Tight hips aren’t fun for anyone. Especially if you sit for extended periods of time during the day, these joints may be begging you for some relief. If you’re not regularly attending a yoga class, it may be wise to implement a few stretches for a deep release of this area. On the other hand, yogis will know just how good taking a pigeon pose feels.
Half pigeon pose is known as the quintessential hip opener in the yoga world. Typically cued towards the end of vinyasa classes, this pose does more than release tight hip muscles. Mindbodygreen notes that the stretch can also alleviate low back pain by providing the area with much-needed tension relief. To get into pigeon pose, start in a downward-facing dog, then lift your right leg. Bring your knee inside your right wrist and gently lay your shin across the mat while dropping your back leg to the floor. Adjust to a point that feels comfortable for you. From here, you can either stay up on tall arms if you’re already feeling a deep release or you can start to lower to your forearms.
You can take your time as you descend into the pose, the outlet notes. Before you lower down, consider lifting your chest towards the ceiling for a slight heart-opening effect. Especially after sitting at your computer, this can bring relief to your upper body as well.
Pigeon pose can also help you relax
Anytime you’re experiencing a deep release in your body, your mind can follow suit. The same is true for a classic pigeon pose. Today notes that rolling out your mat to take this pose can give you a moment to breathe and unwind in your hips, lower back, upper body and even your mind. Plus, if you’ve been working at a desk all day, it’ll quickly get your blood moving. Indeed, the outlet reports that it can even help alleviate anxiety.
With more flexible hips, you’ll be less prone to injury and you can move about your day with greater ease. Especially after a long day, a pigeon pose can be a great antidote to overwhelm and stress. As Nishi Bhopal, M.D., explained to Mindbodygreen, “Opening up and stretching the hips is a great way to relax your muscles before bedtime.”
If taking a full, lying pigeon pose is too much on your body, you can opt for a gentle figure-four stretch. This is a reclined variation of pigeon that you can adjust to your comfort level. If you’ve had a hip or knee replacement, avoid this pose and try another hip-stretching option. Otherwise, you can simply breathe once you find your optimal position and close your eyes to relax.
There’s a lot going on beneath the surface of pigeon pose, and your hips will thank you for it!
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