My mum complains about her hips all the time. They ache, they’re tight, they make walking hurt. She’s reached that dreaded “middle age”. She’s told me you start to notice around 40 and really pay attention at 45 and then at 50 it all goes downhill at once.
Which makes me laugh, because other than her hips – she’s in great physical shape. But we started doing yoga to get her through winter and she says that there are a few yoga poses that are her absolute favorite for stretching out her hip problems. And according to my step-dad, she does them on the bedroom floor when she wakes up in the morning while he makes their coffee.
Goddess pose is not for you if you don’t like to have fun. In Goddess, plant your feet one(ish) leg length apart. Turn out your feet so they face opposite directions. Keep your hips firmly forward (you’ll pull in one direction). Then bend your knees a bit on the exhale and rise on the inhale. You can do what ever you like with your arms, but pulling them back in line with your shoulders will give you a good chest stretch.
This one reminds me of toddlers. They squat down so effortlessly. That’s what this pose is. Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, turn your feet out slightly. Now get into a squat, keeping your knees over your toes. Breathe and sink into this position. To push this a step farther: raise yourself with your thighs, and then sink back down.
Move into Bound Ankle. Sit down on the floor (a mercy if you can’t get out of yogi for the first few times without sitting). Put your feet together in front of you. Press your soles together. Drag your feet back towards your body, keep your knees as low as you can. For additional stretching lift your knees and slowly lower them.
Let go of your ankles and stretch your feet out ahead of you. Pull your knees in, keeping your feet on the floor. Put your hands behind you and leaning back into your hands and grounding your feet, lift your bum until your chest, tummy, and knees make a flat surface. For extra stretching: Move in and out of this pose.
Lean back until you’re lying down. Place your palms on the floor under your bum. Lift your chest, pressing into your hands and forearms. Come up off your back until your back is arched from bum to neck. If this feels fine and you’d like to stretch further set the top of your head on the ground. Keep your toes pointed in the opposite direction.