Pigeon pose

This yoga stretch helps ease tight hips

Pigeon pose

Source: Best Health magazine, October 2011; Illustration: Kagan McLeod

‘This stretch is great for people with tight hips or minor sciatic issues,’ says Holly Spooner, fitness trainer and owner of Alive Personal Training in Calgary. ‘It’s a yoga position that hits deeper than most hip stretches.’ But don’t let that intimidate you’it’s good for all levels. ‘Getting into position for the first time can make you feel like a pretzel, so be sure to use your hands and the floor for balance.’ Do this stretch after walks, running and leg workouts.

Technique

Start on your hands and knees on a mat. Bring your right knee forward, and sweep your right foot across the floor so your leg is now bent in front of you with the outside of your right knee touching the mat. As you bring this leg forward, straighten out your left leg behind you, dropping your pelvis down toward the mat. The top of your left thigh should be on the floor, and your hips should be square to the mat. Once stable, slowly lean your pelvis forward even more and feel the stretch through your right side, along your hips, glutes and quadriceps. It should be a comfortable stretch that shouldn’t hurt. Hold here for 30 seconds. Then lean to the right and bring your legs together; switch legs.

This article originally appeared in the October 2011 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience’and never miss an issue!

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