Tight Hips? Try Ankle to Knee Pose

This is from my recent Pilates Style newsletter post. It’s truly one of my favorite hip openers. My teacher Nevine always says the hips are like the basement of the house, where we store all of the junk we’re not sure what to do with at the time. Ankle to knee is like clearing out the basement and getting rid of the junk in our trunk! Our issues truly to reside in our tissues. Yoga and Pilates are wonderful ways to flush out our bodies and get rid of tension and tightness.

Close Up: Ankle-to-Knee Stretch

Setup: Sit tall with legs straight out in front of you.

Begin the move:

1. Fold your left leg so your shin is parallel with the front of your mat.

2. Fold your right leg and place your shin directly on top of your left shin so your ankle rests on your knee.

3. Keeping both feet flexed and shins stacked, hinge forward from your waist and fold out over your legs, holding for 5 to 8 breaths (or as long as you can stand it).

Tips: Make sure your top ankle doesn’t sickle. Breath deeply. Keep the arch out of your lower back and your shoulders relaxed.

Modification: Sit up tall with your hands on the floor behind you. Place your left foot on the floor bending at the knee, then place your right ankle on top. Sit up tall and feel the stretch in your outer hip, inner thigh and lower back. Or, if you are nursing a knee injury, lie down on your back and do Thread the Needle.

Advanced: If your hips are super-open, slide your top foot off your bottom knee (think of an old fashioned typewriter) to enhance the stretch.

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