Monday, July 12, 2010


During the last days I was thinking about hips. The longer I thought about hip flexibility the more I didn't understand the word opening the hips (perhaps it's a language misunderstanding). Flexibility of the movement of the legs is the goal, in all directions: forwards, sidewards, backwards.

Paschimottonasana: I tried to keep the back straight. It's a movement in the hips that is wished. This has an effect on the hamstrings. They are lengthened. To protect the body from injuries it is recommended to engage the leg muscles and the bandhas.

Baddha konasana C: I leanred it rather quickly, but via a method I do not recommend. It was during my karate time. After an intensive warming up, we were in that baddha konasana position. A heavy man stepped on my legs and they went down to the floor. Done. I recommend: exercise this position as often as you can. Sit in front of the TV in that position. When it starts hurting stretch your legs and then do it again.

Baddha konasana A is even a bit more demanding. It is also an exercise to increase the flexibility of the hips.

Padmasana, lotus pose also opens the hips. When I watch TV I usually sit on the floor in lotus pose. I change legs from time to time. A timer can help to motivate you to stand this pose a bit longer as usual. 10 min are comfortable for me. Afterwards I feel discomfort.

Ushtrasana: When exersising back bending asanas I try to open the front of the body. The body can become flexible between legs and body. The hips again allow to move backwards. Fact is that in daily life we don't do arch back often. This is why it is challenging when bending backwards.

My main challenges are urdhva dhanurasana, laghu vajrasana, kapotasana. It is important to lenghten the front of the body when arching back. Back bending means lengthening front of the body and opening the chest.

I see the importance to be able to move the legs freely.
My attention is often at the hips when I practice. I know that I want to bend from here. I don't want to arch the back when I bend forward i.e..
Additional asanas I do is side split and forward split (hanumanasana). I use blocks and blankets as a support. Gravity helps me.
To protect the body it is important to engage bandhas and leg muscles. I have mentioned this already, but it doesn't matter to repeat this.

Manduka mat:


Anonymous said...

These photos of "hip openers" will serve as inspiration for me, Ursula! You grasped my American yoga concept of open hips very well. My Ashtanga yoga teacher thinks this is so important we will be devoting 4 weeks to "hip opening" asanas in mid August. The fact that you are so dedicated to a consistent, regular practice deserves the utmost respect and admiration. You also make me laugh from time to time.

Ursula said...

This is great.
And I love it that I make you laugh, even though I don't know what makes you laugh: hahahahahaha.

Have great practices. I think you are not a bit less dedicated and consistent.....:)


Quentin said...

these hip openers are natural for me, yet I struggle with Marichyasana C and D. any suggestions for getting into ? Oh and I notice that your web page automatically drops to the bottom, which is aggrevating to scroll back up to the top of page each time.

Ursula said...

I have the same issue with blogger, this is annoying.

Re marichyasana C:

1. stretch upwards first.
2. armpit to knee
3. move your arm higher up the back. Bind and then move it down. This gives a lot of centimeter.
4. watch the youtube movie by Kino MacGregor.

5. exhale when binding and engage the bandhas. This helps, too....