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.
Lots of people hate purvottanasana. Try pushing the hands forwards against the floor to make revese plank/straight bridge easier.
An overview of the sequence of ashtanga yoga poses with links to more detailed descriptions.
Turn forward bending and backbending yoga poses into hamstring strengthening exercises for better hamstring awareness and control.
Yoga Basics 1, Learning to create space in your body and balancing space and tension to create a yoga pose that is "alive" with minimum effort.
Grouped yoga poses including: sun saluates, backbends, forward bends, binds, arm balances, twisting poses, standing poses, seated poses. Poses are grouped to make it easier to create a balanced and complete yoga practice.
To become more body aware you can isolate body parts and focus on the feet, the spine or the breath. It doesn't matter what part of the body you start of with so long as you start somewhere.
Some simple exercises to help you prepare for and balance in crow pose and some suggestions for advanced movements like jumping from bakasana into chaturanga dandasana.
Forward head posture can result from computer work, stress, or poor body awareness. Here's some simple exercises to help feel your way into better posture.
In Bridge yoga pose increase the back bend of the hips and lumbar spine by moving the sacrum. Rather than saying which position is better the idea is to experiment and notice how both positions feel. And you may find the action of moving back and forwards between both positions helps you to get deeper into the backbend.
Work towards yoga lotus one leg at a time with exercises for closing the knee, stretching the hip rotators, practicing external rotation of the shin and activating and shaping the foot and ankle.
Basic movements of the sacroiliac joint are nutation (or nodding forwards) and counter nutation. Practice with these simple si joint exercises.
Shoulder flexibility stretches with scapular awareness. In these shoulder stretches first focus on positioning the scapula and then on stretching the shoulder.
Cognitive flexibilty is the ability to recognize a change in rules and act on those changes. It is also the ability to redefine rules as required. Dance of Shiva is one way of practicing and improving mental flexibility.
Yoga for flexibility with stretches for the hips, quads, hamstrings, glutes, psoas, shoulders and arms. These yoga stretches are designed to improve flexiblity.
A selection of standing and seated hamstring stretches, both gravity assisted and muscle assisted for improving hamstring flexibility. Neil Keleher. Sensational Yoga Poses.
Here's the latest set of exercises that I use for stretching the hamstrings.
The exercises are designed to teach active hip flexion using a variation of boat pose.
Then the same action is (ideally) duplicated in seated forward bend.
This set of exercises is part of the introduction to the Hip Control Guide.
In this latest video I show you a couple of techniques that I use to get into the front-to-back splits. Note that this is both a hip flexor/psoas stretch as well as a hamstring (and hip extensor) stretch.
Simple shoulder awareness exercises for landing lightly doing Ashtanga jump backs. Learn how to keep your shoulders ahead of your wrists when moving back into plank or chaturanga dandasana.
Having trouble getting your feet off of the floor in headstand. This is a short video (3 mins) which shows a simple method for learning to lift your feet.
Got tight calves? Here are a couple of suggestions for stretching them. One uses downward facing dog. The other the gym.