Yoga poses that require little effort to accomplish their purpose are near and dear to my heart.
And so was born a fairly deep hip joint stretch that you could do, well, even before getting out of bed in the morning. To wit:
1. Lie on your back with your knees bent. If you’ve got a couple of yoga blogs (or their equivalent), put them under your feet. Stay here for four full, slow breaths.
2. Cross your left ankle on top of your right knee as shown.
3. Press your left hand onto your left thigh. In other words, push the thigh/knee away from your trunk. Stay here for four very slow breaths.
4. Grab your left ankle, and this time pull it in toward your chest. You can either hold this position here, breathing slowly five breaths, and go no further than this step. Or, if there’s a little more range of motion available, continue from here to step five.
5. Wrap your right elbow around the left foot and the left elbow around the knee, as pictured, and stay for five slow, long breaths and then repeat on the other side. Here’s a different angle on this last step:
Benefits: A hip joint opener that you could do even in your sleep. (Marital counseling not included in these benefits.)
Avoid if: Your lumbar spine or your hip joint hurts while in the position. First, the allusion of doing this before getting out of bed was tongue-in-cheek; you do want a flat, hard surface on which to do this. If going up to step 4 is doable without pain, try that approach; if pain or discomfort persists, you might want to just stay with step 1 and stay longer there, as it’s both fairly safe and fairly relaxing for the lumbar spine.
Final thoughts: I don’t just have lazy yoga poses to offer you, although my repertoire is getting larger by the day. But I do notice that my classes that feature lazy yoga poses have grown prodigiously through the years and find a consistently appreciative audience. Now, in the old days, people wanted to be the fastest gun in the West. I think given my track record, I’m a good candidate for laziest yogi in the West.
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Editor: Catherine Monkman
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