mbg moves: An 11-Minute Hip- & Heart-Opening Yoga Flow
If you spend all day sitting in front of a computer, there are two types of movement your body is surely craving: heart-opening and hip-opening exercises.
Heart-opening moves offer much-needed stretching and strengthening in your back, shoulders, and chest—while hip-opening exercises help wring out all that stress and tension in your hips.
To help you check both boxes, I've created a beautiful 11-minute hip- and heart-opening yoga flow that doubles down on relief. I recommend doing this flow at least once a day or even several times throughout your day, as needed. The great thing about these moves is you can do them as a full flow or individually for some feel-good body-opening.
Equipment: Yoga mat
Instructions: Move from one exercise to the next, following the flow cues as noted.
- Come to a kneeling position on your mat, opening up your knees into a "V" shape.
- Slowly let your torso fold over your legs while stretching the arms out in front of you.
- Allow your forehead to rest on the mat, massaging your third eye, if you'd like.
- Hold for a few breaths, then continue to cat-cow.
- Come to all fours. Ground down through your palms.
- As you exhale, drop your belly, and bring your gaze up to the sky.
- As you inhale, curl and round your spine, and bring your gaze toward your belly button.
- Repeat for a couple of breaths, then continue to downward dog.
- Start in a tabletop position on your mat.
- Inhale as you lift your hips up high, coming into a downward-dog position.
- Ground down through the soles of your feet and your hands, allowing your hips to be the highest point. You can also pedal out your dog here, lifting one heel, then the other.
- Hold for a couple of breaths, then continue to three-legged dog.
- From a downward-dog position, inhale as you lift your right leg up to the sky.
- Hold for a breath, feeling the stretch in your hips.
- From here, bring your knee to your nose, then drop it in between your hands and continue to low lunge.
- Begin with one foot in between your hands and your left leg extended backward. Bring your left knee onto the mat.
- Slowly lift hands up high over your head, coming into a low lunge. Make sure your knee stays over your ankle.
- As you inhale, stretch upward, then sink a little lower into those hips on the exhale. You should feel a stretch in your hips.
- Hold for a few breaths, then repeat downward dog, three-legged dog, and low lunge on the opposite side. Then, move into plank pose.
- From downward dog, roll your body forward so shoulders are stacked over wrists.
- Engage your core, and hold for a couple of breaths.
- Move through chaturanga or knees-chest-chin, then continue to cobra.
- Come all the way down on your mat, lying on your stomach.
- Bring your hands underneath your shoulders. Pull your elbows in toward your body.
- Keeping your elbows bent, lift your chest up. Come up as high as you'd like–baby cobra or full cobra–yogi's choice.
- Hold for a couple of breaths, then slowly lower back to the mat. Continue to upward-facing dog.
- Start by lying flat on your mat.
- With your hands under your shoulders, press through your palms and rise up.
- The only parts of your body touching the mat are your hands and tops of the feet.
- Hold for a couple of breaths, then slowly lower back down. Move into bow pose.
- Start by lying flat on your stomach.
- Bring the soles of your feet to face the ceiling. Reach around to grab your ankles.
- Take a deep breath. On the exhale, start to stretch your legs toward the ceiling, opening up the chest.
- With every inhale and exhale, stretch a little further up.
- Hold for five to eight breaths. Slowly release, bringing your thighs back to the mat. Move into a downward dog, then pigeon pose.
- From downward dog, reach your right foot up to the sky.
- Bend your knee and bring it in line with your right arm. Bring your right foot to the left side, and allow your shin to rest on the ground.
- Bring your back leg down to the mat, and lift your chest.
- Hold for a breath, then slowly lower your torso to the ground so it folds over your right leg.
- Stay on your forearms, or come all the way down. Continue to breathe for and hold this pose for eight breaths, or as long as you'd like.
- Move through downward dog, three-legged dog, and pigeon on the opposite side. Then, continue to bridge pose.
- Slowly roll down onto your mat, lying on your back. Bend your knees, and place your feet and palms on the mat.
- Lift your hips as high as you can while stabilizing through your legs, glutes, and core.
- Hold for 8 to 10 breaths. Then slowly lower your hips back down to the mat. Close your practice in savasana.
Juanina Kocher is a certified yoga teacher, health and wellness coach, and creator of Flex Flow Wellness. Kocher offers health and wellness coaching, membership-based yoga flows, meditation and breathwork, as well as quick and easy recipes to accommodate a busy lifestyle. Her philosophy is that (consistent) baby steps are big steps towards achieving your health and wellness goals.