This sequence includes poses for hips. A few things to remember while doing this sequence are:
1. Strength is important, particularly in the outer upper thigh area. Take caution to balance the (usually/overly) strong inner things with outer thigh strength
2. Make space at the hip joint by lifting the weight of your torso UP.
3. Sometime movement is what it takes to get the hips to loosen up. Move in and out and in and out of the pose (remember the strength of the outer upper thighs!).
4. Keep/insert/drive the femur into the hip socket. Maintaining your alignment can help with this.
Sit in a simple cross legged position – YWTL
Baddha Konasana – bound angle pose We used this pose to find the outer upper thigh muscles. Lean back to the right side, gently push the left thigh down and grip the outer upper thigh muscle. Repeat of the other side. Do it again with a block between your feet. Do it again with a wider setting of the block. And, again.
Tadasana – block between feet, block between thighs, block between both. Use the outer upper thighs to crush the block, let go the inner thighs. Look down and see if the block between the thighs is in line with the block between the feet. Raise your arms up over your head to LIFT weight off the pelvis.
With the blocks on the floor, step up on the block, press heel into the block, squeeze the outer upper thigh
Virabhadrasana II – Warrior II We did this pose in four ways:
1. With a chair on the long side of the mat, back of the chair closer to you, press hands into the back of the chair to LIFT weight off the pelvis as you bend your front knee into a square.
2. Quarter Round under the ball of the front foot. Use a rolled blanket/mat/towel, bolster or sandbag under the ball of the front foot. This helps drive the femur bone into the hip socket. (You can also use the chair as in the first version).
3. Move in and out of the pose. Not a long hold here. Move in, move out. You can combine this with the chair and or the quarter round.
4. With a strap in a large loop (I was able to use an eight foot strap. I think a six foot strap may be too short. It depends on how long your legs are) put your back foot on the loop, step front leg through the loop. Have the buckle arranaged so it tightens on the outer upper thigh pulling it behind you/backwards/in the direction of your buttocks, as you bend your knee. The belt is at the top of the thigh of the front leg, under the heel of the back leg. The belt should be as tight as a bass fiddle and give LOTS of support. You could combine this with the chair. As a side note, all of standing poses with two feet on the floor can be done this way. Please mind your balance.
Virabhadrasana I – Warrior 1 Short side of the mat at the wall. Place a block (or two, one on top of another) at the wall. The long side of the block should be parallel to the long side of your mat. Place the front foot on the block, with fingers on the wall walk your back foot back, and bend your knee. Second time through, place a FOAM block between your knee and the wall. Don’t let the block fall!!
Supine cross legs. Forward bend. Change the cross of the legs.