Legs up the Wall with Hip Release

Let’s continue where we left off with Legs up the Wall and add a hip release that will give you even greater range of motion in your hips.

Lie on your back with your legs resting against a wall. Your buttocks can be 6 to 12 inches away from the wall. Judge the distance by the sensation you feel in the back of your legs. Look for the beginning of the gentle sensation of lengthening and not a strong pull.

Check that your pelvis is not tilting to one side or the other. Imagine there is a full glass of water resting on your belly just below your navel and your job is to not spill it.

Now begin to pay close attention to the sensation you are feeling in the back of your legs. If you are feeling any pulling behind your knees or at your sit bones, move farther away from the wall. The sensation should always be in the large “belly” or center of the muscle.

Without moving your buttocks, cross your right ankle over your left ankle and slide your right ankle down your left shin. Move only in your comfort zone – don’t force anything. You are only moving your leg bone in your hip socket. Your pelvis does not move.

If your right ankle moves past your left knee and towards your hip, you can bend your left knee slightly. Be sure your buttocks stay on the floor. Remember, you are moving the leg in the hip socket and NOT the pelvis.

Maintain this position for several breaths working your way up to 1 to 2 minutes. Then straighten your left leg, slide your right ankle up your left shin and uncross the ankles. Do not move your pelvis. Take a few breaths and feel the difference between the right and the left side before you repeat on the opposite side.

This stretch is safe and beneficial for everyone if you practice without pulling. Pulling yourself beyond the current movement available in your hips can cause injury. Moving in your pain free range of motion will result in greater mobility for your hips!

Theresa Evans, RN, RYT500, Certified Critical Alignment Therapist, is the owner of Stone Path Yoga Studio, located on Highway 57 in Sister Bay. For more information call 920.421.1607, email [email protected] or visit