Our shop is open!

CHECK IT OUT

Tag Archives: adductors

Essential Sequence: Stretch into Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana

Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana Sequence | Jason Crandell Vinyasa Yoga Method

WHY THE PARIVRTTA JANU SIRSASANA SEQUENCE WORKS

Nothing beats a good side-bending practice. And, truthfully, the recipe for the classic posture Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana is simple: the practice needs to focus on stretching the hamstrings, adductors, and the sides of the torso (which are largely comprised of the lats, obliques, and the quadratus lumborum). The sequence above sticks to these three basic focal points.

Let’s break it down a little further:

POSES 1–2

What could be better than resting on your back and stretching your hamstrings and adductors? Not much. Supta Padangusthasana A & B are simple, effective, energy-saving postures that target your hamstrings and adductors and allow you to transition into your practice gently.

POSES 3-4

You really can’t go wrong with Down Dog and Three-Legged Down Dog. You can use them in nearly any sequence, but I like them here because they continue the work of stretching your hamstrings, they lengthen your spine (which is helpful in side bends), and they provide a smooth transition from reclined to standing postures.

POSES 5-7

This combination of postures flows together smoothly and builds on the work of you’ve already established by opening your side body. An important note here is that most students will only receive a mild stretch in their side body in these postures. This is ideal sequencing because you don’t want the first side bends in a sequence to be intense or abrupt. Most students don’t spend a ton of time working their side bends, so the muscles involved (lats, obliques, and quadratus lumborum) need to be prepared slowly.

POSES 8-9

These postures hone in on the hamstrings, adductors and side body. At this phase of the sequence, you’re going more deeply into the targeted areas of this practice.

POSES 10-13

This progression of poses takes you deeper and deeper into your hamstrings, adductors, and side body. If you have more flexibility, you can bend your bottom elbow and take it to the floor in gate pose (pose 12). Once you arrive in Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana, remember to bend your top elbow and lean your upper-body slightly back. Breathe into the side of the waist you’re stretching and savor the pose. If you’re stuck and struggling, there’s a 99% chance that the restriction is in your hamstrings and adductors. If this is the case, be diligent with the first 8 postures of this sequence for a few more months.

Want to practice this sequence at home? When you sign up for our newsletter, we’ll send you free printer-friendly PDF of the sequence above!

AND, if you want to feel more confident and knowledgeable about your sequencing skills, check out my online course, The Art of Yoga Sequencing. It’s great for yoga teachers and students who want to better understand how the body works and how to stretch and strengthen effectively.

{illustration by MCKIBILLO}

19 comments Add Your Own

Yoga and Your Hips, Part III

Before we get to the post, a quick, shameless plug for my upcoming trainings. You can join me live at my 500-Hour Yoga Teacher Training in San Francisco, London, or Hong Kong. I also have three separate online teacher trainings, focusing on arm balances & inversions, sequencing, or anatomy.

These are, hands down, my 15 favorite hip opening yoga poses.

Creating a balanced, effective hip-opening sequence is simple if you know how the hip muscles are laid out. When you don’t have for a map for their hips, you’re at a higher risk for overstretching your hamstrings and external rotators compared to your hip flexors and adductors. Teachers make this mistake in their sequencing regularly and, as a result, hamstring insertion injuries are one of the most prevalent injuries in modern yoga.

If you haven’t read them already, start with Yoga and Your Hips, Part I and Part II . The model of the “5 Muscular Compartments of Your Hips” in Parts I & II is the same approach that I take when I teach anatomy live and online. (And If you want to learn even more about yoga anatomy and yoga sequencing, you can join me in my yoga anatomy course or yoga sequencing course.)

The sequence here contains my three of favorite postures for each compartment of your hip. I practice this sequence several times a week and I still love the feeling of space and mobility it gives me. I hope it helps you feel good in your body, too!

One quick thing before the sequence breakdown: If you’d like to be among the first to know about our new posts, sign up for our newsletter. As a thank you, we’ll send you a free arm balance guide, plus 5 sequences that are not on the blog!

15 Hip Opening Yoga Poses

Hip Compartment #1: Hip Flexors

Pose 1: Anjaneyasana
Keep your back thigh vertical here. Why? Because keeping your back thigh vertical and stacking your pelvis and spine directly over your thigh helps stretch your quadriceps and hip flexors.

Pose 2: Anjaneyasana
Lower your hips forward and down to isolate and stretch your hip flexors, especially your rectus femoris.

