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Season 2 - Episode 4

Receptive and Fluid Hips

45 min - Practice
49 likes
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With a quiet and investigative quality, Suniti offers a fluid and deep sequence with a focus on strengthening and stretching the hips and hamstrings. Your body will feel open and warm in preparation for Hanumanasana (Monkey Pose). Suniti's encouragement to pause and listen to the echo of each shape will allow for a deepened awareness.
What You'll Need: Mat, Block (2)

About This Video

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(water flowing) Welcome. In this class we're going to give our hips a little extra love and attention. You may want to have two blocks if you consider yourself to have restricted hamstrings. Let's begin with our right shin in front of our left. Take a moment here just to settle in.

Start to feel your breath. Explore the fullness of your breath. On your next inhale, reach your arms up to the sky. Exhale, twist on over to your right, lower your hands down, and bring your left hand to cross over your right leg. As you inhale, notice your left lung.

As you exhale, spiral your left lung to the right. Inhale, notice your left lung. Exhale, spiral your left lung to the right. Now keep your left hand as it is and just look forward. Reach your right fingertips up to the sky and then all the way over to your left leg.

Bring your chin to your chest, move your shoulder blades away from each other and take a few big breaths here into the backs of your lungs. Explore space in the back of your heart. Look forward and begin to reach your fingertips up to the sky, let your forearms slide on each other, bring your left wrist in front of your right and palms together to meet. Now begin to reach up through your side body, all the way up to your fingertips. Release your hands, bring your fingertips back behind you, press down through your fingertips, open up your chest, let your collarbone spread apart and sweep your hands forward, walk your way into a forward fold.

You can come onto your forearms here, you can release your forehead down to the floor. For this shape, allow your belly to move in response to your breath and explore the weight of your hips. Now press into your hands and come all the way back up to your seat and just switch what leg is in front. Again take a moment to pause, feel the weight of your legs. On the inhale, reach your arms up.

Exhale, twist to your left. Right hand crosses over the left leg. Inhale, enjoy the expanse of your right lung. Exhale, spiral your right lung to the left. Inhale, right lung expands.

Then exhale, spiral. Look forward, keep your right arm where it is, reach your left arm up to the sky and then all the way over to your right leg. Bring your chin to your chest, around your upper back, shoulder blades glide apart. Breathe into the backs of your lungs. Allow your shoulder blades to move towards your upper arms.

Look forward, forearms slide on each other, palms turn towards each other, hands come to meet. Now reach from your side body, up through your fingertips. Release your hands, bring your fingertips back behind you, open up your chest. Big inhale. Exhale, walk your hands forward, and fold in.

Feel the weight of your hips, the weight of your legs. Allow your belly to move in response to your breath. Then press into your hands, come all the way up to your seat, and let's come into downward facing dog. Plant your hands and reach your hips up nice and high. Inhale, reach your right leg up to the sky.

Exhale, step your right foot forward between your hands. Then lower your back knee down to the ground. Come up onto your fingertips, feel free to bring your hands onto blocks if you would like. On a nice big inhale, allow your thigh bones to glide apart, open up your chest, maybe even look up towards the sky. Exhale, press down into the ground, begin to straighten out both legs as you round your spine.

Inhale breath, knees bend, chest begins to open, gaze begins to lift. Exhale, press into the ground, begin to straighten your legs as you round your spine. Let's add our arms. Inhale, bend both knees, and reach your arms up to the sky. Exhale, lower your hands, and straighten out both legs.

Inhale breath, bend both knees, reach your arms up to the sky. Exhale, lower both hands down, and straighten out both legs. As you inhale breath, just bend your front knee, and then plant your hands, and step back to downward facing dog. A few breaths here. Inhale, reach your left leg up to the sky.

Exhale, step your left foot forward between your hands. Lower your back knee down, then inhale, open up your chest. Exhale, press down into the ground, straighten both legs and round your spine. Inhale, bend both knees, begin to open up your chest. Exhale, reach into the earth, lift your hips up high, spine can round.

Adding our arms, inhale, knees bend. Arms sweep up. Exhale, hands lower, legs straighten. Last time. Inhale, both knees bend, arms reach up.

Exhale, hands lower, legs straighten. Inhale, bend your front knee, and this time exhale, just step your back foot forward to meet your front foot. Inhale, halfway lift, then exhale, toe heel your feet farther apart, turn your toes slightly out and deeply bend your knees, bring your hands together in front of your heart. So allow your pelvis to have a descending tone but then rise up through your heart's center. Rise up through your throat center.

