Enjoy a yoga pose that is great for hikers, Supine Pigeon, or Eye of the Needle Pose. The benefits of the pose include stretching the muscles of the hips, hamstrings, glutes, and IT Band or iliotibial band, the thick band of fascia running from the hip to the knee that often succumb to tightness with the repetitive movement of hiking. Relax into Supine Pigeon, any time throughout the day as a gentle way to stretch, release tension in the body as well as bring attention to the breath.
To do Supine Pigeon: Come to lie down on the back on a yoga mat, blanket or towel. Option to place the head on a folded towel or blanket for support. Take a preparatory breath, a smooth and long inhalation and exhalation. Take one more deliberate inhale. On an exhale breath, draw the knees in towards the chest and rock from side-to-side, in order to massage the muscles of the low-back. Bring the feet and knees hip-width distance and bring the legs parallel to each other.
Cross the right leg over the left, placing the right ankle above the left knee, working to bring the foot in line with the knee. Flex the right toes towards the right knee in order to protect the knee joint. Bring the palms through the space in between the legs, clasping the hands below the left knee or use a strap if the palms don’t clasp.
Draw the shoulders blades down the back towards the hips as well as drawing them down towards the ground. Gently draw the left knee in closer towards the chest, working to keep the right knee and ankle in one line. Gently press the right knee away from you to deepen the stretch.
Stay here and breathe, 3-5 full-rounds of breath (one inhalation and one exhalation equals one round of breath). With patience and focus on the breath, the body will begin to relax, releasing tension in the hips, legs and buttox. Repeat on the other side, bringing awareness to the breath. Notice how you feel after focusing on the breath in order to release tension, bringing a sense of vitality and “lightness” back into the body.
Check with your doctor before performing any form of exercise including yoga. Always honor your body. If a posture gives you pain, gently come out.
Christi Iacono, owner of In Rhythms Yoga
Christi Iacono is a certified yoga teacher, at the 500 hour level, and she is the owner of In Rhythms Yoga, in Clairemont. IRY is a small neighborhood studio in Clairemont, S.D., located in the Mounts streets. Christi has experienced many positive physical and mental transformations from her regular yoga practice. She enjoys sharing her experience, passion, and dedication with her students. She believes that yoga is accessible to all. Rather than forcing someone’s body into a pose, Christi carefully works with each individual to find the variation that will best serve their body. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
IRY offers regularly scheduled classes on, Sat., Sun. and Wed. mornings as well as a Tues. evening class. Go to www.inrhythmsyoga.com to see the full schedule, instructors and for private lessons.