Below yoga sequence should be used as a guide by yoga teachers to create their own yoga class plans
Hip Opening Yoga Sequence: Intermediate Yoga Sequence
In this Hip Opening Yoga Sequence, the category of poses for opening the hips bring in more strength and stability. After moving from the beginners level, the hip opening yoga poses here focus on proper alignment of the body, since misalignments can cause injury. Understanding the movement of the body and staying focused with breathing is necessary to master these mentioned poses.
Thus, in this Hip Opener Yoga Sequence, one goes step-by- step from standing poses to seated, then prone and finally, to supine poses to open the hip and lower back gradually.
Hip Opening Yoga Sequence: Intermediate Yoga Sequence: Yoga Poses, Cues, Steps, and Breathing instructions
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A After a few warm up stretches for the legs, arms, shoulders and neck, let us begin by standing on the mat with legs stretched out hip distance apart with toes pointing forward and as per your comfort.
B. Placing the feet firm on the floor ensure the knees are comfortable and the spine is stretched straight.
C. Have your arms stretched out in front of you with fingers interlocked with palms facing outside and as you inhale expand those arms out and stretch the lower back(tail bone) a bit to the outside pulling in the tummy. Exhale and stay here for a few breaths.
D. Again inhale and stretch the arms and the lower back deeper and as you exhale bring the upper body downwards bending at the hips and reach for the floor with the palms, bending the elbows outwards.
E. Here the expanding of the upper hips and the lower back, the expanding of the hamstrings and the inner thigh muscles should be felt.
F. With deep inhalations and exhalations move the body downwards feeling the opening of the hips.
A. This pose requires complete awareness of the breath as the body needs to be stable in order to balance.
B. Here with feet at hip distance apart or more as per the comfort , bring the arms sideways at shoulder level. With right foot moved inwards at about 20 degrees and the left foot placed with toes pointed out and feet at 90 degrees, take a few breaths here.
C. Gradually inhale and as you exhale bend the body sideways at the hip towards your left and bring the left arm down and hold the toes of the left foot or place the left palm on the floor close to the foot.
D. Ensure maximum exhalation is achieved while bending and place the other arm at shoulder level above your head and turning the neck look up at the right arm without creating stiffness at the neck.
E. Feel the stretch at the knees, inner hip and inner lower abdomen, the sides of the lower back and the stretch at the legs.
F. If reaching for the floor is difficult , a block could be used by placing it close to your feet and the palms can be placed on it.
G. Remain here for four breaths and ensure while inhaling loosen the body a bit and when at exhale go into the pose stretching deeper.
A. Coming back to the normal pose with feet together, relax the upper body and bring the mind to focus on the breathing element.
B. After taking few breaths, jump and bring the feet at hip distance apart or more as this pose will require so.
C. Placing the feet with toes pointed forward , take a few breaths here and stand straight with tummy tucked in and shoulders straight.
D. Now move the left foot at 90 degrees and the right foot at about 20 degrees inwards and stretch the arms at shoulder level.
E. Inhale expand those arms outwards and as you exhale bring the left arm downward by bending the hip towards the left side and reach for the floor by placing the palms beside the foot and give the left knee a slight bend.
F. Once in the pose exhale completely and begin the deep breathing and balance your body. As the body gets comfortable, move the knees by bending them a bit more and take the right arm up and glance at those fingers by turning the neck.
G. This pose is a deep opening of the hips and with the magic of the breath retain the pose and balance the body.
A. At the Intermediate Level too this pose is considered difficult , as the weight of the upper body is placed deep into the hip and the knees.
B. Someone who has practiced yoga for years would understand that the body needs to be placed light and loose while taking the pose and then through exhalation get deeper into the pose.
C. In this pose, with feet at hip distant apart, bring the left foot out at 90 degrees and the right foot inside at 20 degrees. With an inhalation take the arms stretched out sideways at shoulder level and look at the fingers of the left arm in front of you. Complete exhalation here.
D. With another inhalation bend the left knee a bit, ensuring the knee does not go beyond the ankle, and take the left arms above your shoulder and take a slow back bend placing the right arm way below your right leg at the calf. Exhale here completely.
E. If the breathing gets difficult then loosen the upper body first and then take a slow inhalation and with exhalation move the body into the pose.
F. The weight of the body falls to some extent on the hips thus strengthening the muscles in and around the lower back and hip.
A. As much as this pose is more for the lower back and shoulders, yet the stretch at the feet and the hamstring has an impact on the hip muscles.
B.In this pose relax the back with five breaths after completing the above mentioned poses in the sequence.
C. This brings about stability in the spine and works on stretching the spine thus giving room for any stress to be relieved which could have caused during the practice of the above poses.
D. In this pose with feet close together, stand with arms stretched above your shoulders and head. Inhale and bring the arms forward and downward, bending at the hip while bringing the palms to the floor close to your feet and exhale completely. Remain here with neck deep inside into the chest.
E. With another inhalation take one leg at a time and place them far behind on the floor bringing alignment of the arms and shoulders.
F. With exhalation raise the lower back high up towards the roof and hang that neck inside the shoulders close to the chest.
G. Stay in this pose for more than five breaths as the spine takes time to open. With every exhalation move the upper body deeper inwards tightening the muscles around the hip.