Yoga Pose of the Week – Focus on the Hip Flexors and Quads

Our featured yoga pose of the week is reclined hero pose. This pose is a deep hip flexor and thigh (quadriceps) stretch. It can be modified in many ways to best suit your body, though some variations might require a block or pillow. If you have any serious knee pain or injuries, you may want to choose a different pose.

 

Directions:

  • First, find a comfortable place to kneel down (towel, yoga mat, carpet, etc.)
  • Start by bringing the knees all the way together, feet slightly apart. Sit in the space between your feet.
  • If this is already an intense stretch on your quads, stay here and breathe.
  • Once you are more comfortable here, begin to tilt your pelvis to reduce the arch in your back.
  • Next, walk your hands behind you and hold this next step for a few breaths.
  • Then, if sensation is still minimal, lower to your forearms. Make sure your knees stay on the ground!
  • Lastly, if you want to go even further, lay your back all the way to the ground (as long as your knees can stay down)
  • Breathe here and hold for 1-3 minutes. To come out of the pose, slowly walk yourself out the way you came in.

Tips:

  • If sitting between your feet is too much sensation on your knees, or is difficult due to mobility, sit on a block or put a pillow between your seat and legs. 
  • If you are laying flat and still not feeling enough sensation, raise your arms overhead to increase the stretch.
  • Also, try not to arch your back too much in this pose. You want to aim for a comfortable, natural curve of your spine rather than a forced arch position. Emphasis should be on stretching the hip flexors and quads. The more you arch, the less of a stretch you will feel. 
  • Move in and out of this pose slowly. This pose is amazing, but can be difficult for those with knee injuries or poor mobility in the hips and ankles. Try to find a variation that works for you. Tip: if you get to a point where you can’t maintain an even, steady breath, you are probably forcing the stretch too much.
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Vanessa Kiriakou

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