mbg moves: A Quick Hip-Opening Yoga Flow To Try At Home

Certified Yoga Teacher By Phyllicia Bonanno
Certified Yoga Teacher
Phyllicia Bonanno is a Sweat yoga instructor, wellness influencer and sound bath facilitator based in New Jersey and New York City.
mbg Moves - Phyllicia Bonanno in lizard pose
Welcome to mbg moves! We've been working out at home more than ever lately—and we know our readers are, too. To help keep your fitness routine feeling fresh, we're releasing a new at-home workout every Monday, to start your week off strong. Each month will feature routines from a different incredible trainer we adore. Now, let's get moving with our spotlight trainer: Phyllicia Bonanno.

As humans, we tend to hold a lot of tension and stress in our hips. That's even more relevant right now, after a particularly stressful year.

That's why I created this quick yoga flow, specifically designed to help open up your body and release those tight hips. We're going to move through a series of hip-opening poses and really focus on promoting mobility in your body.

I also encourage you to be very gentle and patient with yourself during this practice. You might not be exactly where you want to be at this moment—and it's absolutely OK to take modifications as needed for your body. Just know that every tiny movement is helping you work toward better flexibility and mobility.


Time: 12 minutes
Equipment: Yoga mat
Instructions: Move from one pose to the next, following the flow cues as noted.

To start: Begin in a standing position. Take a deep breath in, roll your shoulders up to your ears, and allow them to roll back down. Repeat one more time. Then reverse the motion, rolling your shoulders back, then up. Repeat. Continue to Malasana squat.


Malasana squat

malasana squat

Image by mbg creative

  1. From a standing position, bring your hands to heart center.
  2. Bend your knees, pivot your toes out, and slowly lower into a squat.
  3. You have the option to stay here for a few breaths. Or press one hand into the ground, lift the other to the sky, and twist. Repeat on the opposite side. Move through this motion once more on each side.
  4. Continue to bhaddha konasana, forward bend.

Bhaddha konasana forward bend

Bhadda Konasana forward bend

Image by mbg creative

  1. Lower your seat onto the mat.
  2. Bring the soles of your feet together. Sit up nice and tall.
  3. Peel your feet open like a book, then slowly fold your torso over your legs.
  4. Hold for a couple of breaths, then come back up to start.
  5. Repeat once more, then continue to downward dog.

Downward dog

downward dog plank

Image by mbg creative

  1. Come into a tabletop position on your mat.
  2. Inhale as you lift your hips up high, coming into a downward-dog position.
  3. 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.
  4. Hold for a couple of breaths, then continue to three-legged dog.

Three-legged dog with hip opener

three-legged dog hip opener

Image by mbg creative

  1. From a downward-dog position, inhale as you lift your right leg up to the sky.
  2. Bend your knee, and roll your knee in circles in one direction for a couple of breaths. Then roll in the opposite direction.
  3. From here, continue to lizard pose.

Lizard pose

lizard pose

Image by mbg creative

  1. From three-legged dog, bring your right knee to your nose. Plant your right foot on the mat, in between your hands.
  2. Bring the back knee down, and place both hands on the inside of your right foot.
  3. You have the option to stay here or bring your forearms down onto the mat.
  4. Hold for a few breaths, breathing into the pose. Then rise back up, bend your back knee, and with your right hand, grab that back foot, and gaze over your shoulder.
  5. Release the foot, then continue to half split.

Half split

half split

Image by mbg creative

  1. Keeping your left shin on the ground and right knee bent in front, plant both hands on either side of your right foot.
  2. Slowly sit your hips backward and extend your front leg.
  3. Hold for a breath, then rise back up to center. Come into a plank, then move through downward dog, three-legged dog, lizard pose, and half split on the opposite side. From here, continue to figure-4 chair pose.

Figure-4 chair pose

figure 4 chair pose

Image by mbg creative

  1. Come into a standing position on your mat.
  2. Ground down through your left leg. Lift your right knee, and plant your foot onto the thigh.
  3. Flex your foot, hinge at your hips, and lower into a chair pose.
  4. Repeat on the opposite side, then move to chaturanga.

Chaturanga to upward-facing dog

chaturanga to upward-facing dog

Image by mbg creative

  1. From a standing position, fold forward, then hop your feet to the back of your mat.
  2. Come into your plank pose, then slowly lower your body all the way down to your mat.
  3. Inhale, press your hands into the ground, and your push chest forward for upward-facing dog. Exhale as you slowly release back down to the mat.
  4. Press through your palms, flip your feet so the soles touch the mat, and lift your hips up to the sky for downward dog.
  5. Hold for a breath, then move into pigeon pose.

Pigeon pose

pigeon pose

Image by mbg creative

  1. From downward dog, reach your right foot up to the sky.
  2. 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.
  3. Bring your back leg down to the mat, and lift your chest.
  4. Hold for a breath, then slowly lower your torso to the ground so it folds over your right leg. You have the option to bring your forehead to the mat.
  5. Hold for as many breaths as you'd like, then peel your body back up. Come back into a downward dog, then repeat on the opposite side.
  6. Hold for as many breaths as you'd like, then continue to hero pose.

Hero pose

hero pose

Image by mbg creative

  1. Walk your knees toward the front of your mat.
  2. Keep your knees pressed together, and allow your feet to spread out wider.
  3. Slowly lower your seat down so it fits in between your feet.
  4. Stay here, or bring your forearms to the mat behind you. You can also bring your back all the way down to the mat. Do whatever feels good to you.
  5. Release from this pose. Close the practice by bringing the soles of your feet together, then allowing your body to rest on the mat. Hold here for as many breaths as you'd like.

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