Finding Joy in Movement

Anantasana/ Side Reclining Leg Lift Pose

Begin by laying down on your back. Roll over to the right and extend your right arm out so that there is a straight line from the feet all the way out through the right fingertips. Lift the head, bend the right arm, and then rest the head in the right palm.

Rotate the left thigh out so that the toes point up toward the ceiling (or moving in that direction), then bend the left left leg so that the knee draws back toward the head. Take the big toe with the index and middle finger (you can also use a strap here if you like) and extend the left leg. Press through the left heel to keep the foot strongly flexed.

You want to prevent the top hip from twisting back as much as possible. This twisting action is common in order to relieve the stretch on the inner hip and thigh, but try and resist that. Instead, ground the bottom hip by engaging the glutes and rotators and engage the obliques (internal on the left side and external on the right) to counter the twisting of the top hip. Look for a stretch not only in the hamstrings but in the adductors (the inner thigh) of the top leg. To really get a feel for keeping the hips stacked, you can try the pose with the back against the wall. Try and keep the bottom glutes pressed back into the wall as you raise the top leg.

With steady, even breath, stay in the pose for at least 30 seconds, then roll over and repeat for the same amount of time on the second side.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you or see you at one of my classes!

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