Unlock Your Hip Flexors

Unlock Your Hip Flexors

Unlock Your Hip Flexors is a program that gives the user a practical, easy-to-follow, natural method of releasing tight hip Flexors. Its aim is to help the user get the desired result within 60 days at 10-15 minutes per day. Naturally, the hip flexors are not meant to be tight. When they become tight, the user needs a way to make them loosen up. Unlock Your Hip Flexor has been programmed in such a way that it will help the user in doing just that. The plan was not created to be a quick fix. In fact, it will take the user close to 60 days to solve this problem and it is hard; yet the easiest as well the only that have been known to successfully help in the loosening of tightened hip flexors. The methods employed in this program are natural ones that have been proven by many specials. The system comes with bonus E-books Unlock Your Tight Hamstrings (The Key To A Healthy Back And Perfect Posture) and The 7-Day Anti-Inflammatory Diet (Automatically Heal Your Body With The Right Foods). There various exercises that can be done at home are recorded in a video format and are so easy that you will only get a difficult one after you have agreed to proceed to the next stage. Continue reading...

Unlock Your Hip Flexors Summary


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Contents: Ebooks, Training Program
Author: Mike Westerdal
Official Website: www.unlockmyhips.com
Price: $19.00

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My Unlock Your Hip Flexors Review

Highly Recommended

I usually find books written on this category hard to understand and full of jargon. But the author was capable of presenting advanced techniques in an extremely easy to understand language.

In addition to being effective and its great ease of use, this eBook makes worth every penny of its price.

Iliopsoas ileoSOus

Gluteus Maximus Action

Utthit.i trikonasana optimally contracts the psoas major portion of the iliopsoas muscle, i ontraction in this posture inteverts the pelvis. I his action draws the ,imst rings' origin (ischial t uberosity) away from their insertion (lowerleg), and accentuates their stretch. Twisted variations of utthita trikonasana preferentially contract the iliacus portion of the iliopsoas and complete its awakening. Ushtrasana stretches the iliopsoas through contraction of the hip and trunk extensors, including the gluteus maximus. Stretch is accentuated by contraction of the quadriceps (including the rectus femoris, which is eccentrically contracted). Like the iliopsoas, the gluteus maximus works unconsciously during standing and walking. Many important yoga postures awaken the gluteus maximus including standing poses, backbends and forward bends. Tightness limits forward bends and weakness limits back bends.


Monoarticular Gluteus Maximus

The pectineus is the proximal muscle in the adductor group. It is a flat rectangular muscle originating from the front of the pelvic girdle and inserting on the inside of the proximal femur. It is monoarticular. Awareness of the pectineus awakens its neighboring adductor muscles, the brevis and longus. Tightness in the pectineus limits the depth of poses like baddhakonasana. Awareness of the pectineus awakens its neighboring adductor muscles, the brevis and longus. Pectineus (pec-ti-NEUS)

Pectineus pectiNEUS

Pectineus Muscle Pain

The pectineus contracts in parivrttaikapada sirasana adducting both femurs and assisting the iliopsoas, flexing the forward hip. This same principle applies in parivrtta trikonasana. Baddhakonasana awakens the pectineus. Isometric eccentric contraction accentuates this. Closed chain contraction of the front leg pectineus draws the pelvis (and trunk) forward in parsvottanasana. Baddhakonasana The pectineus is at full stretch in the upright version of

Place Your Pelvis In Space

The next step is to position your pelvis in Tadasana so that, when viewed from the side, your ankle joint, hip joint, and ear all lie on the same line. Bend your right knee and lift your right foot off the floor to create a crease in your hip joint. Press your right fingertips into the middle of the crease, where you will feel your hip flexor muscles contracting strongly Keeping your fingertips on this spot, return your foot to Tadasana, and find the same spot on the other side with the corresponding fingertips ofyour other hand. Now, with both feet on the floor, press your fingers in firmly to indent the flesh, and notice how hard or soft it feels. If your pelvis is in neutral, then the hip flexors will feel springy. Keeping your fingers there, draw your tailbone toward your heels to prevent compression in your lower back, and then deliberately shift your hips forward until your pelvis is directly above your toes. Notice that the flesh hardens under your fingers. That's because your...

Anatomy Of Hatha Yoga

Posture and can move more deeply into it, increasing the commitment I side bending at the right hip joint. It should be mentioned that many moder schools of yoga recommend resting the lowermost hand on one or moi blocks of wood, which accomplishes the same end. Keep a strong stance. Be aware that the gluteus medius and minii is remain under tension on the right side because the lateral rotation of ie right thigh stretches the gluteals on that side. Tension shoidd also be I Id willfully in the left inner thigh, the quadriceps femori on both sides, id the hamstrings, especially on the right side. The focus of the post re should be on the thighs, the hip joints, and the vertebral column. Jus to experience what not to do in this regard, relax as much as you can with ut falling down and notice that this alters the dynamic of the posti re completely the hips will tend to swivel, the knee to which your ben is directed may become hyperextended and stressed, and the focus shi ts away from the...

Sitting Spinal Twists

All sitting spinal twists, by definition, have two features they are always upright, and the hips are always flexed. And because many of these postures take tension off the hamstrings and adductors, and yet flex the hips, they generally produce more intense stretches in the hip joints, pelvis, and spine than supine, standing, and inverted twists. This often makes it difficult to complete sitting spinal twists comfortably and attractively, but it also enables us to work deeply with native hip flexibility that is limited by that joint and its restraining ligaments rather than by muscles.

