Yoga Pose of the Week – Focus on the Hamstrings and Hips

This week’s featured yoga pose is 3 legged dog. This pose is similar to downward facing dog, which we have already covered, but works to move further. This pose stretches the hamstrings and hips, as well as strengthens the arms and core. It is an amazing pose that really energizes you!

Directions:

  • First, start in a high plank position with shoulders stacked over wrists and back straight
  • Send your hips up and back to make your body into an upside-down V shape
  • Press firmly into both hands, keep all 10 fingers pressing into the ground
  • Intend your heels towards the ground (they don’t have to touch!)
  • This is your downward dog position!
  • Next, from here keep your shoulders and hips as square as possible and shift your weight into one leg
  • Lift the other leg off the ground (it doesn’t have to be very high!) and try to keep shoulders and hips square
  • Breathe deeply and either stay in stillness here, or you can take any additional movement that feels good. Some people like to make circles with the elevated leg to loosen up the hip and stretch it further.
  • Make sure to do both sides!

If you have any serious wrist issues, you might want to try a different hamstring stretch, such as a seated forward fold or a different hip stretch, such as butterfly pose. If you are struggling to lift one leg, simply stick to the more beginner-friendly downward facing dog (both feet on the ground). Listen to your body and don’t push past feelings of pain or extreme discomfort when stretching!

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Vanessa Kiriakou

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