Monday, May 9, 2011

Challenge 10 - Open Your Hips Part I: Pelvis in Neutral Position

Hips are one of the hardest areas to increase range of motion and mobility. The hip joint connects the pelvis and legs so "stretching" out this area requires strengthening the muscles around the joint. Challenges to open hips will be covered in 4 set of poses: (1) Pelvis in neutral position, (2) Strengthening legs, (3) External rotation of hips, and (5) Internal rotation of hips.

What is neutral position for the pelvis? A straight line extends from the ear through the shoulders, hips, and heel. Neutral pelvis is achievable in a seated, standing, and supine positions.

Challenge (Part I): Spend 15 minutes every day in neutral pelvis position and learn to make neutral the default. This is harder than you think!

  • Helps to use a mirror
  • Square and Open Shoulders
  • Relax Shoulders
  • Right and Left sides of pelvis are even, on the same plane
  • Lift the torso from the waist and pelvis to straighten the spine
  • Good alignment should feel "effortless"
Application: Pay attentions to pose details to increase intensity, hold for 20 breaths
  • Lighting Bolt Pose - seated pose on heels, wrap heel with checks
  • Staff Pose - Lefts extended straight forward, fingers press down, push out through heels 
  • Mountain Pose - engaging the legs make the asana more intensity
  • Upward Hand Pose - bring arms over the head from Mountain Pose, engage legs and reach up
  • Warrior I w/ hands over head - focus on ground feet and straightening back leg
  • Warrior II w/ hands over head - align pelvis, focus on opening shoulders
  • Tree Pose - ground and stabilize balancing leg 

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