Strong Legs, Happy Hips
Hamstrings, Balance, Hips, Core
This intermediate yoga sequence focuses on strength in the legs and hips through creative movement. Challenge your strength, balance and endurance in this fun flow.
Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)
Start in warrior I with your right leg forward and your left leg back. Keep a deep bend in your right knee, so that your right knee stacks right over your ankle. Press the knife-edge of your left foot down into the mat and engage the back of your left leg. Your arms are up and your lower ribs are hugging in. Hug your right hip back and your left hip forward to ensure your hips are square to the front of the mat.
Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)
Step into your right leg and shift your chest forward, transitioning into warrior III. Your chest and left leg will be parallel with the mat and your standing leg will stay nice and strong. Notice if your left hip is popping up and tuck it down slightly so it’s in-line with your right hip. Keep the core engaged and reach through the fingertips and left heel to find extension in the torso.
Begin to lift the chest, still balancing on the right leg. Bring your left foot forward and then place the left ankle onto the right thigh. Sink the hips, flex the left toes and open your left knee out to the side. Keep the core engaged as you start to hover your chest over your left shin. Your hands can come to heart center, with your forearms parallel to your shin.
Standing Figure Four (Ardha Utkatasana)
Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)
Slowly begin to lift your chest, standing into the right leg. Carefully lift your left ankle away from the right thigh, and begin to send the left leg behind you, coming back into warrior III. This time in warrior III, you can keep your arms swept back by your sides, with your shoulder blades pulling together.
Twisted Reverse Warrior (Parivrtta Viparita Virabhadrasana)
Gently land your left toes to the back of the mat and bend once again into the right knee, finding your lunge position with your legs. With your torso stacked directly over your hips, twist your chest to the right, and extend your right finger tips to the back of your left thigh. Reach your left arm up to the sky. Feel an opening in the left side body. Gaze can be up to the sky or down to the back leg.
Revolved Lunge Pose (Parivrtta Anjaneyasana)
Keeping the twist in the chest, lift your right hand away from your back leg, as you tilt your chest forward. Bring your left fingers to the mat on the inside of your right foot. Press into your left hand as you extend your right fingers up to the sky, keeping the low lunge in your legs and stacking right shoulder over left.
Reverse Half Squat Pose (Viparita Skandasana)
Pivot onto the knife-edge of your left and right foot, with your toes pointing to the right side of your mat. You can keep your hips lifted or lower them slightly. Sweep your right hand behind you, fingertips reaching towards the back of your mat.
Lizard (Utthan Pristhasana)
Sweep your right arm forward again and pivot your feet back to where they were in the low lunge position. From there, toe-heel your right foot to the right outer-edge of your mat and bring both of your hands to plant on the mat on the inside of the right foot. Keep both legs active and maintain a long spine as your press the mat away from you with your hands.
Continue to press both hands into the mat. Begin to hover the right foot slightly off the mat. Quietly step the right foot back to meet the left foot. Readjust your hands and feet as needed to find yourself in plank pose. Keep your hips in line with your shoulders and engage the core by pulling your belly into your spine.
Downward Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
From your plank, you can move through a vinyasa as a transition or you can lift your hips up and back, coming into a downward dog. In your down-dog, spread your fingers wide and press your palms into the mat. Externally rotate your shoulders to create a broad back. Energetically pull your heels down towards the ground and maintain a micro-bend in your knees. Stay here for five breaths before moving to the other side.