Bending And Twisting In The Headstand

When you are in the headstand and the hip joints are bearing only the weigh of the lower extremities, you can do much of what you can do standing except more creatively. What is more, certain poses that involve comple combinations of hip flexion or extension with knee flexion and rotation ca be done only in the headstand. In this posture you can selectively stretc the adductors and hamstrings you can work with hip opening exercise when the adductors and hamstrings arc not under tension you can twis flex, and extend the torso alone or in combination with many creativ stretches for the lower extremities or you can fold the lower extremitii into the lotus posture and flex and extend the thighs from that position.

Keeping The Knees Down

The supported auspicious pose (see fig. 10.11 for details of the unsupported posture) is propped here with a sandbag that permits the model to maintain a convincing lumbar lordosis, which is required for a straight spine. Unless you can flex your hip joints 90 with your thighs abducted and feet folded in, you may not be able to sit comfortably and straight without a firm prop under your ischial tuberosities. It is muscular tension from the iliopsoas muscles that either lifts tl knees or pulls the torso forward at an unattractive acute angle, and or remedy for this is to place 10-40 pound weights on your knees to hold thi 1 down. This prop all by itself helps you maintain the correct lumbar lordo-and permits you to minimize or even eliminate the need for a cushi. 1 under the hips. A commercial apparatus has also been developed that v 1 press the knees down painlessly and evenly on both sides, make a cushi' 1 unnecessary, and yet maintain the posture in an exact right...

The Triangle Postures

Imagine two sticks, their bottom ends planted into the ground about three feet apart and their upper ends inserted loosely into sockets on either side of a ball, sockets which will allow the ball to rotate and swivel from side to side. Then imagine a flexible rod fixed to the top of the ball that can twist and bend to the front, back, or side in all possible combinations. I ast, imagine a bamboo pole that runs perpendicularly across the back of the rod near its upper end, forming a cross. The sticks are the lower extremities, and the ball with which they articulate is the pelvis. The sockets that permit swiveling on either side of the ball are the sockets of the hip joints. The flexible rod is the spine, with the head on top and the pelvis on the bottom, and the pole is a combination of the two upper extremities that will remain lifted straight out to each side in one line in the triangle postures. In the advanced classic triangle, the rod-and-ball combination is bent straight to the...

Spreadlegged forward bend Upavishta konasana

The spread-legged forward bend stretches the backs and insides of the legs (hamstrings and adductors) and increases the flexibility of the spine and hip joints. It improves circulation to the entire pelvic region, tones the abdomen, and has a calming effect on the nervous system. Note, though, that muscle density may make this posture difficult for most men. If you want to give it a try, check out the following steps

Balanced Set Of Postures

Many other postures and exercises are helpful in ohvious ways. Cradling each leg either with your back upright or lying in the supine position stretches the piriformis and obturator internus on each side. Placing the soles of the feet against one another as close as possible to the groin in a sitting position, and following this by pressing down on the thighs stretches the adductors. The lotus posture and the preparatory half lotus are invaluable for opening the hip joints and for toughening the knees.

Gluteus maximus and gluteus medius Known as glutes to

Stretches and conditions your hip flexors, legs, back, spine, gluteus muscles, shoulders, and arms. Offers flexibility and conditioning for your hip flexors, inner and outer thighs, calves, and legs. Stretches and conditions your hip flexors, abdominals, back, and gluteus muscles. Stretches and conditions your hip flexors, buttocks, and pelvic girdle. Strengthens and conditions your entire leg as well as your gluteus muscles, hip flexors, back, and abdominal muscles. Strengthens and conditions your entire leg, gluteus muscles, hip flexors, back, and abdominal muscles. Strengthens and conditions your entire leg, gluteus muscles, hip flexors, back, abdominals, and your inner and outer thigh. Strengthens and conditions your entire leg, gluteus muscles, hip flexors, back, and abdominal muscles stretches your inner and outer thigh. Stretches and conditions your hip flexors, legs, back, spine, gluteus muscles, shoulders, and arms. Develops balance, stability, and coordination strengthens...

Alternating The Upward And Downfacing

Another good upper-hody exercise is to alternate between the upward facing dog (fig. 5.14) and the downward-facing dog (figs. 6.17 and 8.26). Th easiest way to do this is to do it fast, by using the hip flexors to quickl swing the hips up into the down-facing dog from the upward-facing dog an let gravity drop them back down. But that's not so useful, and the betfi exercise is to do it slowly, maintaining abdominal tension at all times an never allowing the body to merely hang between the shoulders. And ft another refinement that is custom designed to develop upper boi strength, start with the upward-facing dog, slowly lower down into a straigi push-up position with the body an inch or so from the floor, touching tl floor only with the hands and the flexed toes, and then instead of using tl powerful iliacus and psoas muscles to launch flexion of the hips into t down-facing dog, initiate the movement from the shoulders, pushing to t reai- with the arms while sliding the nose along the...

Yoga Rx for Lower Backs

Your lower back is actually the lumbar vertebrae section of the spinal cord. Spine movement brings much-needed circulation to the vertebral discs and helps keep them supple. The health of your hamstring and psoas (hip flexor) muscles as well as the strength of your abdominal and core muscles also affects your lower back. Helpful Yoga therapy postures allow you to stretch and strengthen key muscle groups, release tension and bring your whole body back into harmony. The following sections give you some general guidelines on what kinds of Yoga movements work well for different lower back issues, and a routine to help you segue into a regular group class.

