Holy Hips: Slow Down and Get Hippie

Whether you’re a runner or someone who spends most of their time at a desk, the hips are an area of the body that can get incredible tight, especially with this cold weather. In my Yoga for Runners class at JP Centre Yoga last Sunday, we focused on opening up the hips. Here are some moves that you can bring into your routine to open those hips up.

Figure 4 on your back

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Add some core work to this pose to warm-up the body, especially if your practicing in a cold room. Core work is also great after a run or workout to neutralize the lower back.

Core work in Figure 4

Childs Pose
Your resting pose. If you’re having a hard time bringing your hips back over the heels, feel free to place a blanket or block under the hips so they feel supported.


Runners Lunge Pulses: Runners Lunge to Pyramid Variation
Try to keep the feet where they are and place blocks under the hands if you are having a hard time transitioning back and forth.

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Runners Lunge Open Twist
When twisting, have the action come from the lower ribs. Try to avoid opening through the shoulder.


Low Lunge with Side Bend
This is a “square” lunge so make sure the knee is over the ankle and hips are right over the shoulders.

Low Lunge w/ Side Bend

Lizard Lunge
Make sure your front foot is to the edge of your mat and send the hips forward. Just like runners lunge, feel free to pulse back and forth to pyramid variation to open the hips a bit more.


Not a favorite for my runners that were in class on Sunday (I got a lot of grunts!) but awesome way to open up the inner hips. If this pose is tough on the knees or feels uncomfortable, place one or two blocks under the hips.

Yogi Squat, Malsana

Crescent Pose with Side Bend
This takes our low lunge with side bend up a notch. If this feels too much on the legs, place the knee down. Make sure to tuck your tailbone in which can be done by bending the back knee. I could use a little more tucking in this picture. The shoulders are still right over the hips.

Crescent Pose w/ Side Bend

Standing Figure 4/Standing Half Pigeon
This pose brings together balance, strength and flexibility and was the “peak” pose we worked towards in my Yoga for Runners class. Hold the balance for 5 rounds of breath and then fold over your shin. The blocks are there in case you have a hard time reaching the floor.

Standing Figure 4

Tree Pose
An alternative for standing figure 4/ half pigeon if you’re having a hard time placing the ankle on the upper thigh due to injury or hip tightness.

Tree Pose

Categories: Yoga, Yoga for Runners