Feel your hands meet. Release your hands, lift your hips up nice and high, toe heel your feet towards each other, come into Uttanasana, standing forward fold. Hold onto opposite elbows for a moment, and let the spine drape. Release the weight of your head. Release the back of your neck.

Bring your hands back down to the earth, inhale, lengthen halfway. Exhale, fold in again. Reach down into the ground, inhale, come all the way up to stand, and reach your arms up to the sky. Exhale, lower your hands down. Inhale, reach your arms up.

Exhale, fold forward. Inhale, halfway lift. Exhale, step back to plank. Take an inhale, breath in, plank. Really get strong here, tone your legs, tone your belly, exhale, keep that toneness as you lower for Chaturanga Dandasana.

Inhale, cobra or upward facing dog. Exhale, downward facing dog. Inhale, lift your heels. Exhale, bend your knees, look forward, and step your feet behind your hands. So you're a little wider than usual.

Inhale, lengthen halfway, then turn your toes slightly out. Exhale, deeply bend your knees, come into a squat. Inhale, reach your arms up to the sky. So pause here again for a moment, feel the weight of your pelvis, and then let your heart ascend. Let your throat center ascend.

Now reach down into the earth, feel your feet, and on a strong inhale come all the way up to stand. Exhale, bend your knees, and come back to your squat. Inhale here. Exhale, lower your hands, lift your hips up high. Inhale, halfway lift, toe heel your feet closer together.

Plant your hands, bring your knees to your upper arms, and begin to shift forward to lift your toes off the ground, crow pose. Nice strong inhale. On an exhale, step or hop back to Chaturanga. Inhale, cobra or up dog. Exhale, down dog.

In down dog, reach down through your inner arms. Reach down through your outer arms. Let your tailbone and your pubic bone lengthen back. Inhale, lift your heels. Exhale, bend your knees, look forward.

Step or hop to the front of your mat. Inhale, halfway lift Ardha Uttanasana. Exhale, fold forward Uttanasana. Inhale, rise all the way up to stand. Press into the ground, reach your arms up.

Exhale, hands come down. Inhale, arms up. Exhale, fold in. Inhale, halfway lift. Exhale, Chaturanga Dandasana.

Inhale, cobra or up dog. Exhale, down dog. Inhale, lift your heels. Exhale, bend your knees, look forward, step your feet behind your hands. Inhale, halfway lift, turn your toes out.

Then exhale, bend your knees, come back to your squat. Inhale, reach your arms up. Then exhale, really feel your feet. Then on an inhale, press into the ground, straighten your legs, reach your heart up. Exhale, bend your knees, then come back to your squat.

Inhale. Exhale, lower your hands, lift your hips up high. Inhale, halfway lift, toe heel your feet closer together. Then plant your hands, bring your knees to your upper arms start to shift forward for your crow. Then step or hop back for Chaturanga.

Back bend of your choosing and down dog is where we'll meet up. A few breaths here. Inhale, lift your heels. Exhale, bend your knees, look forward, and please step or hop to the front of your mat. Deeply bend your knees, inhale, come into Utkatasana.

Exhale, bring your hands together in front of your heart. So with this next series, make sure that your low back is supported or is engaged. Shift your weight into your left foot and begin to reach your right leg back behind you. So you can stand diagonal here, you don't have to lower any farther than this. If your core is engaged and your back is supported, then start to lower so you're parallel to the floor.

Left knee is still bent. Inhale. Exhale, bend your right knee, and tap your right knee to the back of your left knee, or to your back calf. Then inhale, reach it back to where it just was. Exhale, bend your right knee, and tap your knee to the back of your left leg.

So continue like that about three more times. Then imagine here that the air is thick so there's some resistance to press against. Allow the back of your left leg to have some fire in it. Invite that strength in. So we'll meet up with our right leg straight, and now straighten out your left leg and reach your arms back to warrior three.

Slowly lower your hands, lift your right leg up high to the sky for standing split. So let's allow the inner thighs to move away from each other here. Really press down through your supporting inner leg and outer leg. If it's available for you and you feel comfortable, just release the weight of your head. Bend your left knee and step your right foot back about three and a half to four feet.

We'll start to straighten out our left leg for a version here of pyramid, Parsvottanasana. So we'll allow to be a bit more casual and keep our hands to the floor or to blocks. Bring your attention to your left hip crease and allow it to deepen, and widen. Inhale, lengthen your spine. Exhale, bend your front knee, and step your back foot back to a lunge.