Ax Atom Of Hatha Uk A

As you progress in your practice of the advanced cobra, you will grat' illy become confident and flexible enough to allow the iliopsoas muscles ind the abdominal muscles to lengthen eccentrically and even relax wit ut releasing tension in the back muscles, and when that happens the ick muscles will contribute to extension more effectively. The last step, ter acclimating to the posture in its essential form, is to draw the feet to1 ird the head (fig. 5.12). Figure 5.12. In the advanced cobra, highly flexible students can bend their lumbar spines 90 and touch their feet to their head. For most students spinal and hip inflexibility (along with resistant hip flexors and abdominal muscles) limit coming fully into this pose. Figure 5.12. In the advanced cobra, highly flexible students can bend their lumbar spines 90 and touch their feet to their head. For most students spinal and hip inflexibility (along with resistant hip flexors and abdominal muscles) limit coming fully into this pose....

Mukhaikapda Paschimottanasana

Paschimottanasana Asana

Bend the right leg at the knee and move the right foot back. Place the right foot by the side of the right hip joint, keep the toes pointing back and rest them oh the floor. The inner side of the right calf will touch the outer side of the right thigh. 9. Repeat the pose on the other side, keeping the right leg stretched out on the ground, bending the left knee and placing the left foot by the left hip joint. Stay for the same length of time on both sides.

Joint reaction forces

Knee Padmasana

For example, the ball and socket joint of the hip has greater range of motion than the hingejoint of the knee. Lotus posture (or padmasana) requires a large amount of external rotation of the hip joint to bring the foot into position on the opposite leg. Obtaining this external rotation from the knee joint creates incongruency because the knee is a hingejoint with limited capacity to rotate. This incongruency can result in the abnormal distribution of joint reaction forces, injuring the intra-articular structures of the knee. Therefore it is essential to first obtain full range of motion of the ball and socket hip joint to protect the hinge knee joint, (see arrows)

Erector Spinae Muscles

Erector Spinae

The erector spinae muscles are the prime movers in the back bend purvottanasana. Combine contracting the erector spinae with the synergists of this pose, including the quadriceps, gluteus maximus and triceps. This combination stretches the rectus femoris, iliopsoas, rectus abdominus, pectoralis major, triceps and anterior neck muscles.

Baddha Konasana Butterfly Pose

Butterfly Resting Posture

Open your chest and press your knees toward the ground as far as they will go. Don't bounce your legs up and down. Instead, allow gravity to gently release your hip joints. 5. Getting Started Some people find the butterfly pose easy because they have naturally loose hip joints. For others whose hips are less flexible, this pose can be frustrating. If you fall into the less-flexible category, place a pillow under each knee. Press your knees into the pillows, rather than all the way down to the floor. The more you do this pose, the more hip flexibility you will gain.

The Movements Of The

The movements of the arms at the shoulder joint are more complii ed than the movements of the thigh at the hip joint because the ran of possible movements is greater, and also because the separation o he shoulders by the width of the rib cage allows the arms to be p ed across the chest in a manner that has no counterpart in the 1 eT extremities.

Accessory Muscles of Breath

Accessory Muscles For Exhalation

Moola bandha contracts the muscles of the pelvic floor lifting and toning the organs of the pelvis including the bladder and genitalia. The pelvic floor muscles are recruited and awakened by contracting associated muscles such as the iliopsoas. This focuses the mind on the first chakra.

Iliofemoral Ligaments

Iliofemoral Tightness

Hip joint ( flexed, internally rotated) The anterior iliofemoral ligaments are part of the hip joint and stabilize it. These ligaments become taut when the femur extends and externally rotates. They relax when the femur flexes and internally rotates. Tightness in these ligaments limits extension of the hip in lunging poses and forward splits. This limitation is overcome by tilting the pelvis forward and internally rotating the femur. Hip joint (extended, externally rotated)

The Pubofemoral Ligament

Muscles establish the most important restrictions to hip flexibility, but there is another restriction within the hip joint itself the pubofemoral ligament which is one of the three extension-limiting ligaments that spiral down to the neck of the femur from each of the three parts of the pelvis (fig. 3.6). Tension comes off these ligaments during a forward bend, but when we abduct the flexed thighs in a sitting posture, the head of the femur is pulled away from the acetabulum, and this creates tension in the pubofemoral ligament, which runs straight laterally from the pubis to the femur in the flexed and abducted thigh. In an anatomical dissection, this ligament may even have to be cut to permit full abduction of the flexed thigh. The pubofemoral ligament is one of the few ligaments in the body that can and should be stretched over a period of time by those who wish to use the classic sitting postures. In the absence of that need, leave it alone.

The Upper Extremities

We know that the lower extremities form the foundation for standing postures numerous muscles and ligaments attach the pelvic bones reliably to the sacrum and lumbar spine (figs. 3.4 and 3.7) the muscles of the hips, thighs, and legs flex and extend the hip joints, knees, and ankles and the feet contact the earth. By contrast, the upper extremities are designed for touching, embracing, and handling tools. They are not foundations for any part of the body. Instead, it's the other way around the torso is the foundation for the upper extremities, starting with the shoulder girdle.

