You could be craving to feel open in a specific space of your body, such as your heart/chest or hips, which are both common areas to want to feel more open. Perhaps you want to open your mind and free it from the constant thoughts that run through it during the day. Maybe you wish to feel open with your breath, to deepen into your breath, instead of keeping it shallow.
Whatever you’re after, yoga will surely do the trick. As you bring your mind, body, and soul as one and move through stretches all three parts and areas will thank you.
Join me below in a yoga to open flow or take a peek at some fun poses you can do to open your heart, open your hips, and open your mind!
Yoga to Feel Open Flow
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Recommended Yoga Props & Gear
While these props aren’t necessary for this yoga practice, they can assist you through your flow and make some poses more accessible or deeper.
Yoga Poses to Feel Open
Consider adding these yoga poses into your own practice or flow through them all in the yoga sequence above.
Three-Legged Downward Dog
A yoga pose that is often only viewed as a transition but never actually held for long, three-legged downward dog is a great pose to lengthen and thus open.
Begin in downward-facing dog with your palms planted firmly into the mat, fingers spread wide. Pull your shoulders down your back, allowing them to move away from your ears. Your chest opens as your upper body moves towards your legs.
Engage your core by pulling your belly button to your spine. Knit your rib cage together to support and straighten your spine. Feel your sit bones spread wide to lengthen and stretch your hamstrings and for added balance.
On an inhale swing your right leg back and up. Continue to push firmly into your left toes and palms. With your right foot flexed and your leg as straight as possible, point your right toes to the ground to square your hips. Keep your shoulders even and equal pressure in both hands. Hold here for 2-3 breaths.
Variation: Option to bend your knee and open your hips, stacking your right hip on top of the left. Continue to keep your shoulders even, this will allow for the focus on opening to be on your hips. Hold for 2-3 breaths or move your knee or ankles in circles to assist in opening your hip.
Inhale to straighten your leg if you bent it, exhale, step your foot back into downward dog. Repeat on the other side.
Revolved Downward Dog
Another great variation of downward dog that you don’t see often, revolved downward dog is great for opening your hamstrings and sides.
From downward-facing dog, you may need to walk your hands back slightly, depending on the length of your arms. This may also allow your heels to touch the mat, but if they don’t that’s fine. With your left hand planted firmly, reach back with your right hand and hold onto your left ankle.
Use your grip to gently pull your upper body towards the left while, gazing under your left armpit. Keep your legs and hips as square as possible. If the hamstring stretch is too intense, bend your knees as much as needed. Hold for 3-5 breaths and then repeat on the other side.
Pictured above is a pyramid pose variation (modified pyramid) that I personally find more accessible and allows for more movement and stability. In this pose, you open your hamstrings, back, and even your chest a bit.
Begin in a runner’s lunge, with your hands on the ground, right foot in front under your right shoulder and left leg extended behind you on your left toes. Inhale, shine your chest forward as you lengthen your spine, exhale, straighten your right leg, keeping your left leg straight and on your toes. Keep your hands where they are.
Stay as high on your left toes as you need. The closer you bring your left heel to the ground, the more intense the hamstring stretch will be. If it feels like the ground is too far away, use props such as blocks, under your hands to bring the ground to you.
Pull your right hip back to square your hips. Inhale, come up onto your fingertips as you straighten your spine, reaching the crown of your head towards the front of the mat. Exhale, allow your body to fold over your right leg. Hold for 3-5 breaths before moving to the other side.
Downward Dog with Warrior II Legs Pose
This pose isn’t a traditional yoga pose but combines two for a unique variation of warrior II that is a fun opening pose.
From warrior II with your right foot forward and knee stacked over your ankle, place your right hand on the ground in front of your right foot. Extend your left arm towards the sky.
Allow your left hand, with your arm still extended, to come to the mat. Then walk your hands to the left until you’re facing the lefthand side of your mat, with your legs still in warrior II. By now your upper body will be in a downward dog position, with your arms extended in front of you, off of your mat. Lengthen your spine, pull your shoulders away from your ears, just like you would in downward dog and continue to push into both of your feet evenly, just like you do in warrior II. Hold for 3-5 breaths and then repeat on the other side.
One of the most used hip openers, pigeon is a favourite go-to, but not always a favourite to hold!
From downward dog, bring your right knee behind your right wrist. Place your right shin as parallel to the top of the mat as you can, but it’s not necessary to. Allow your hips to sink towards the mat and walk your left foot back if you feel there’s space in your body to do so.
If there is space under your right bum cheek, place a block, pillow, or blanket.
Inhale, reach the crown of your head to the ceiling to lengthen your spine, exhale stay upright or come onto your forearms. Inhale once again, exhale, allow your body to come to the mat. Stack your hands on top of each other and rest your forehead on them or reach your hands in front of you and bring your forehead to the mat. Hold for 10 breaths and then repeat on the other side.
More yoga to feel open videos
- Yoga for Stiffness
- Yoga for Boredom
- Warm Up Winter Yoga Flow
- Heart Chakra Yoga
- Yoga for Connection
- More At-Home Yoga Flows
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