Come down on all fours and get into table top position by balancing on your knees and hands.
Place your right foot between your hands, then place your hands on your right thigh.
While in this standing Dragon posture, it’s very critical to connect with your breath.
Inhale to find length, then as you exhale get deeper in the pose by lowering your hips and let them sink down. Once you feel the intensity of the stretch, don’t go any further.
As you feel the stretch, you can keep your hands on your thighs or you can place your hands on the floor inside your legs, or on a yoga block.
Hold this pose for approximately 3 minutes.
After 3 minutes, place the yoga block aside and step back into down dog and hold for a few seconds. This is a nice quick way to release it.
Next, repeat with the other side by bringing your left foot forward, place it between your hands, drop your back knee to the floor, and untuck your toes and press the top of your foot into the floor to make sure your knee is not taking on too much pressure.
Depending on your flexibility, you can place your hands on your left thigh or leave them on the floor. By leaving your hands on the floor you may feel more of a stretch as the tightness releases more. However, this is a difficult variation that requires more flexibility. Rather than trying to go deeper in the pose, stick to whatever variation allows you to feel more of a release.
Hold for approximately 3 minutes, then step back into down dog to release it.
Come down on all fours by balancing on your knees and hands.
Step your right foot forward between your hands to get into a lunge position with the top of your back foot flat and pressed into the floor. This will place less pressure on your knee.
Place your right hand on your knee while keeping your left hand on the floor, either with your palm flat, on your finger tips, or on a yoga block.
Twist your body towards your right inner thigh with your belly button twisting towards your right hip.
Once you reach this position of the stretch, if you feel comfortable, press your right knee away from you and hold for approximately 3 minutes.
After holding for approximately 3 minutes, come back to table top position on your hands and knees and move into down dog to release for a few seconds.
Next, repeat with the other side by stepping your left leg forward and twist to the opposite side while placing your left hand on your left knee, and press your knee away. You should also feel this in your right inner groin.
Step back into down dog and hold for a few seconds, then come back down on all fours.
While down on all fours, step your right leg forward with a bigger stride to shift your toes a little bit forward and between your hands.
Walk your hands to the inside of your foot, let your head release, and allow your upper body to sink.
Remember to breath. If you’re like me, I always forget to breath because I’m so focused on trying to stick the pose. It always helps to have a reminder. So inhale and exhale as you keep observing your breathe.
Hold for approximately 3 minutes, then step back into down dog for a few seconds.
Next, repeat with the other side by stepping your left leg forward and uncurl your back toes.
Inhale as you shift your toes forward and place your hands inside of your foot.
Just relax in this posture as you soften and release your head by bringing your chin towards your chest.
Hold for approximately 3 minutes, then step back into down dog and hold for as long as you want to. Take one or a few breaths until you feel the release. It’s more important to listen to your body rather than counting the time. This is what yoga really teaches you to do.
Those are your 3 beginner hip opening stretches for tight hips.
Hold each of these dragon pose variations for 3 minutes to really help loosen up your tight hips, glutes, and lower back.
Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.