Pose 3: Anjaneyasana
Leaning into the side bend from Anjaneyasana helps stretch your obliques and quadratus lumborum along with your hip flexors.

Hip Compartment #2: Adductors

Pose 1: Malasana
Malasana provides a thorough, inner leg stretch while also flexing the knees and hips deeply.

Pose 2: Prasarita Padottanasana with bent knee
Bending one knee and pressing your forearm against your thigh allows you to create a deep, sustained stretch on the entire adductor group.

Pose 3: Bound Side Angle
The action of binding in this posture provides you with a shoulder opener in addition to the adductor stretch.

Hip Compartment #3: Hamstrings

Pose 1: Parsvottanasana
This foundational standing pose allows you to focus on stretching one set of hamstrings at a time. This may be more effective for students with tight hamstrings than stretching both sets of hamstrings at time like you do in Uttanasana.

Pose 2: Prasarita Padottanasana
In addition to stretching your hamstrings, this pose also stretches your adductors.

Pose 3: Standing Split / Warrior III Hybrid
While similar to Parsvottanasana, this one-legged standing posture provides a deep, isolated hamstring stretch.

Hip Compartment #4: External Rotators

Pose 1: Pigeon Pose
This bittersweet posture uses the weight of your entire body to stretch your external rotators.

Pose 2: Ankle-to-Knee
Placing one ankle on the opposite inner knee externally rotates your thighs even more deeply than Pigeon Pose.

Pose 3: Reclined Pigeon
Clasping your leg and reclining in Pigeon Pose stretches your glutes, external rotators, and abductors.

Hip Compartment #5: Abductors

Pose 1: Reclined Gomukhasana
Reclining in Gomukhasana allows your entire body to relax and settle, while providing you with a deep abductor stretch.

Pose 2: Gomukhasana
This classic seated posture provides efficient leverage for opening your abductors.

Pose 3: Gomukhasana with sidebend
Including a sidebend in this posture gives you a deep abductor stretch while also releasing tension in your obliques and quadratus lumborum.

15 Hip Opening Yoga Poses | Jason Crandell Yoga Method

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter and you’ll never miss a post!

14 comments Add Your Own

Yoga and Your Hips, Part II

Baddha Konasana
For more than a decade, I’ve quivered at the thought of attending a hip-opening workshop. Having played ice hockey and been a skateboarder for more 15 years, my hips were molten lead that no amount of Pigeon Pose could crack open. Now, 20 years in, I’ve chipped away and breathed steadily enough to be halfway comfortable and mobile in these joints.

As I step back and look at the challenges my hips presented, I finally realize that the issue wasn’t just hockey and skateboarding. Part of the problem was that I didn’t understand the joints or muscles that I was working with. I didn’t have a “map” of the region to make sure that I was stretching and strengthening all the muscles involved in the hip joint. I was overly focused on my outer hips and hamstrings, while ignoring my hip flexors and adductors. I didn’t understand the nature of the hip socket and that truly “opening” the hips requires a more intelligent, comprehensive approach.

I’m creating this guide because I know it would have helped me practice and teach more effectively years ago. This is the approach that I stick to when I’m working with my students and trainees—and, when I teach anatomy live and online. I’m hopeful that it will give you a simple framework for understanding your hip muscles.

Make sure to check out my Illustrated Guide to Yoga and Your Hips, Part 1. It describes the structure and ligaments of the joint and will help you understand the hip joint more clearly.  Part III provides you with a balanced sequence for strengthening and opening your hips.

Continue reading Read More > >

23 comments Add Your Own

Yoga and Your Core, Part II

Before we get to the post, a quick, shameless plug for my upcoming trainings. You can join me live at my 500-Hour Yoga Teacher Training in San Francisco, London, or Hong Kong. I also have three separate online teacher trainings, focusing on arm balances & inversions, sequencing, or anatomy.

When students register for a core-themed workshop, they expect their abdominals to be battered and bruised into next week. It’s a strange—somewhat admirable—masochism that exists in few communities outside of yoga (save, perhaps, the crossfit, pilates, and functional fitness communities). But, if you’ve read The Illustrated Guide to Yoga + Your Core, Part 1 you’ve learned that the abdominals are only one part of your core. Now, it’s time to turn your attention to what I call the “complements to your core.” These muscles either work together with your core, like the way engaging your inner legs helps you engage your pelvic floor muscles. Or, they balance your core muscles by providing the opposite action, the way your hamstrings balance the actions of your hip flexors. Continue reading Read More > >

2 comments Add Your Own