Semitendonosus semetendiNOsus Semimembranosus sememembruhNOsus

Semimebranosus Insertion

These two muscles make up the inner hamstrings. The semimembranosus has a flattened wide belly. The semitendonosus is fusiform in shape (tapered at both ends) with the distal end forming a long tendon. Both muscles originate from the ischial tuberosity. They have separate insertions on the proximal tibia, one on the inside of the back of the tibia (semimembranosus) and one on the inside of the front of the tibia (semitendonosus). The semitendonosus insertion combines with the sartorius and gracilis muscles to form a broad duckfoot-like insertion on the anterior tibia called the pes anserinus.

Sacroiliac Flexibility

Even though the range of sacroiliac movements is narrow, however, healthy and mobile sacrodiac joints make for safer, sharper postures. Indeed, the proper execution and full expression of backwaid bending, forward bending, and seated meditation postures presupposes the ability to establish nutation and counternutation at will. And because the concepts are unfamiliar and complex, some reiteration and review is in order. First recall where the movements take place. They're not spinal movements (as happen at intervertebral disks and other joints in the spine), and they're not movements at the hip joints (as happen at the acetabula between the Pelvic bones and the femurs). Rather, they are literally the only movements Permitted between the axial skeleton and the appendicular skeleton for the lower extremities (fig. 6.2a, arrows for nutation, and imagine their Opposites for counternutation). And they are subtle think of movements Within the pelvis itself. If you want to understand the...

The Lower Extremities

By definition, the torque for twisting in the lower extremities begins at he sacroiliac joints, but externally visible rotations are not observable ex pt in the hip joints, the flexed knees, and the ankles. We'll begin our discus ,on at the source and work down. twisting at the hip joints To examine twisting at the hip joints, stand with the knees extended and the medial edges of the feet parallel and about two feet apart. Then tighten all the muscles of the lower extremities and twist the body to the right from the waist down, keeping the abdomen, chest, and shoulders in the same plane with the pelvis. Below the hip joints you will feel a combination of torque and twist in the ankles, legs, knees, and thighs, especially on the left side. Keep the feet flat on the floor, and this will diminish their tendency to slip. Repeat on the other side. When the muscles of the thighs and legs are tensed while keeping the legs extended, the ankles and knees permit only a small amount of rotation,...

The Lotus Posture In The Headstand

If you are flexible enough to do the lotus posture in the headstand, you have many options for developing flexibility and a strong back. Just being in this posture stretches the adductors and makes the hip joint itself more flexible. An excellent exercise is to lift the knees as far as possible toward the ceiling to hyperextend the back (fig. 8.35a) and then slowly lower them as far as possible toward the floor (fig. 8.35b) without falling, of course. This is simdar to going back and forth between stages three and two of the headstand. except that it is easier because the legs and feet are folded in and because a smaller proportion of your lower body weight is carried forward. It is also rewarding to twist and bend from side to side in the lotus posture. With the knees up, whatever stretches you do along those lines will be combined with backbending, and with the knees down in a more neutral upside-down sitting lotus, whatever stretches you do will build strength in the back. Be sure...

Relaxed Supine Twist

The three previous postures require at least some muscular activity. To contrast them with a relaxed supine twist, place the hands ilat on the floor and straight out to the sides, draw the heels toward the hips, cross the right knee over the left, and twist the lower part of the body to the right so that the knees are lowered toward the floor (fig. 7.13). There is little or no tendency for the opposite shoulder to lift off the floor in this mild posture, but it still may be tricky to relax in it from head to toe, especially at the beginning of a hatha yoga session. Adjust the amount of flexion in the knees and hip joints (determined by how far away from the hips you place your feet) so you can relax as much as possible the more flexion the greater the twist, but the greater the twist the more challenging it will be to relax. If the arm and shoulder opposite the direction of the twist are lifted off the floor, or if you can't lower the legs to the floor whUe keeping them flexed 90 ,...

Inverted Torso Twists

When you are in the headstand you can do inverted torso twists that ai limited only by your imagination, strength, and balance. You can start wii a twist in a simple headstand and go from there to a twist with one thij. back and the other forward. Simple twists such as these can be done in tl open, but placing yourself near a wall adds to the possibilities. One is position the back of the head about two feet from the wall, come up into 11 headstand, and twist your lower body to the right so that the lateral cd of the right foot ends up against the wall. From that position you can p . yourself around even more. This brings the left hip closer to the wall ai 1 the right hip further away. The right thigh is hyperextended, the left thi, 1 is flexed about no , and both knees are llexed comfortably. If you are fair flexible you will be stretching the abductors on the lateral aspects of t thigh and working directly within the hip joint. Repeat the exercise on t 1 other side. This is an...

Torso Extension And Hip Flexion

A wall is also a good prop for working with passive extension in the lumbar region. From a simple headstand again facing away from a wall you can place both feet against the wall and walk them slowly down, or you can simply hold them within your reasonable limits, making sure you don't go so far down that you cannot comfortably walk them back up. Alternatively, you can stabilize one foot against the wall and bring the other one forward (away from the wall). If you pull down vigorously on the forward foot using the rectus femoris muscles and the hip flexors on that side while keeping the knee fairly straight with the quadriceps femoris muscle as a whole, you can stretch the forward hamstrings at your leisure and unlike most standing and sitting forward bends, you can work with the stretch safely but insistently and without stressing the back in the slightest. Repeat the exercise on the other side.

