Yoga

Loving My Hips Through Yoga

Hi everyone!  If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I participated in the #LoveYourHips challenge hosted by Lora and Brittany.  It was a 14 day challenge to do one hip opener yoga pose each day.  Each morning both ladies posted pictures of a hip opening pose, usually with some modifications for less flexible people like me.  Our challenge was to take a picture in that pose and post it to Instagram.  At first I was worried about the challenge – I’m not flexible and have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to yoga.  Plus, do I even have time for this?  But after a few days I began getting excited every morning to see what pose I’d get to try that day.  My own unique spin on the challenge was finding ways to do them while out in my normal routine – whether that meant doing them at work, after running, during a hike, or while camping!  It taught me a few really great things about yoga and myself:

1.  Yoga is for everyone.  If I can do it, so can anyone else.  If you let yourself be intimidated by poses, you’ll never know what you’re capable of doing.

2.  Yoga seriously helps my running.  Hip openers are so useful for runners and I love that I now have an arsenal of 14 poses to do on days when I’m feeling tight after a run!

3.  Yoga can be done anywhere.  I love that I can take a quick yoga break while hiking or while doing computer stuff at work.  It’s an instant way to de-stress, calm your mind and body, and take extra time to enjoy your surroundings – even if it’s just doing one pose for 60 seconds.

I loved doing the #LoveYourHips Challenge and will look forward to doing more yoga challenges in the future!  But for now, let’s take a quick look at what I did over the last 14 days to help open my hips (note: in no way should these be taken as instructions/guidelines for how to do the poses correctly.  I’m not able to fully get into many poses and was confused about a few of them, but hopefully you’ll do some more research on your own and try a few out!):

Day 1:  Tree pose in my office.  There are so many hand/leg variations for this one.  I found that I could do the leg part if I was stuck standing for a while (like waiting in line) without attracting attention if I needed a quick hip opener, especially if I kept my foot by my ankle.  Instant mini-yoga breaks!
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Day 2:  Throwback to some warrior 2 pose hiking snowga
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Day 3:  Reverse warrior after some tempo running
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Day 4:  Side angle warrior after GOTR practice
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Day 5: Half moon pose before heading off to work.  This one was surprisingly not as hard as it looks and feels awesome!
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Day 6:  Goddess squat at Potter Marsh
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Day 7:  Squat pose while hiking on Moose Track Trail.  I love this one but it’s so hard for me to get into!
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Day 8:  Low lunge at Westchester Lagoon before heading off to work for the day.  So relaxing.
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Day 9:  my hot mess version of lizard pose after running downtown.  I’ve since figured out that both of my hands need to be on one side of my body, and it makes the stretch so much better!
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Day 10:  the ultimate of all running yoga poses – pigeon pose at Kincaid Park!  I do this every day and I’m now able to get down to my forearms to rest into this pose after never thinking I’d be able to do it at all.  It hurts so good.
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Day 11:  My super modified, no-arm-strength-required version of grasshopper pose!
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Day 12:  Butterfly pose after a warm yoga flow class.  My knees may be high but this pose still does a lot for me in terms of stretching!
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Day 13:  Baby pose (no picture was taken but it’s a fun pose to try!)

Day 14:  Cross legged pose as I woke up in my tent on my weekend camping trip to Fairbanks.  Seriously, best way to wake up!
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If anyone wants to see how to really do these poses, check out Lora and Brittany on Instagram for all of their pictures!  I’m so happy they hosted this challenge and that I got to join up!

Have you ever done a yoga challenge?  What is your favorite hip opener?  Where is your favorite place to practice yoga?

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13 thoughts on “Loving My Hips Through Yoga

  1. Ahh, I really need to incorporate yoga into my daily life! My favorite is butterfly, but it doesn’t really stretch anything anymore (that I can feel), so I’m gonna go with pigeon as a close second!

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