Introduction to Anatomy Through Yoga: Yoga Flow- Hip and Leg Flexors
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Now that we’ve reviewed the major muscles,
they’re attachments and actions of the lower extremity. We can move on to our yoga flow. This flow will begin with poses that stretch
each of the various muscles that we’ve talked about. By doing a pose that stretches out the muscle. We’re able to identify where the muscle is
in the body. To be clear when we stretch the muscle, we’re
usually in a pose that is doing the opposite action of what that muscle is responsible
for. We’ll be assisted in our yoga flow by our
yoga model, Arianna. You can begin in the seated pose and then
make your way onto your hands and knees to a tabletop pose. You can bring the shoulders over the wrists
and the hips over the knees making sure you’re rolled out onto the tops of the toes,. If you’d like here you can take a couple of
rounds of cat and cow dropping the belly on the inhale letting the gaze go up to the sky,
shoulders pulling back and with the exhale, tucking the tailbone under one backbone at
a time allowing the chin to tuck into the chest. With the next inhale make your way back to
a flat back table. And on the next breath in, you can let the
left leg extend out behind you and on the exhale, bring the left to plant in-between
the right and left hand. You can position the back foot to to accentuate
the stretch, letting the foot scoot back, dropping the knee, and rolling onto the tops
of the right toes. We’ll experience a deep psoas stretch here
and on the inhale, you can bring your right and left hand to plant on just above the left
knee. Interlacing the fingers, letting the shoulders
roll back, lengthen with the inhale. And on the exhale, you might go a little bit
deeper into that lunge on the front leg, noticing that by contracting the hamstrings, you can
create a deeper stretching sensation for the psoas muscle on the opposite side. If you’d like to palpate the psoas muscle
here, you can go ahead and bring the right hand onto the right anterior superior iliac
spine. The tip of your hipbone, you can bring the
fingers in about one inch and then down about two inches. And you’ll notice that there is a muscle belly
that is very taut as it is stretched out deep in this lunge. Here, as we have extension of the thigh at
the hip, we experience a deep psoas stretch which is our hip flexor. You can go ahead and bring the right hand
back onto the knee, letting the shoulders roll back using the next inhale. Let the arms lift up over the head and exhale
bring the hands to surround the foot once more. Walking the hands back gently as you make
your way into a half splits pose. For a nice hamstring stretch. The hips will come just about over the right
knee and the left heel will be planted with the left toes lifted up to deepen the stretch
on the inhale lengthen through the spine. Taking the gaze out in front of you and on
the exhale hinge from the hips, bringing the face down closer to the knee. Noticing the space that opens up in the hamstring
and the hamstrings on the left side here you’ll notice that you have the left leg extended
at the knee and you have the left thigh flexed at the hip. The hamstrings is normally responsible for
the opposite of those actions. Extension of the thigh at the hip and flexion
of the leg at the knee. In half splits pose, you experience a deep
hamstring stretch. With the next inhale, you can take the gaze
forward once more and on the exhale, walk the hands back and go ahead and step the foot
back to meet in a table top pose. On the next inhale, let the right leg extend
back and bend the right knee in towards the body. Let the left hand lift off of the mat and
reach the left hand back for the top of the right foot. Work to kick the right foot into the hand. .9999999999709 Noticing that as you kick it
you deepen the extension that you have at the right thigh. And here you have a pretty deep quadricep
stretch as you let the thigh extend at the hip and the leg flex at the knee. On the inhale, you can kick into the pose
maybe a half-inch deeper on the exhale you can release the bind and return to your hands
and knees. We’ll take the same few poses on the other
side to balance out the stretch. On the next inhale, the right like extend
back behind you and on the exhale, bring the right foot to plant in-between the two hands. On the inhale, you can lengthen. And on the exhale you can let the left leg
scoot back a bit, rolling out onto the tops of the toes. And when you’re ready, you can bring right
hand and left hand to interlace on top of the right knee. Again, to exaggerate the stretch, you can
contract the hamstrings gently. Notice that as you allow yourself to flex
into the lunging leg, you deepen the stretch on the contralateral psoas muscle. If you’d like here you can close the eyes
and find the breath as it moves into that space. Working to keep the length and the spine working
to stay grounded through the places in which your body contacts the mat. On the next inhale, you can release the bind
and let the arms lift up to the sky. Taking the gaze up and on the exhale, you
can plant the hands around the foot and then walk the hands back gently to find your way
into a hamstring stretch with the half splits pose. The right toes lift off of the mat on the
inhale the gaze goes forward as you lengthen the spine and on the exhale, you can hinge
from the hips bring the face closer to the knee. Once again, finding a deep hamstring stretch
as you flex the thigh at the hip and as you extend the right leg at the knee. When you’re ready on the next inhale, we can
