- From Downward Facing Dog, start by sending your right leg up and back. Shift forward, stacking shoulders over wrists and bring the right knee to the floor behind the right wrist. Work to bring the right foot as close to the left wrist as it will go.
- Pressing into the mat, distribute your weight evenly between both hips. On the right side, those with tight hips/IT band will have a tendency to put more weight on their right hip. If this is you, grab a block or blanket and shove it under the right hip for a little support and lift.
- Flex the right foot strongly to protect the knee joint.
- With balanced weight, slowly walk your hands out. If you can, bring your forearms to the mat or perhaps to two blocks or a pillow.
- Keep a nice long spine, reaching out through the crown of your head and breath into the hip for 10 deep breaths.
- If you’re on the more flexible side and want to take this deeper you can walk your hands all the way out, bringing forehead to mat.
- Slowly walk your hands back, torso upright. Press your hands into the mat, tuck your left toes under and send your right leg up and back into one-legged down dog (your starting position).
- Take three big hip circles to gently release the hip.
- Repeat steps 1 through 8, this time leading with the left leg.
How It Will Heal You:
Hip Pain – The best way to prevent and treat hip pain is to increase your ROM (range of motion) in all directions. If you play a sport like soccer, which involves a lot of explosive movement and running, you are particularly susceptible to hip pain. As you work into this hip-helping posture, chances are high that you’ll notice that one hip will be tighter than the other. To bring balance to the body, be sure to hold postures for 10 extra deep breaths on the side that’s talking to you. Use your breath to calm your nervous system and let the body open.
Knee Injuries – We all know someone that has torn their meniscus, had a knee replacement, or had some sort of debilitating knee injury. Our knees take a serious beating from all of the physical stuff we do day in and day out—not to mention the high heels some of us ladies rock to look lovely but brutalize our bodies from the tippy toes on up. The best way to prevent pain and avoid trouble is to keep the hips, IT band and hamstrings strong and flexible. Hips, IT band and hamstring mobility keeps the work in your bigger muscle groups (hamstrings and quadriceps) rather than the body’s default of looking to the place of least resistance–which is almost always the knee joint–for speed, power and agility. If you give the body freedom to move using your large muscle groups and stabilizers it will learn not to rely upon vulnerable and complex joints.
Foot and Ankle Issues – I can’t tell you have many times I wrenched my ankle playing soccer and field hockey as a kid, or more recently while hiking and running. Ankle sprains, Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis are three very common foot and ankle injuries. These injuries are no fun because let’s face it, when our foundation is out of whack everything else is thrown off and dysfunctional. The answer to avoiding these frustrating beasts of burden is to strengthen the ankle, increase the flexibility of the ankle and toes and work on your balance. Not only does this require concerted effort to increase the openness in these areas but it also means more core work. Core is your key to stability, meaning you’ll be less likely to get thrown off balance and tweak something if your abdominal and back muscles are strong.