At first blush, chronic or acute tight hip might sound like an ailment reserved to the 60 plus crowd – the reality is actually contrary. Tight hip is a common problem, affecting a diverse range of people, including runners, cyclists, dancers, and even office workers. Yoga Instructor Marissa Rykiss, of Moksha Yoga, shares with us her favorite stretch to remedy those tight hips, called the threading the needle pose
First and foremost, you want to situate yourself on your yoga mat: the length of your body should be the same as the length of the mat. Lay yourself down onto your back, with your knees bent, and your feet in front of your hips.
Start with your left leg, and reach it up to the sky. Slowly begin to pivot that extended leg to the left, so that your toes turn out, and then create a “figure four” shape by crossing your ankle on top of your thigh. TIP: While the automatic tendency might be sickle or curve the ankle, you should actually be flexing the ankle strongly, as to better protect the left knee. To get the best stretch, roll your left thigh away from you, and stay in this position for as long as you desire.
To take this pose one step further in intensity, lift your right toes off the ground, reach your left arm through your legs, and lace them behind your right thigh. If you can keep your hips and your shoulders comfortably against the mat, you can drop your hands down to your right shin, for an even deeper stretch.
Finally, to take this pose down in intensity, use a yoga block to support your right foot, so that is no longer floating in mid-air.