My Favorite Hip StretchApr 25, 2022
It is a rare week as a yoga instructor when you don’t have a student point to the side of their butt and declare, “This hurts!” or “Why am I so sore, right here?” before or after class.
Ah, the piriformis muscle (which is what they were pointing to). It can get a little overworked in a yoga practice, and just from everyday life, at times.
And, this muscle is deep in there, so it can feel odd to be sore, or tender in this spot. It can also cause a ton of trouble if you don't give it some love.
That being said, I wanted to share with you my absolute favorite stretch with you this week that helps me to relieve my piriformis tension when it feels like it’s taking on a little too much when it comes to my yoga practice or from miles walking my sweet dog, Dolce.
So, here is the stretch: Ghomukasana, or Cow Face Pose. But, instead of the traditional arm position (which also is awesome for your shoulders) we’re going to opt to pull this into a forward fold to get more out of what it does for us in the hips.
Begin in a seated position. Bring one knee to your centerline and then stack the other knee on top of it.
If this bothers your hips, or if you feel uneven and imbalanced in this position, put a little blanket or cushion underneath your sitz bones.
From here, look down and get both of your heels in one line. This can mean pulling your heels closer to the side of your hips, or walking the heels forward until they match up. Whatever works best for you, is right for your body.
Then, sit up out of your hips as tall as possible and bring your torso down to your top leg and if it’s comfortable bring your forearms down to the floor. If not, then opt to put a block or pillow under your arms.
I do this stretch every night before bed and I highly recommend it.
It’s been known to help with insomnia and it just puts everything in the right place through the low spine and hips that I haven’t found with any other position.
And, I suggest you hold it for 2-minutes on each side. Set your timer on your phone and do your final scrolling before you put the phone away for the night.
If 2-minutes is too long for you, start with a smaller time increment (you live in that body of yours and know it best! 🙌)
My hope is that if you add this to your day, you’ll feel easier through the hips and sleep like baby. And, let me know how it goes - I always love hearing from you...
Sending you love & hugs,
Want to develop a lifelong yoga practice that evolves, grows, and surprises you on the daily? Come join me for class.
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