Prasarita Padottanasana

Stand sideways on your mat with your feet about four feet apart and parallel to each other. Draw the muscles of your legs to the bones and up toward your hips. Interlace your fingers behind you and straighten your elbows. Lift and open your chest from the power of your arms and legs. Release forward from your hip joints, moving the crown of your head to or toward the ground. If your head doesn't touch the floor, rest it on a block at whatever height you need to. Supporting the head helps calm the nervous system. If you look closely at the bent leg in Mari-( chyasana I, you will see that it's in a squat. Warmingup with Malasana will teach you how to deeply fold your legs as you open your calf muscles and hip joints. It is also a great release for the back muscles, so when it's time for Marichyasana I, you'll find it easier to root your tailbone and round your back. Finally, Malasana will help you turn inward and begin the journey toward silence and meditation.

The Lower Body Going Nowhere

Lift your hips two inches off the floor and squeeze your buttocks as tightly as you can for several seconds. Then release the contraction and drop your hips back down. Feel all the tight areas releasing and relaxing. Your hip joints should feel loose and your buttocks muscles completely relaxed.

Uttanasana Standing Head to Knees Pose

Exhale and bend forward at your hips. Bending at the waist will curve your back. Try to bend at the hip joint to keep the heart open as you move forward. Work toward touching your nose to your knees. Keep your knees straight unless your back hurts, in which case you can bend your knees.

Breathing And Forward Bending

Breathing in forward bending postures will be experienced differently by those who are relatively stiff than by those who are stronger and more flexible. Advanced students have many options, but those who are inflexible in the hip joints have to tense the abdominal muscles just to maintain the posture, and this creates many repercussions. knees extended. Relax the shoulders and arms, and rest the hands on r ,e ankles or leet. Breathe in and out normally, and confirm that inhalatioi is lilting you up and creating more tension in the trunk. Now, in one e. y sequence, breathe out to your full capacity

The Anatomy Of Flexion And Extension

To understand any function, envision being without it. For example, w can see at a glance how vertebral bending, both forward and backward contributes to whole-body bending by examining how someone would ben if their spine were fused from the pelvis to the cranium. This is not a academic hypothesis. One who has had such surgery for severe osteoarthrii will bend forward only at the hip joints, just like a hinged stick arm dangling, head, neck, and torso stuck out straight and stiff as a board. Ai yet this person may be comfortable and relaxed enough to practically tak a nap. He may be able to bend forward up to yor and hyperextend to tl rear- about io entirely from the hips.

Yoga Makes Work Less Work

While sitting, as you take a long inhale, stretch one leg straight out in front of you and hold it up parallel to the floor. Pull your toes back toward your head. Hold for three counts. Lower your leg as you slowly exhale. Do each leg a few times. This improves your hip joints and strengthens your legs so your knees won't be as stiff when you stand.

Anatomy Of Hatha Yvca

In chapters 3 and 4 we discussed the muscles and ligaments that lim backward bending in the hips. These include the psoas and iliacus muse (figs. 2.8, 3.7, and 8.13) the quadriceps femoris muscles (Ggs. 1.2, 3.9, 8 and 8.11), especially the rectus femoris component (figs. 3.9 and 8.8-the abdominal muscles (figs. 2.7, 2.9, 3.11-13, 8.8, 8.11. and 8.13), especia v the rectus abdominis (figs. 3.11-13 and 8.11) and the spiraled ischiofemoi I. iliofemoral, and pubofemoral ligaments (fig. 3.6).

Working With The Adductors

For the first sequence, from the home position in the modified bregma headstand (fig. 8.23b), adduct the thighs, bringing the knees and feet tightly together, and notice that this flattens the lumbar region and draws the knees forward (fig. 8.32a). You can go back and forth, abducting the extended thighs to deepen the lumbar lordosis and establish maximum nutation, and then adducting the extended thighs tightly to flatten the back and ease the sacroiliac joints back into counternutation. The adducted position is peculiar. It creates intense tension in the rectus femoris muscle as well as in the lateral portions of the quadriceps femoris muscles, and this is what, in a roundabout way, flattens the lumbar region. The abducted home position, on the other hand, places intense stretch on the adductors whose origins are located anteriorly along the inferior pubic rami.

Hatha Yoga Circular Motion

The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint that accommodates rotation during the course of any combination of six movements flexion and extension, abduction and adduction, and lateral and medial rotation. Even though in a literal sense all of these motions rotate the head of the femur in the acetabulum, by convention only the last two are termed anatomical rotation. These of course can be superimposed on any of the others. For example, if you sit down and spread your thighs apart keeping the knees straight, and then turn your toes out, you will be superimposing lateral rotation on Hexed and adducted thighs turning the toes in from the same position is medial rotation. Hip-opening in hatha yoga means developing a full range of motion for all of these movements plus one more circumduction that sequentially combines flexion, abduction, extension, and adduction. F gure 6.19f. Sixth Grasp the *Mes of the feet from their medial borders and pull the nees toward the floor on er side of the...

