If you’re a working girl, chances are you spend your days hard at work making important phone calls, typing away furiously through dozens of e-mails, and conquering the world one meeting at a time. Little do you know, however, that all that power-woman sitting is leaving you with tight hips, rendering your lower back vulnerable to possible aches and tension. Try these three yoga moves to help you relieve and prevent tight hips.
Come first into a straight plank pose with your wrists right underneath your shoulders. For Warrior or ‘Virabhadrasana I’, bring your right foot exactly in between your hands as you drop your back heel to the floor with the foot at about 45 degrees. Lift your arms up overhead with your palms pressed, or open them out to the side for Warrior II pose. Try the Warrior I and II poses in front of a mirror first so you can ace your alignment.
Duration: Five breaths each side for each variation.
Hip tip: Make sure your front knee is 90 degrees, the thigh parallel with the floor, and the knee right over the ankle.
Butterfly, or ‘Baddha Konasana’ pose, is another great way to loosen those hips. Open your knees out wide and bring the soles of your feet together. Grab hold of your feet and open your elbows out to the sides, using them to press against your legs to sink into the hips even more. Start to lean forward over your legs, keeping your back straight as much as possible. For a more restorative version, you can keep your legs as they are and lie down on your back. Just let gravity do the work.
Duration: One minute or longer if you’re lying down.
Hip tip: When sitting up in this pose, use your hands to open your feet like you would open a book, giving you some extra length in the hip joint before folding forward.
Lizard pose, or ‘Utthan Pristhasana’, is challenging but super rewarding when practiced often, as it’s a great stretch for both the hip flexors and the hamstrings. From downward facing dog, bring your right leg in between your hands. Then, shift your right foot towards the outer edge of the mat and bring both hands on the inside – making sure your wrists are directly under your shoulders for proper alignment. Remain in this deep-lunge lizard variation or come down on your elbows for a deeper stretch. Hold, then step back into downward dog and switch sides.
Duration: One minute or longer for each side.
Hip tip: If it’s too challenging to hold your back leg in a lifted lunge position, drop your knee to the floor for extra support and stability.
Dina Ghandour is a 300-hour certified Jivamukti Yoga instructor and founder of yoga boutique yApparel. Visit www.yapparel.com to shop the looks in this feature.
Photographer Anna Shtraus Photo Editor Maya Itani Editor Frankie Rozwadowska