- Lay flat on your back, legs long. Head is heavy, face is relaxed.
- Plant your left foot flat on the mat, knee bent. Make sure you can just barely reach your left heel with your left fingertips.
- Bend your right leg, placing right ankle on top of left knee. Flex the right foot.
- Reach your right hand through your legs and your left hand around the outside of the left leg. Interlace your fingers behind the left thigh and pull the left leg in toward your torso, flexing the left foot strongly as it lifts off the mat. Press your right elbow into your right thigh to open up the hip and take this deeper into the psoas and IT band.
- If you want to deepen the stretch, reach your hands to the front of the left shin (left calf and hamstrings muscles squeeze together) and interlace your hands.
- Take 10 deep breaths, using your arm strength to pull the left leg closer and press the right leg further out with each inhale and exhale.
- Return to laying flat on your back, legs long.
- Repeat steps 1 through 7, this time bending the right leg first and taking the left leg across.
How It Will Heal You:
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.
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.