Side Bending

Now we'll turn to side bends that are comparable to externally and internally supported forward bends. The movements for side bending are more limited than for forward bending, but some of the principles are similar. To illustrate with your feet a comfortable distance apart (about two feet) and parallel, bend straight to your right while grasping your right thigh. Keep the body true to a frontal plane bending straight to the side implies that you are keeping the hips facing the front. By contrast, if you let the right hip drop to the rear as you bend, you will shift from a relatively pure side bend to a combination of a side bend, twist, and forward bend. Watching carefully, notice that part of the bend is taking place at the hip joint on the side to which you are bending, and that the rest is taking place in the spine. As with supported forward bends, settle your right hand in a position on the thigh that allows you to remain relaxed


The legs will develop properly by the practice of this asana. Persons suffering from sciatica and paralysis of the legs will derive great benefit from it. The blood is made to circulate in the legs and hips where the nerves are rejuvenated. The pose removes stiffness in the hip joints and prevents hernia. It can be practised by both men and women.

The Middle Ground

If you take this last option, you can gradually lower the height of the support as you lengthen your adductors and develop sacroiliac flexibility for nutation. Those who are almost able to sit flat on the floor comfortably may even be able to get by with only a thin cushion placed under the fatty portion of the hips behind the ischial tuberosities rather than directly underneath them. This does not lift you significantly away from the floor but it does help you hold the lumbar region in its proper curvature. In any case there may come a time when you feel that you have reached your limit for stretching the adductors, opening the hip joints, and freeing up the sacroiliac joints (chapter 6), and in that event you should content yourself with the imperfections, use the least conspicuous prop possible, and attend to meditation.

Put It Together

Now, if you feel ready, cautiously take your feet away from the wall. Engage the leg muscles to the bones strongly to create more vertical stability. Be very careful nor to lose your balance and fall. Try to create astraight line fromyour shoulders through your hip joints to your ankle joints. Make that line vertical by tilting your whole body to the point where you feel a sense of lightness and your lower back muscles and abdominal musclcs relax at the same time. Gaze quietly toward your chest and enjoy your new Shoulderstand. Stay as long as you are comfortable. To come down, remove the belt first, then slowly lower your hips to the floor.


Repeat the same exercise in Tadasana, hands free, paying close attention to the sensation of stretch that arises in your hip flexors when you shift your hips forward and the feeling of laxity that develops when you shift them backward. Learn to identify intuitively what your front hip creases feel like when they are exactly halfway between stretched and soft. Ifyou've kept your pelvic tilt neutral, you've found your straight Tadasana line.

Before You Begin

Three rounds of Surya Namaskar A, followed by some simple lunges in which you emphasize pressing the back thigh up toward the ceiling as you drop your tailbone toward the floor. Next, do three rounds of Surya Namaskar R. This short sequence will begin to open your chest, shoulders, and hip flexors. To stretch the quadriceps and imprint the parallel orientation of the legs, sit in a modified version ofVirasana (Hero Pose), with the thighs parallel, and the knees and thighs hip-distance apart. Feel free to sit on a block ifyou need to. From here, place your arms in Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose) position to continue opening your shoulders.

The Definitive Test

If you wish to try to meet the ideal, you will first have to tighten the erector spinae and quadratus lumborum muscles in order to pull the body backward into a perpendicular position. It won't take much effort but the resulting posture will feel insecure, as though you would tip over if it were not for the wall. To compensate for this you will have to lift the posture more insistently with the iliopsoas muscles, but just enough to balance and not enough to pitch you forward again.


Internal Hip Rotation Muscles

Iliopsoas Iliopsoas psoas major Also known as the psoas muscle, the iliopsoas is actually a combination of two large muscles the psoas major and the iliacus. The psoas major muscle originates in the lower back theiliacus originates on theinside of the pelvis. Both muscles combine to form one tendon that attaches to the inside of the proximal femur bone. The iliopsoas is thus called polyarticular. This means that it crosses over (and moves) more than one joint. The iliopsoas also acts like a pulley as it curves over the front rim of the pelvis on its way to the femur. Like other pulley systems, this serves to multiply the force generated when the iliopsoas contracts. The iliopsoas thus moves the bones of the lower back, pelvis and hip in a coupled fashion. This means that when it contracts, a combination of movements across several joints is possible. Hatha yoga can be used to reawaken our consciousness of this large and important muscle. Once you awaken the iliopsoas, contract or...

Muscles and Tendons

Muscles And Tendons And Ligaments

Iliopsoas For example, in the one-legged vrksasana the iliacus and gluteus medius represent monoarticular muscles because they originate on the ilium and attach to the proximal femur, crossing (and moving) only the hip joint. Here the iliacus and gluteus medius serve to stabilize the hip joint in the standing leg. The quadratus lumborum, psoas, rectus femoris and sartorius represent polyarticular muscles because they all cross (and move) multiple joints. Here these muscles contribute to flexing, abducting and externally rotating the non-standing leg. For example, in the one-legged vrksasana the iliacus and gluteus medius represent monoarticular muscles because they originate on the ilium and attach to the proximal femur, crossing (and moving) only the hip joint. Here the iliacus and gluteus medius serve to stabilize the hip joint in the standing leg. The quadratus lumborum, psoas, rectus femoris and sartorius represent polyarticular muscles because they all cross (and move) multiple...

Stretching Muscles

Stretching Muscles Physiology

Static stretching is the most common technique used in hatha yoga. There are two categories of static stretching. The first is active static stretching. This involves contracting antagonist muscles to stretch a target muscle. Contracting the quadriceps, iliopsoas and biceps during the forward bend paschimottanasana is a form of active static stretching of the hamstrings. Contracting antagonist muscles in active static stretching results in a phenomenon called reciprocalinhibition. During reciprocal inhibition, the central nervous system signals the target muscle to relax. Passive static stretching occurs when we relax into a stretch, using only the force of body weight (or an externally applied weight) to stretch muscles. The restorative pose setubandha is an example of passive static stretching of the iliopsoas muscle.