Plant your hands securely on the floor. Lift your left foot off the ground and reach it high up to the sky. Stack your left hip on top of the right, and go ahead and bend your knee in the air. Again press down through your inner arms. Reach down through your outer arms.

Exhale, step your left foot forward between your hands. Bring your back heel down, preparing the legs for warrior two, and rise all the way up for Virabhadrasana. Inhale, reverse your warrior. Exhale, extended side angle. Keep your back leg nice and attentive.

Then began to spread out through the edges of your hands. Bring your attention to your left hip crease again and allow it to deepen. Inhale, come back up to warrior two. Turn your left toes in so they're facing the upper right-hand corner of your mat. So the left leg is moving into a slight internal rotation, you'll keep your right leg straight.

Now reach out through your hands, fold in your hips, and bring your hands to your ankles, and allow your head to fold or reach towards the floor right between your feet. So staying in the fire of our left hip for just a moment longer. If available for you, bend your left elbow and press it into the side of your left shin, and then press your shin back in towards your hand. Bring your hands to the floor right underneath your shoulders, press into your left foot, straighten it, straighten your left leg, and organize your feet so they're parallel to the sides of your mat. Walk your hands forward and start to reach your pelvis back for this really broad, it's like a luscious downward facing dog.

Walk your hands back on your knees, to your shoulders, lengthen your spine, turn your right toes out, and deeply bend your right knee for a side lunge. Right sitting bone can start to descend towards the heel. Exhale here. Inhale through horse stance, both knees bent, and then traveling over to the second side. Exhale.

Moving side to side. Inhale through horse. Exhale, right knee bends. Inhale through horse. Exhale, left knee bends.

So continue that flow one more time each side. Remember that your breath has four parts. Enjoy the fullness of each breath. So the next time we'll meet up at the front of our mat, left knee bent, take a quarter turn back to the front of your mat and plant your hands, and step back to down dog. Feel free to stay here, or if you like inhale forward to plank, exhale, Chaturanga.

Inhale, cobra or up dog. Exhale, down dog. Inhale. A big generous exhale. Inhale, lift your heels, exhale, bend your knees, look forward, then step to the front of your mat.

Inhale, halfway lift. Exhale, fold. Deeply bend your knees, inhale Utkatasana. Exhale, hands to your heart for the second side. Shift your weight into your right foot.

Start to reach your left foot back. Maybe becoming parallel to the floor. Inhale. Exhale, bend your left knee and tap the back of your right knee or the back of your calf. Inhale, reach it back.

Exhale, we bend and draw it in. Inhale breath, we reach it back. So keep going like that and imagine here that the air is thick, so the air around us can serve as a place of support. With this bit of resistance, you also get more strength, more heed in your hamstrings and the space around your sitting bones. Meet up with the left leg straight, and then press into the ground, straight your right leg, reach your arms back, freeing your hips, open your chest.

Lower your hands, lift your left leg up nice and high for warrior or excuse me for standing split. So really power down through your inner right leg. Then allow the inner thighs to glide apart. Inhale, lengthen your spine, bend your right knee, step your left foot back about three and a half feet away from your right foot, and then begin to straighten out your right leg, walk your hands back, and then fold in a little bit deeper for a version of Parsvottonasana, also known as pyramid pose. Again bring your attention to your right hip crease and allow your groin to deepen.

Inhale, lengthen your spine. Exhale, bend your front knee, step back to a nice big lunge, plant your hands, and reach your right leg up high to the sky. Stack your right hip on top of the left, bend your right knee in the air. Keep pressing down through both hands. One more inhale.

Exhale, step your right foot forward between your hands, bring your back heel down, prepare your legs for warrior two, and rise all the way up for Virabhadrasana. Inhale, reverse your warrior. Exhale, extended side angle. Look down, press into the ground, come back up to warrior two. Now turn your right toes so they're facing the upper left-hand corner of your mouth, moving the right leg into this slight internal rotation.

Look forward, fold of the hips, and bring your hands to your ankles. Your head will reach to the ground right between your feet. If available, bend your right elbow and press it into the inside of your shin, and then reach your shin back into your elbow. So those two points get to meet. Notice what that does to your inner thighs.

