As westerners our hips are typically tight from having been raised sitting in chairs, engaging in athletic endeavors such as running, cycling and skiing, etc. And being competitive in nature it is not uncommon that western yoga students damage knee ligaments by forcing lotus. The following pose will create and train external rotation at the hip joint safely and effectively. Do this pose for 2 minutes on each side daily for three to six to twelve months. 1. Begin by lying on your back in the correct starting position. Use either a neck support roll or head pad for support. 2. Bring both knees up to the chest and release one leg to the floor keeping the ankle dorsiflexed and the leg flat to the floor. Dorsiflexion is the movement which decreases the angle between the foot and the leg, so that the toes are brought closer to the shin. 3. Place both hands onto the shins of the bent leg (or to the underside of the thigh if the shin is not possible) and draw that thigh in toward the torso without allowing the opposite leg to lift from the floor. Keep the hips bones level and visualize a straight line from one hipbone to the other hip bone. The quadriceps of the extended leg is actioned with the shin pressing to the calf. 4. The shoulders are on the floor and the shoulder blades drawn downward toward the tailbone. Draw the front ribcage to the back ribcage with the bandhas active. 5. Hold for at least 120 seconds (count to 60 twice) breaths on each side.
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