Parsvottanasana Line Drawing

This asana relieves stiffness in the legs and hip muscles and makes the hip joints and spine elastic. While the head is resting on the knees, the abdominal organs are contracted and toned. The wrists move freely and any stiffness there disappears. The posture also corrects round and drooping shoulders. In the correct pose, the shoulders are drawn well back and this makes deep breathing easier.

Joint Mudra

Yoga Mudra Knee

There are many dynamic yoga exercises you can use to help against joint pain. These can be found in my Basic Yoga for Everybody (a book and card set published by Weiser in 1999). All of the older relatives in my family are afflicted to some extent by severe arthrosis. Twenty years ago, I also suffered from pain in the knee and hip joints. Today, thanks to yoga, I have no more symptoms. All types of compresses are also helpful just don't let anyone talk you into believing that the situation is chronic and you now have to suffer from such pain for the rest of your life. Do something to counteract it The healing may take

The Gluteal Muscles

The gluteus maximus muscles (figs. 3.8, 3.10, and 8.9-10) are hip extensors and antagonists to the hip flexors, and one would at first assume that they would inhibit sitting correctly in the cross-legged postures, but that is not the case. It's true that they act as antagonists to the hip flexors in standing postures, but paradoxically, in meditative sitting postures they can actually support the action of the iliopsoas muscles by acting as slings to lift the pelvis from underneath. They do this only temporarily, however, if and when you momentarily double your efforts to sit straighter. In contrast to the continuing and highly desirable isometric contraction of the psoas muscles, keeping the gluteus maximus muscles continuously under tension would be too distracting.


Sit on the seat prescribed by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita Ch. VI-11. Stretch the legs forward, place the right foot gently at the left hip-joint, and the left foot similarly at the right hip-joint. Keep the spine erect. Place the right hand on the right knee-joint and the left hand on the left knee-joint.11 Gaze gently at the tip of the nose. This is Padmasana. Practise this Asana for 5 minutes to start with and gradually increase the time to 3 hours. Padmasana destroys all diseases and bestows quick emancipation to the practitioner.


Dog Stifle Innervation Nerves

Bending the knee stretches the vastus lateralis, medialis and intermedius. The rectus femoris relaxes due to the flexed position of the hip. The straight leg quadriceps contract stretching the corresponding hamstings. The sartorius is a long strap-like muscle originating from the anterior superior iliac spine and inserting on the upper medial surface of the tibia. This muscle flexes, abducts and externally rotates the thigh, as in siddhasana, padmasana, vrksasana janu sirsasana. In fact, the Latin translation for sartorius is tailor , because tailors used to sit cross-legged. The femoral nerve innervates the sartorius, stimulating the second chakra. Sartorius (sar-TOR-e-us)

The Six Postures

Maitryasana The Chair

The greatest advantage to this pose is that the lumbar lordosis is easy to maintain. The thighs arc at a goc angle from the trunk, the feet are planted solidly on the floor, and the arms are resting on the knees where they can help stabilize the spine. The vertebral column can be held erect because there is no tension from the adductors and hamstring muscles 01 the underside of the pelvis, and also because the iliopsoas muscles exert only minimal effort to maintain a right angle between the thighs and thi torso. This makes it easy to do breathing exercises, pranayama, ant meditation. All of these problems can be remedied by sitting 5-8 inches off the flot on a small bench with a tilted-forward seat (fig. 10.9). In this position t.h knees are incompletely flexed, and because of this, little pressure is place on the common peroneal nerve, and blood circulation is less impeded. Tl biggest advantage, however, is that none of the muscular tension associatt with cross-legged postures is...

The Bow Postures

Quadricer Stretch

As advanced students lift into the posture, the lumbar region become fully extended and the hips become hyperextended. Such students will 1 dividing their attention among at least five tasks after they bend the knees and grasp their ankles paying attention to stretch and tension of tl quadriceps maintaining a strong connection between the ankles ar shoulders watching the knee joints, which are receiving an unconvention stress overseeing the complex muscular interactions between the quadrice femoris muscles on one hand and the gluteal muscles that lift the thig during extension of the hip joints on the other and breathing, which rocking the upper half of the body up with each inhalation and dropping t forward with each exhalation (fig. 5.23). Once these conditions are establish i, advanced students can take the final option of drawing the feet toward t e head.


Muscle that does most of the heavy lifting here is iliopsoas, which is composed of two deep hip flexors. One is the iliacus muscle, which connects the front of the pelvic bowl to the upper thigh the other is the psoas, which connects the lower spine to the upper thigh. Several superficial hip flexors assist the iliopsoas all of them connect the front of the pelvis to the thigh or leg. Since all the hip flexor muscles use the front of the pelvis or the lower spine as their anchor points, they can lift the legs off the floor only if the front of the pelvis remains lifted and the lumbar spine stays flexed. As we've seen, the abdominal muscles provide this lift and flexion if they are too weak, the front of the pelvis will sag, the spine will lose its flexion, and the legs will droop toward the floor. Of course, the hip flexors have to be strong, too if they are too weak, you won't be able to lift your legs, no matter how high you raise your pelvis and spine. The moral of the story is...

