Teaching a Detoxifying Yoga Class: Hip Openers - Aura Wellness Center

Teaching a Detoxifying Yoga Class: Hip Openers

how to become a vinyasa yoga instructorBy: Virginia Iversen, M.Ed. 

Seasonal transitions as seasons change are the best time to detoxify. This means detoxifying the extra items in your car, your closet and, of course, your body! Engaging in a systematic process of detoxification on a seasonal basis will help you to release toxic chemicals, emotions, and experiences from your body and mind. You may even find that you are confronted with a toxic work environment or a relationship that no longer serves your highest good. If this is the case, you may also wish to find a compassionate way to move on from those situations and/or relationships.

Practicing Yoga postures and pranayama exercises several times a week will help to detoxifying both your body and your mind. This is particularly true of flowing, vigorous Yoga classes that are practiced in a heated room. Of course, it is important to balance the pace and type of Yoga class in which you participate, with your own physical and emotional needs on a daily basis. For instance, although you may be an intermediate to advanced Yoga practitioner, you may need to engage in a series of restorative postures after a particularly busy or challenging week.

Honestly and accurately gauging your own personal needs and the needs of your students in terms of a Yoga practice is one of the most fundamental aspects of creating a cleansing, safe and rejuvenating practice for both you and your Yoga students. There are many ways to increase the intensity of the detoxification benefits of a Yoga class. By leading your students through a challenging sequence of flowing standing asanas, arm balances, backbends, and inversions, you will support your students in their natural inclination to detoxify during the spring season.

Hip openers are some of the most effective poses for releasing painful emotional experiences, which are often held in the hips. Although many hip opening Yoga postures appear to be less strenuous than standing or arm balancing postures, these poses can be just as detoxifying and can help to release painful emotional experiences that cause deep-seated muscular tension, which impedes the free flow of life force energy. There are many different hip openers that are accessible to a variety of students, including Pigeon Pose, Fire Log Pose and Thread the Needle Pose.

* Thread the Needle Pose or Sucirandrasana

Thread the Needle Pose is a very effective hip opening posture that is usually practiced towards the end of a class as one of the finishing poses. Thread the Needle Pose gently stretches the hip, groin, shoulder, and neck muscles. It can also help to relieve sciatica and strengthens the quadriceps and abdominal muscles. To guide your students through the practice of Sucirandrasana, or Thread the Needle Pose, have them lie on their mats in a prone position.

To begin, ask your students to bend their knees and place their feet flat on the mat, and then place their right ankle just above their left knee with their right foot slightly flexed. Remind your students to keep their hips in a straight line and their lower back gently curved on the mat. Next, instruct your students to thread their right arm through the space between their legs and clasp their hands just below their left knee joint. With an exhale, ask your students to melt back into the Yoga mat.

This backward release down onto the mat will extend the muscles of the shoulders, neck, arms, groin, and hip, which will help to release muscular tension in these areas. Ask your students to hold Thread the Needle Pose for five complete breaths, and then release the posture and come back to a neutral position on their mat with their knees bent and their feet flat on the floor. When your students are ready, have them repeat Thread the Needle Pose on the other side. If any of your students experience pain in this posture, you may wish to suggest that they practice Supported Fire Log Pose with their arms extended, as an alternative to Sucirandrasana.

Virginia Iversen, M.Ed, has been practicing and studying the art of Yoga for over twenty years. She lives in Woodstock, New York; where she specializes in writing customized, search engine-optimized articles that are 100% unique. She is currently accepting yoga and health-related writing orders and may be contacted at: enchantress108@gmail.com.

© Copyright – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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4 thoughts on “Teaching a Detoxifying Yoga Class: Hip Openers”

  1. Yoga practice is one of the most fundamental aspects of creating a cleansing, safe and rejuvenating practice for both you and your Yoga students. Thanks for sharing this valuable article.

  2. I really liked this practice it was very complete and challenging. My hips and back have been in pain the last several days, I practice yoga for hips as my regular routine and this really helped me.

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