Here is a simple yoga stretch that opens the hips and stretches the hip flexor.
Begin on your hands and knees and step your right foot forward, shimmy the left knee back so that you are not directly on top of the knee cap. The top of the foot on the back leg should be pressing into the mat. Be sure to keep the front knee directly over the ankle. Now turn the front foot away from you at an angle (Don't get crazy with it! Just a slight angle is fine!) The front knee should travel in the same direction as the foot. Place the left hand on the mat or drop down onto your forearm as shown in the picture. Use the right hand to gently open up the thigh and allow yourself to roll over on to the side of the foot but be sure to keep the ankle engaged without collapsing. Stay here for several breaths. Be gentle with your body, don't force anything to happen. Breathe into the pose and focus on releasing and letting go.
Don't forget to do the other hip! :)
I've vowed to myself to be authentic in my teachings. To offer up a piece of myself in each class that I teach, to give my students the knowledge that I have but also to place myself on the mat by their side. Not as a guru or on a pedestal status of a teacher. I am just like you, I am a student in this journey of life. And just like you, I get scared when faced with something new and different. But here I am standing on the edge and I'm going to leap and I hope that when I look to either side of me I will see the beautiful faces of my students and we will leap together, hand in hand.
Please come and enjoy a class at the new Bee Yoga Fusion location. 111 Centerway-2nd floor, above the Greenbelt Credit Union Bank and New Deal Cafe. The entrance door is right next to the ATM.
In between classes I encourage you to roll out your mat at home and grab two blocks; place those blocks shoulder width apart, with your hands on the blocks be sure that your thumbs are in line with your chest. Have your knees on the ground and focus solely on building strength in the chest. Remember core needs to be pulled in and engaged, take a deep breath in and on the exhale slowly lower down and hover. See how in the picture my bum is lifted slightly so that my spine is long? Make sure that you aren't sagging in the lower back, to correct that draw the belly in and feel the lift through the back. Then push yourself back up to straight arms. Try several rounds everyday to build the strength you need to safely and properly do chaturanga.