In this short video, filmed at Evolve Wellness Centre in South Kensington, I show you a couple of propping options to try when practising Square Pose. In this deep hip opening pose, typically, a sensation of intensity / deep stretch is felt around the hips, glutes and lower back, all of which may be accentuated by folding the upper body forward while you are here.
Depending on the tightness of your hips, the size and shape of your femoral heads (the top of the femur/thigh bone) this deep hip opener can seem a bit daunting. (It may be more challenging if you are naturally more internally rotated, meaning that poses Virasana or Saddle might come more easily to you).
If there is any sign of discomfort or pain in the knees do not practise this pose – try Easy Crossed Legs (as shown at the end of this video) as an alternative.
The Liver, Kidney and Gall Bladder meridians are stimulated here. Folding forward in Square Pose can stimulate the Urinary Bladder meridian too.
Find more short yoga videos on my YouTube channel here.
In this video filmed at Embody Wellness, I show you my favourite variation of Swan Pose to teach (and in my own practice to do post-run or after a lot of sitting).
Swan is a deep hip opener with strong external rotation of the front hip, as well as a good stretch for the hip flexors and quads of the back leg. Sitting upright in Swan also a backbend.
The meridians targeted are the liver, kidney, spleen, stomach, urinary bladder and gall bladder.
Using a bolster, as I’m showing here can help make Swan pose more accessible, especially if you have knee issues. If your hips feel particularly tight, keep your legs in a zig-zag shape (the position I am sitting in before I extend my back leg straight behind me into full Swan). This zig-zag shape can also make it even kinder on the knees. NB – Ensure your knees are NOT complaining – if your knees are still not happy in this pose you can practise Eye of the Needle pose instead.
If transitioning to Sleeping Swan you can come onto forearms or rest your forehead on a yoga block, as I show you here.
Stay for 3-5 minutes on each side (or 1-3 minutes if you are a beginner).
This version of Swan is a yin yoga posture we regularly practise during Flow & Restore – Sundays 6-7.15pm at Embody Wellness in Vauxhall.