibly. Any kind of natural, intuitive neck movement is always open and available to you.

And then slowly, start with the gaze forward and release the hands and let the body (exhales deeply) come back to a neutral position. (inhales deeply) Take a deep breath in, reach the arms up nice and high. Big stretch. And exhale, the palms to the chest. (exhales deeply) All right, close your eyes for a few moments.

Before you start the day. Before you finish the day. Wherever you are in your day right now, just take a moment, close the eyes, revisit your intention, if you set one. (exhales deeply) Take a few moments to thank yourself. Thank yourself genuinely.

Of course, if it makes sense to you, right. If it feels awkward and weird, don't do it. But I feel it's necessary for me, every time I show up for myself, to thank myself for simply showing up and doing the work. So take a moment to do that. (exhales deeply) Beautiful.

Thank you so much for joining me and have a awesome, beautiful day. See you next time.


Pamela L
3 people like this.
Loving Robert's practice. Love the 30 minutes, love how he truly keeps it real. So good in the morning!
Maureen M
2 people like this.
This is the 2nd of Robert's videos I've watched and I love his calming and reassuring manner which is something I can tune into . Great cues again. Thank you Robert. Looking forward to watching the rest of your classes.
Robert Sidoti
Pamela and Maureen! Soo glad you are enjoying Yoga Anytime! Thanks for your comments:)
Joe M
2 people like this.
Really enjoying the practice, looking forward to the day my hips are a bit more flexible, but very much appreciated!!
Maria F
3 people like this.
I really liked this, this was a fantastic way to be guided into deeper hip opener than I usually experience. Thank you, very much!
Tesa Urbonaite Dunn
Niiiiiice!!! Happy happy hips!! Loved the gentle and respectful guidance!! Thank you!
Joanna H
2 people like this.
Robert, you are really helping me get back into yoga with your easy-going vibe. Thank you.
Nick M
4 people like this.
This is my favourite one of all the videos I've found on Yoga Anytime. My hips/hamstrings/gluteus are a big focus for me since that's currently where most of the tightness resides. This is great to start or finish the day.
Fay P
1 person likes this.
I enjoy Robert's flowing commentary, encouragement and earthiness. As a strong instructor myself, I teach a Gentle on Fridays. Super helpful!
Also, figured out that Robert's voice and something about him reminds me a bit of Keanu Reeves! True?
Robert Sidoti
I love reading these comments! So happy that I can provide something for you all that is useful:)) Thank you! Been trying to come up with Keanu quote Fay, I'll think on that one!
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