Bring your hands underneath your shoulders, rise up halfway, straighten out your right leg, and organize your feet so they're once again parallel to the sides of your mat. Now walk your hands forward. One more visit here in this big luscious down dog. Walk your hands underneath your shoulders, rise up partway, turn your left toes out, deeply bend your left knee, coming back to the side lunge. Inhale breath through horse, then exhale, right knee bends.

Inhale breath, move through center, both knees bending, exhale, left knee bends. Inhale through center, exhale, right knee bends. Then take a quarter turn back to the front of your mat, and step it back to downward facing dog. You can choose to stay here or inhale, come forward to plank. Exhale, Chaturanga.

Inhale, we have a back bend. Exhale, down dog. Inhale, right leg reaches up to the sky. Exhale, step your right foot forward between your hands, and walk your right foot just a little bit on over to the right. Bring both hands in towards your center line.

Now allow your thigh bones to start to glide apart. But simultaneously feel the weight of your belly draw up towards the ceiling, towards the space above you. So this might be perfect right here. You might start to feel the space lower down to your forearms, or it's a great place to bring your forearms onto blocks. So we're going to inspire each other here and stay for a little bit longer maybe than we would if we were on our own.

Again feel your thigh bones have the space to draw apart. Then simultaneously allow your belly to draw up. It's like you're bringing the weight of your torso away from the floor, up towards the sky. Relax your tongue, relax the hinge of your jaw, relax your eyes. Walk back up to your hands.

Walk your right foot back towards your mid-line, and then switch which foot is in front. So just switching, left foot in front. Lower your back knee down. Plant your right hand, and reach your left arm back. Look back towards your back hand.

If your knee is healthy and happy, we'll bend our back knee and then hold onto our foot. Gently release your foot, lower your left hand down, and step back to downward facing dog. Inhale, reach your left leg up to the sky. Exhale, step your left foot forward between your hands. Walk your left foot over to the left just a touch, and then bring your left hand towards your mid-line.

Hands are basically underneath your shoulders. So this might be a great place to be. We'll keep our back knee lifted and keep our back leg very strong, attentive, present. Then if you start to feel the availability, you can allow your thigh bones to glide apart but still keeping buoyant and lifted through your torso. Potentially the forearms can lower down to the ground or forearms to block is a really nice variation.

So taking a moment here, we'll inspire each other, staying potentially a bit longer than we would on our own. Notice if your tendency here is to move away from this shape, can you allow yourself to move towards the shape? It doesn't mean you're going deeper, we're just allowing ourselves to feel what's here. Allow for the heat, invite heat. Heat is transformation.

How's your tongue doing? Can it be relaxed and easy? Can your eyes be soft and receptive? Bring your hands to the floor, walk on up, bring your left foot so it's back towards your mid-line, then you'll just switch what foot is in front. Lower your back knee down to your mat or to a blanket, bring your left hand to the ground and reach your right arm back behind you.

If available for you, you'll bend your back knee and hold onto your foot. Gently release your left foot, release your right hand onto the ground. Come back to downward facing dog. Lower your knees down and pause in child's pose. Allow your pelvis to have weight and your heart to be soft.

Roll up your spine, sit on your heels, walk your fingertips behind you and begin to open up your chest. Spread your collar bones apart, lift up through your heart. Come forward to all fours. Okay grand finale. Step your left foot forward between your hands.

Option one: straighten out your left leg. Option two: extend your left leg forward and come into your full Hanumanasana. A nice variation here is to put a block or two underneath your left sitting bone. So allow your inner legs to reach away from each other. But then explore the weight of your torso moving up.

That might inspire a lift to your arms as your belly center, and your heart center, and your throat center, all start to ascend. Release your hands down, press into the ground, descend your left leg back. Have a seat on your heels. Bring your hands to your thighs and close your eyes for a moment, just to notice the echo of that shape. What's the residue?

Come forward to all fours again. Step your right foot forward. Again option to straighten out your right leg. Option to scoot your right foot forward. Maybe come into a full version of Hanumanasana.

Again feel free to bring a block underneath your right hip. Experiment with reaching through your inner legs. Then star to rise through your belly center in your heart center, in your throat center, and that may inspire a lift to your arms. Release your hands. Press down to transition back to sit on your heels.

Pause once again to feel the echo. The residue of releasing from that shape. Let's bring our hands right alongside our knees. Press to your hands, and lift your shins off the ground, and bring your thighs towards your belly. Keep pressing down, lift your feet off the ground, slide them through, have a seat, and now Vasana or just make your way to your seat.

