Our hips carry around a lot of pent up emotions.
When we are stressed or upset, we tend to suppress those emotions into our hips, where they set up shop until we can find a way to release them. This deep hip-opening Sun Salutation focuses gently on allowing our hips to open, while also creating heat in the body to help release any tension we are holding onto.
Make sure to focus on your breath and the way your body feels during this flow, always making sure to move toward the things that make you feel good.
You can do 3-5 rounds of Sun Salutations, starting with your right side first, followed by your left.
Begin in Downward Facing Dog. Press down into your palms and heels on your inhales, and soften through your elbows and knees on your exhales, for a five long breaths.
Inhale your right let up to down-dog split, bending at the knee and opening up the hip.
Exhale your right foot outside your right hand for a wide low lunge. Inhale to lengthen out your spine, open your chest forward and allow your hips to sink slightly towards the ground.
Exhale your left foot outside your left hand and sink into a low squat. Inhale to lift out of your low back, and press your palms together to lengthen your collarbones.
Exhale your hips high, lengthen your legs and fold over your thighs for your standing forward fold. Soften your knees if that feels good on your hamstrings and low back.
Inhale while slowly rolling your spine up and reach your arms up and over your head, taking a slight backbend.
Exhale back into your standing forward fold, letting your head and neck hang heavy.
Inhale look forward taking a half lift, lengthen out your spine and pressing your thighs back. Reach forward through the crown of your head.
Exhale your right foot back, taking a wide low lunge with the left leg forward. Inhale to open your chest forward while sinking the hips towards the ground.
Exhale your left foot back to Downward Facing Dog.
Inhale and roll forward to a plank pose, shifting your weight slightly forward by lifting onto your toes.
Exhale and lower half way down to a low pushup, hugging your elbows towards your ribs and keeping a long flat back.
Inhale to Upward Facing Dog, opening your chest through your shoulders and rolling your shoulder blades down your back, relaxing your gluteal muscles.
Exhale back to Downward Facing Dog and repeat the set, starting with your left leg.
Photos by Matt Hayek