Around Day 5 of the 10-day Vipassana course, my old hamstring/hip injury began sending me little love notes. When I first got this injury (from yoga, of course!) I stopped doing yoga for a few months. This time when the pain came back (from sitting so much!) I craved yoga and certain postures I knew would help stretch out those parts of my body.
We were not to practice yoga or do any exercise besides walking during the meditation course. Therefore, I put a lot of thought behind the three poses I choose to do occasionally in secret or discretely when pain was really uncomfortable.
Before, I wouldn’t have associated these asanas as helping my hip and upper thigh stretch. The beauty of yoga and asana is there is always something new to be discovered!
The key for all three poses is to make sure the hips are perfectly square to feel a deep stretch. Next time you’re in these poses bring awareness to your hips and feel them opening!
This one I practiced against a wall for some leverage and to not worry about balance so much and put more focus on my hips. I found that by pushing my butt against the wall I could get a good stretch in both hips, especially the back hip.
2. Crescent Lunge:
This one was amazing to me. By really squaring off the hips and pressing into the back toes (super straight back leg!) I got an amazing stretch throughout the hip attached to the back leg.
3. Half Moon:
OH how good this felt when I consciously inwardly rotated the standing leg. First concentrate to find balance and stack your hips, then work on a deep inward rotation of the standing leg!