Pose with movements

Complex Movement

Movement of adjacent joints in different planes is called coupled movement. For example, in the side bend of utthita trikonasana, the vertebral column undergoes a complex series of coupled movements, including rotation, flexion, and extension at various levels. Similarly, in the same pose, the position of the hip joint of the forward leg involves a combination of flexion of the femur (thigh bone) at the hip joint and forward tilt of the pelvis. 2) Closed chain Movements in which the distal end (the insertion) of the moving limb or body segment are fixed are called closed-chain movements (for example, the iliopsoas lowering the pelvis in virabhadrasana II).


Gravity will help you open up the hamstrings, the hip joints, and the back muscles in Prasarita Padottanasana, Parting the legs makes room for the hips to come forward with a little more ease. This allows you to address the deeper, smaller muscles In the hips, along with the hamstrings. Your shoulders begin their journey toward Marichyasana I with this variation. The shoulder blades firm into the back as the arms open away from the pelvis. Keep the arm bones stable in the shoulder sockets even as you extend your arms. This is an important action in Marichyasana I. This twist prepares you for the asymmetry of Marichyasana I. It combines deeply folded legs with a twist that facilitates openness in the chest. Motice how the position of the clasping arm mirrors that of Marichyasana I. Press your Lotus ankle down onto your Vlrasana leg to help you fold the leg more deeply. Continuously press the thighbones toward the hamstrings in both deeply bent legs to create the space needed in the...


Rectus femoris The rectus femoris - unique in that it originates from the front of the pelvis at the anterior-inferior iliac spine - continues on the front of the thigh, covering the vastus medialis and combining with the other quadriceps to insert on the patella. It works as a polyarticular muscle. Force produced by its contraction results in a combination of two possible movements flexion of the hip and extension of the knee. The other three heads of the quadriceps are monoarticular and only act to straighten the knee.

The Pigeon Posture

The pigeon has a large, puffed-out chest, which we mimic in the pij. m posture. It is a superb advanced backbending pose in its completed fi m, but a preliminary version can be done by nearly everyone. We place it re because both versions work with hip flexibility on the right and left les simultaneously, producing extension of the hip joint for the thigh din ed to the rear and flexion of the thigh facing the front. To come into the preliminary pigeon, start in a hands-and-knees po - on, pull the right knee forward to flex the right hip joint, and thrust th ft foot back to extend the left hip joint. Allow the right foot to end up wh ver it naturally falls, which will usually be near the genitals. Keep the el' ws extended and the shoulders pressing the hands against the floor. Pu the head up and back, thrust the chest forward, and feel the essence of tht nse (fig. 6.25a). If you feel any discomfort in the right hip joint or groin top right there. This is as far as you should go. Later...

Butterfly Pose

Pit Tentacle

This pose gives a great feeling of freedom throughout the entire body. Much tension is stored in the hip joints. Many yogis believe that unresolved emotions from physical and emotional traumas are stored in the hip area. By releasing this area, both the body and mind may feel freer, lighter, and less encumbered. Children with ASDs often have a hard time with daily living due to the symptoms oftheir disorder. Because they often have difficulty expressing themselves to others, these kids may internalize their daily stresses. This pose may help kids with ASDs release the stress in their bodies.

Akaimi Of Hatha Yuca

Warrior Pose

As you come into the posture, hyperextension of the left hip joint tighti is its spiral of iliofemoral, pubofemoral, and ischiofemoral ligaments (fig ) at the same time that flexion of the right hip unwinds its same th e ligaments and allows the head of the femur the freedom needed to rot e in the acetabulum. Doing the posture in the opposite direction will rev e these situations, tightening the spiral in the right hip joint and looser g it on the left. This is an elementary but at the same time complex pose. The twi is accomplished by swivelling at the hip joints in one direction and twist ig the chest back in the other direction. With the shoulders facing the s a. and with the head facing the outreaching hand, the neck will also hav to be twisted 90 . Finally, because the pelvis is at a 20-30 angle from he shoulders, the hyperextended rear thigh forces it into a forward till I at creates a moderate sidebending posture. To ease the tension with res ft to the rear thigh, beginning...

Hang In There

Female Yogi

Lolasana is callcd Pendant Pose for a reason The body really dangles and even swings a little bit. The foundation of the pose is the hands the rib cage hangs from the upper arms and shoulders the spine and pelvis hang from the rib cage and the legs hang from the spine and pelvis. The pose is highly effective for strengthening all of the abdominal muscles, most of the hip flexors, and several shoulder musclcs, but it puts extraordinary demands on the external oblique abdominals, making it especially powerful for strengthening the sides of the waist.

The Adductors

Along with flexors (the iliopsoas), extensors (the gluteus maximus), am abductors (the gluteus medius and minimus), we also have adductors f pulling the thigh medially, a movement which we considered in detail i chapter 6 in relation to forward bending. To understand why the adductor are important here, experiment with the movements required for sittin cross-legged. Sit on the floor with the knees up and the feet side by sid about a foot from the buttocks. Now pull one foot in toward the perineur flexing the leg maximally against the thigh, and lower the knee lateral toward the floor. Notice that the thigh has now been abducted, flexed, ar laterally rotated, and recall from chapter 6 that each and every one of the movements is resisted by the adductor muscles. And not only that sine the adductors attach between the bottom of the pelvic bowl and the femi they also act in the other direction, pulling forward on the base of tl pelvis and causing the lumbar region to flatten or even round...

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