Tight hips impact your walking gait and balance—not to mention they’re a pain. Here’s a yoga practice that will increase mobility and flexibility in your lower body.
As always, safety is key. If you have a chronic condition (including osteoporosis), balance issues, or injuries, talk to your doctor about safe exercise. And if you’re a beginner, be sure to check out the tips to make each move easier.
Active Chair Pose
Stand with your feet spread hip-distance apart. Then extend your arms out in front of you as you shift your weight back to the heels of your feet. Gently bend your knees, push your hips back and sink down as if to sit in a chair. Then push yourself back up to standing. Repeat this active chair pose 3-5 times.
Active Airplane Pose
Stand beside a sturdy chair and grab hold of it to maintain your balance. Take a deep inhalation, then lift and hold your left knee up. As you exhale, extend your left leg behind you. Hinge forward slightly to maintain a long, straight spine. Then, inhale and raise your left knee up again. Repeat the flow 3-5 times.
Modification: If you don’t want to raise from your feet from the floor, just do toe-taps instead. Inhale and tap your toe in front of you, then exhale and tap your toe to the floor behind you.
Active Tree Pose
Stand tall with your feet together. Feel free to hold onto a chair for support. Point your left toes to the floor and gently bend the left knee. Inhale and open your left knee out to the side. Exhale and return your knee to center. Inhale, and open your left leg again. Repeat the active tree pose 2-3 times, then open your knee once more and pause. Hold in this position for a few deep inhalations and exhalations.
Stand tall beside your chair with feet together. Then, cross your left foot over your right. Next, gently bend both knees and hinge forward slightly from the hips. Hold in this position for a few deep inhalations and exhalations. For an added challenge: Bring your hands together at your heart.
Stand with your feet spread wide and point your toes slightly outwards. Take a deep inhalation, then allow your arms to float up as you gently bend your knees. Then, exhale and push yourself back to standing. Repeat the sunflower flow 3-5 times.
First time trying yoga? Here’s our guide for beginners.
Next: Repeat these four yoga moves on the opposite side of your body.
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