Summer is a busy time, it is for me anyway. I spend my summers at my cottage with my 2 kids and I try to squeeze in workouts and yoga poses everyday. Some days it’s just not possible to do it all but I do manage to get a few poses in while the kids play underfoot and hog my yoga mat. In between zipping life jackets, cutting watermelon, applying sun screen and the other million daily needs of my children I manage to get the following 4 poses in every day and I feel so much lighter and looser after I complete these. Summer can mean too much drinking (dehydration), sleeping in a different bed than your used to and that makes for a tight spine. These poses will loosen up the spine and hips and the twists will massage your organs. Be sure to hold each for approximately 5 breaths and do as many as you can with the time you have.
Prayer Twist Pose
Start in crescent lunge with prayer hands, slowly twist the spine to one side, hooking the elbow outside of the knee. Stack the shoulders on top of each other, keep the heart open and gaze up towards the sky. On the inhale, elongate the spine and on the exhale take the twist slightly deeper. Lengthens and stretches the spine. Creates flexibility in the rib cage. Stimulates the internal abdominal organs and kidneys.
Pigeon With A Twist Pose
Start from all fours (on hands and knees), bring your right knee forward and place it more or less behind your right wrist. Place your ankle somewhere in front of your left hip. The more your lower leg is parallel with the front of the mat, the more intense the hip opener. Slide your left leg back, straighten the knee and point the toes. Make sure your leg is behind your body and not drawing outwards and your heel is pointing up to the ceiling. Draw your legs in towards each other to help keep your hips square. Gently lower yourself down and use some support under your right buttock if needed, to keep your hips level. Remain this way then when your ready to twist come up into your hands. Reach back with your right hand and grab your left foot. Twist and look over your right shoulder.
Like Pigeon, Lizard Pose is another great pose for tight hips. In my practice, I often sequence Lizard and Pigeon together, as I find they create a beautifully balanced stretch for the inner and outer hip.
Lower your left knee down onto the ground and release the top of your left foot. Bring your right foot forward and rotate your foot to its outer edge. Relax your hips and put your weight into your hips. Lower down on to your forearms if possible otherwise stay up on your hands.
Begin by lying flat on your back with your legs extended up at 90 degrees and your arms at your sides, palms down. Push your legs up and all the way over your head. Touch your toes on the floor if possible. Tuck your chin and keep your legs straight. Do not turn your head, keep looking up to avoid any neck injury.