So in the Vasana you have the option to have your knees bent. If you feel the ability to connect to your core, then you can start to straighten out your legs. No need for tension in your hip flexors. In the Vasana, you're allowed to inhabit your back body, but then you want to rise up through your heart center. Bend your knees, place your feet to the floor, walk your hands back so yours can face forward, press down into the ground, and lift your hips up.

Reach your outer hips up to the sky. Then if it's comfortable for you, your head can start to draw back. Lower your hips. Come to the middle of your mat. Reach your hands forward.

Then slowly transition to your back. Release your hands down along your side. Walk your feet a little bit closer towards your hips. Make sure that your feet are in parallel. Press down into your feet, lift your hips up towards the sky.

Roll your shoulders underneath your back, and clasp your hands. So again let's reach up through our outer hips. Feel how your pubic bone has weight. Begin to reach your sitting bones towards your knees to feel your hamstrings once again. Release the clasp of your hands, and release your hips back down to the ground.

So you can choose to do the same thing or you can come into your full wheel. If you're coming into wheel, bring your hands right alongside your ears. Press down into your hands, press down into your feet, and begin to rise up. You'll notice if you're crunching in your low back, if your toes are externally rotated, then let your legs move back into a parallel rotation, rise up through the outer hips. Bring your chin towards your chest, bend your elbows, and slowly lower back down.

Soles of the feet can come together, knees open up nice and wide for Supta Baddha Konasana. Bring your hands to your outer legs and allow the knees to come together. Hug your knees back into your chest. Release your feet back down to the ground, press into your feet, lift your hips, and then slide your hips over to the left just an inch or so and release your hips back down. Now bring your knees into your chest and send your legs on over to the right for a supine twist.

Open your left arm open to the side. You can turn your head any direction. Look for the echo, maybe your gaze wants to go over your right shoulder, maybe you feel the completeness by looking over your left shoulder. Study your breath here. Notice the moment where it feels like your spine unravels.

Then gently transition back to center. Feet come to the floor, press into the ground, lift your hips, and slide your hips over to the right, release your hips back down, bring your knees into your chest, then send your legs over to the left. Again enjoy your breath. Look for that sweet spot when your spine unravels. Gently come back to center.

Release your feet down, square off your hips. Bring your knees back into your chest. One more moment here. Check in with your body, see if there's any last things that you may need before Savasana. If you're feeling prepared, extend your legs out then come into your final resting shape.

Then Savasana, scan your body. Notice all the parts of your body that are making a connection to the floor. Where are you touching the earth? Allow all of these areas of the body to have more weight. So truly offer the weight of your body to the ground.

As you offer your weight, feel the earth's support. Receive the earth's support. If you have the time, please feel free to stay in Savasana a bit longer. Bring your attention back to your breath. Begin to spread your breath out into the edges of your body.

Feel your hands, and feel your feet. (deep exhale) Slowly transition to your side body. Take a moment to rest there. Press down into your hands and rise all the way up to your seat. Once seated, take a moment to once again pause and listen.

Listen to the echo of your practice. How do you feel? Bring your hands together in front of your heart. Bring your chin down to your chest, so we're bringing our brain down to connect to our heart. In this humble shape, take a big round of breath to seal your practice in.

Thank you for sharing this space. Namaste.

Comments

1 person likes this.
What a lovely practice - I appreciated every moment of it.
1 person likes this.
I enjoyed this very much. The challenging poses like crow and the splits were surprisingly joyful. Thank you.
1 person likes this.
Hi Anne and Lauri, I'm so glad you enjoyed this practice!
1 person likes this.
Suniti, i just found out about this!! I can't tell you how happy I was to see your beautiful face. Thank you for a sweet practice and for your nurturing presence. Sending so much love from Shasta ~Amaya :)
Amaya! Wonderful! I'm so pleased to connect with you here. I look forward to our next face to face visit. Love, Suniti
Thanks for this lovely practice! can't wait to try some more. A wonderful combination of flow and stretch.
Hello again Suniti! I so appreciate your original style. You are so creative with movement, and intuitive. I never know what to expect, and I love that.
Just to clarify, the only video I have been unable to play is this one for receptive and fluid hips. The rest seem to be fine.
Great practice. Thank you
Hi. Like Gaby, I also can't play this video anymore. It freezes up and won't proceed past about 5 minutes (a downward dog pose). I've tried probably 15 times because I used to love doing this practice. I know it's not my computer because I can play other videos.
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