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By: Natalie Anthony

Congratulations. Your exams are over! Hopefully you feel less tight and happier. To close things out for our 5-week yoga series, I’ve saved my favourite poses for last. Say “hi” to your hips!

Hips: Tight hips are very common from sitting. Too much tension in this area could even begin to affect your lower back.

  • Bend your right knee into your chest and flex your foot. Place the area just above your ankle on the very bottom of your left quadricep (above the knee). Keeping the right foot flexed, gently press down on the inside of your right thigh. The stretch should be on the outside of your right hip and upper thigh. Try the same pose on your left side.
  • Hug your right knee into your chest and hold the stretch. Do the same with the left knee. This pose can be done standing by using a ledge to deepen it.
  • While standing, find your balance. Cross your right knee over your left, and begin to bend the left knee. Try to keep your torso upright. This pose if known as ‘eagle legs.’ Consider adding your ‘eagle arms’ to deepen the pose (see shoulder section). Repeat on the left side.

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Tip: If the stretch feels good, add more pressure as you press on your inner thigh or hug your knee.

There you have it. These are some of my favourite poses to perform after sitting at my desk. All of these poses can be taken in stages and should be held for about five breaths (on each side). You may find that one side of the body doesn’t feel the same (or as good) as the other. That’s normal.

As a bonus, here is my last tip for releasing tension after studying for long hours at your desk. Get up and walk around! Walk down the block, meet a friend in the park, or take a stroll to the community centre. In my experience, movement and stretching are a great ways to de-stress your body and mind.

 

Natalie Anthony, Yoga Instructor B.A., Corp. Comm., RYT-200

As a former triathlete, turned corporate leader, turned yoga instructor, Natalie discovered yoga makes her strongest and happiest.A serious accident brought Natalie to yoga. A passion for making others happy keeps her on the mat. Natalie is an internationally certified and registered Vinyasa and Yin yoga instructor. She currently teaches customized group and private sessions at Balance Fitness and at various corporate offices in downtown Toronto. Natalie also combines her love of yoga with a passion for communications and is a regular contributor for Village Living magazine.