It seems like everyone is plagued by tight hips these days. Even if you're not a yogi, runners, cyclists, and deskbound workers will all benefit from the following beginner-friendly sequence that helps open the hips, prevent injury, and relieve compression in the spine.
Downward Facing Dog
Start your practice on a strong note with the mother of all poses: Downward Facing Dog.
From Down Dog, step your right foot forward between your hands. Turn your left heel in, press into your feet, and lift your torso up. You'll find yourself in Warrior 1.
From Warrior 1 with your right foot forward, lower your torso and lift your left leg, bringing your body parallel with the ground. Extend your hands out in front of you, pressing your palms together firmly for Warrior 3.
After holding Warrior 3, step back for to Warrior 1. After creating a strong base with your feet and legs, extend your arms out in T-position as you rotate your torso to the left, coming into Warrior 2.
From Warrior 2, straighten your right leg and shift your torso to the right, making your spine as long as you can. Release your right hand down, and rest it on your right shin for Open Triangle. Once you've completed Open Triangle, place both hands on the ground and step back for Downward Dog.
Repeat this sequence with your left foot forward, then keep reading for the rest of this hip-opening sequence.
Wide-Legged Forward Bend C
From Open Triangle, come up to standing, turn to your left, and face forward. Bring your arms behind your back, clasp your fingers, and fold forward for Wide-Legged Forward Bend C.
Sit down on your mat, lift your knees up to your chest, and balance on your sit bones. Once you're ready, extend your legs forward for Boat.
After Boat Pose, bend both knees and bring your feet together for Butterfly Pose.
From Butterfly Pose, bring your right shin on top of your left and your right knee over your left ankle. Now you're in the challenging pose Double Pigeon.
Downward Facing Dog
From Double Pigeon, uncross your legs and step back into Downward Facing Dog to rebalance your body and shake out any leftover tension.
From here, you can rest in Corpse Pose or move on with your day.