To stretch the glutes, which act mainly to move the thigh outwards to the sides (abduction) you can move the thigh inwards, across to the opposite side of the body so that the outside of the hip is opened.
Another option is to move the pelvis relative to the thigh in such a way that the side of the hip joint is opened.
A gentle start to stretching the glutes is to pull the knee across the body when preparing for ardha matsendrasana. In this glute stretch, have the top leg foot beside the bottom leg knee.
Pull it over and back towards the opposite side. Keep the pelvis immobile as you do this.
To change the stretch try adjusting the position of your pelvis. Try lifting the top leg hip or try sinking it down.
You can also try moving the top leg side of the pelvis backwards or forwards relative to the bottom leg side.
However, once you've adjusted the position of your pelvis, keep it fixed in position as you pull your leg to the side so that you stretch your glutes.
Another leg stretch for the glutes is to do badha konasana with the feet together but about 2 feet in front of the pubic bone. Open your knees out to the sides. To stretch your glutes (or to increase the stretch) tilt your pelvis forwards.
To add weight to this pose you can lift your head and lengthen your neck and then from there lift your hands off of the floor and slowly reach them forwards.
A slightly more intense stretch is Painful Pose. The set up is similiar to low lunge, however turn the front foot outwards 90 degrees. Move your body and back knee back until your front leg shoulder is over the foot when viewed from the side.
Lift the inside edge of your front foot. Shift your weight towards your front foot side and then press your knee back.
Keep your elbows straight and focus on pushing your front leg knee back and down. To add weight to the pose, lift your back knee.
To deepen the glute stretch place your elbows on the floor and optionally lift your back knee.
The final variation is to place hands on the floor and bend your elbows to sink your chest down. Aim to get your front leg shoulder to your front foot. Add weight by lifting your back knee.
A slightly less painful variation of painful pose is to bring the back leg forwards and prop the front foot on top of the back leg knee. With hands on the floor behind your back you can push your chest towards your shin. To increase the stretch, move the bottom foot back more, towards the hips.
You can also reach the arms forwards and grab the bottom foot. If you press the top of the foot forwards you can use your foot to help pull your chest forwards.
A final variation that turns this is into a twist, and a shoulder stretch, as well as a stretch for the glutes, is to reach the same side arm (same side as the top leg) past the bottom of the foot. Grab either the shin of the foot (or use a towel or strap looped around the foot.
For all of these leg stretches keep your neck long and your chest open.
If you enjoy the above leg stretch you might also enjoy armpit pose.
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Here's a quick look at why scapular stability and thoracic stability are important. They allow you to do certain types of yoga poses with greater ease.
Here's my latest video on scapular stability.
Some ankle stretches to make it easier to kneel and also to stretch the backs of the ankles. Learn actions you can do to make these poses more comfortable and more effective.
What can you do while kneeling? How many kneeling yoga posture variations are there?
I can't say that I was happy to have injured my knee recently. After all, I'm a yoga teacher and it's part of my job to be able to show my students what I'm trying to get them to do. And that's when I discovered that perhaps it wasn't such a bad thing after all.
My latest ebook is designed especially for motorcyclists. The exercises in this book are designed to improve body awareness so that you can control your bike with greater confidence, particularly in the corners.
Here's my latest video on plank pose (with elbows straight) with a focus on feeling the mid section (to remove excess lumbar lordosis) and on feeling and controlling the shoulder blades (for scapular stability.)
Some basic exercises for feeling the ribcage and controlling it and then adjusting it for a balance between openness and relaxation.
Has anyone ever told you that you can use your spinal erectors to help you breath?
This set of exercises initially developed because I had collapsed arches. But even if you don't have collapsed arches they can be helpful for improving foot awareness.
Exercises for collapsed arches. I actually have collapsed arches and I learned how to hide them so that I could join the army. I often use these foot exercises as a prelude to balancing on the fronts of the feet or balancing on one foot.
I was asked, recently, if it was safe to squat if you have flat feet. Here's my answer. (this is also included in the tail end of the "heel stacking" video.)
In this next set of exercises for flat feet the focus is on the heel bones and how to stack them.
This book bundle includes my 5 yoga basics ebooks for $52.00. (After clicking the "Buy the Bundle Now" button you can use the sliders to reduce the price to $52.00.)
Centration can simply taken to mean centered. And rather than looking for maximal surface contact, a more sensible definition is balanced tension.
Stay balanced in yoga balance poses, keep your center of gravity over your foundation. Learn how your center shifts relative to your body.
The single joint muscles at the back of the knee joint are relatively small compared to those at the front of the knee. For knee joint stability, activate the hamstrings as well as the three vastus muscles.
Key to improving balance and proprioception is the conscious control of tension. Tension can be used for both feedback and stability making it easier to stay balanced.
The following sacroiliac joint stability exercises can be used to shape the pelvis. They may also be helpful in forward bending and backbending at the hip.