My top 3 Lower Body Yin & Restorative Poses that are juicy on the hips, lower back and ankles and stimulate the liver, kidney, gall bladder, urinary bladder, stomach and spleen meridians.
- Great hip and groin opener. Many variations to help work deeply into hip socket.
- Decompression for the lower spine when folding forward.
- Stretches the back leg's hip flexors and quadriceps for poses like Swan and Dragon.
- Can help with sciatica.
- If you have sciatica, elevate the hips by sitting on a cushion so the hips are higher than knees.
- Be aware of hips rotating backward while seated. Allow them to rotate forward.
- Be mindful of the pressure if you have bad knees. Always get out of the pose if there is pain.
- If you have any lower back disorders and flexion of the spine is uncomfortable or painful, then do not allow the spine to round: keep the back as straight as you can.
- Pregnant women should not fold forward after the first trimester.
- After getting out of the pose, do some downward facing dog or child pose before doing the opposite side or before going to the next pose. Forward fold poses can be counter act by lying hip lifts.
- Hold the pose for three to five minutes per side
- Begin by kneeling on all fours then place one knee behind the other and sit back between the heels.
- Try not to sit on the feet but slide them as far forward as they can go. Anchor both sitting bones to the ground. When folding forward, you can support the head with the hands, leaning the elbows onto the thighs or a block or bolster. Support the chest with bolster.
- Options: If the bottom knee is painful or uncomfortable, straighten the bottom leg. If it's the top knee, place a bolster or blanket under that knee. Sit cross-legged and fold forward if discomfort or pain persists. Otherwise, remain upright.
2. Sleeping Swan
- Slide your right knee between your hands, lean a bit to the right, flex the right foot and move it forward; bring the foot closer in toward the right hip. Now, center yourself so your weight is even. Let the right buttock go lower, keeping the weight back into the hips as you lower towards the floor. Stay on the hands with the arms straight, walk the hands forward or bend the elbows until you can bring the chest down to the leg. You could place a bolster positioned lengthwise under the chest.
- Only if you are comfortable, try to bring the front foot forward, squaring your shin to the front of mat, and lay your chest on top of the shin.
- Options: To protect the front knee, keep the foot flexed before coming forward. If knee discomfort or pain persists, lie down on back
3. Dragon, Dragon Flying Low & Twisted Dragon
- In downward facing dog, step one foot between the hands. Bring the foot forward until the knee is right above the heel. Slide the back knee backward as far as comfortable and the knee is pain free. Support the back knee with a blanket, or place a bolster under the shin to allow the back knee to be off the floor. If the ankle is uncomfortable, place a blanket underneath or raise the knee by putting a bolster under the shin.
- Keep the hands on either side of the front foot and use blocks to elevate if needed in dragon pose.
- For Dragon Flying Low, place both hands inside the front foot and walk hands forward or come down on elbows to lower the hips. In Twisted Dragon, one hand pushes the front knee to the side and rotate the chest towards the sky. Bend the back leg for deepening the quadriceps of the back leg. If you are flexible catch the ankle or foot.
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