let the gaze go forward, letting the spine lengthen and shoulders roll back and on the
exhale, walk the hands back towards the right foot hands surrounding the foot, making your
way back to a tabletop pose. We’ll take our final quadricep stretch on
the left side, letting the left leg extend back behind you, bending the left knee in
so that the foot comes closer to the body and then allowing the right hand to reach
back for the top of the left side. You can kick the left foot into the right
hand to deepen the extension that you have at that leg and create a deeper stretch for
the quadriceps muscle on the left side. Continue to stay with the movement of the
breath. Maybe letting each breath help you get a deeper
version of the pose. And when you’re ready on the next inhale,
you can lift up maybe just another half inch into the pose with the exhale release the
bind, unwind, and put both the hands and the feet back down onto the ground. Returning to a table top pose. You can tuck your toes under and on the next
breath, lift your knees to the back of the room, hips lifting up to the sky, moving into
a downward facing dog. The hands can plant deep into the Earth. Really thinking about all five fingertips
pressing into the mat, letting the shoulders roll back, maybe taking a couple full breaths
here in through the nose and out through the mouth, releasing completely. When you’re ready on the next inhale, you
can take the gaze forward and on the exhale, tip toe the feet up to meet the hands. With the inhale lengthen, bringing the back
flat like a table. And on the exhale hinge at the hips, folding
the body in towards the legs. This is a forward fold or Uttanasana. Here in order to emphasize the stretch that
we can get in the gluteus maximus from a forward fold, we’ll put a deep bend in the knees. You can soften the upper body onto the thighs. And you’ll notice that here we are flexing
the thighs at the hip. By doing so, we create a deep gluteus maximus
stretch. Since the glutes are normally responsible
for extension of the thigh. at the hip. On the inhale, you can lift up halfway once
more, bringing the back flat like a table, and then start rolling your way up, inhaling
one backbone at a time allowing the arms to lift up and over the head. Drawing the hands into heart center. Closing the eyes here, maybe taking a breath
to re-center and on the inhale, let the arms lift back up once more, circling up to the
sky. And on the exhale, you can sink your hips
back right away into a chair pose. Find the hips sinking back and find the knees
working to move back so that they’re exactly over the ankles or at least moving in that
direction. When you look down at your toes, you should
still be able to see all ten toes. You can keep the gaze up to the fingertips,
rolling the shoulders back. And as you start to feel your muscles working
to hold you still in this pose, we can take a look at our joint positions. We have flexion of the thigh at the hip and
flexion of the leg at the knee. Work to sit down maybe one inch lower on the
next exhale. Where do you feel the work coming from? The quadriceps is probably where you feel
the most intensity. The quads are partially responsible for hip
flexion here, which is why you feel them working. On the next inhale, you can let the right
hand come to the low back and you can gently press the low back into the hand in order
to help you tuck your pelvis in. You’ll notice that this engages the core a
little more and it might give you a stretch in the glutes. Go ahead and bring your right hand back up
to the sky. The gluteus maximus is normally responsible
for extension of the thigh at the hip. So with this flexion in Utkatasana, we feel
a slight stretch there. This is somewhat of an isometric contraction,
given that gravity would want to pull the hips down all the way to the ground our glutes
are also engaged in firing in order to maintain some amount of extension. The dual action of flexors and extensors in
this pose helps us to hold still. With the next breath in, reach upward for
length, and then exhale and release the pose. Coming to a forward fold. Inhale lifting up halfway. And on the exhale, you can plant your hands
on the mat and step your way back to a high plank. We’ll lower down with a Vinyasa letting the
elbows hug into the ribs as you come down in one straight line and on the inhale, roll
out onto the tops of the toes, letting the shoulders roll back heart shining up to the
sky with the exhale, tuck the toes under, and let the hips work up to the sky as the
shoulders pull back, returning to a downward facing dog. Here we’ll review our key body joint positions. Our ankles, are dorsiflexed especially as
the heels sink back towards the earth. And we have extension of the leg at the knee. We can take this dog for a walk. You can bend the right knee in towards the
Earth as the left heel sinks back. Where do you feel a stretching sensation in
the left leg? Most likely the calves and the hamstrings. The ankle here is further dorsiflexing, since
the gastrocs and the soleus are responsible for plantar flexion, with this dorsiflexion,
you feel a stretch in those muscles. Similarly, the hamstrings extend the thigh
at the hip and flex the leg at the knee. In this pose, the thigh is flexed at the hip
and the leg is extended at the knee. Therefore, we have a deep hamstring stretch. We can take this over to the other side, putting
a bend in the left knee as the right heel sinks back to the back to the earth. Here we can notice which muscles are contracting
to make this action possible. You might feel a slight contraction of the
quadriceps as they flex the thigh at the hip in order to maintain the bend in that knee. On the next exhale, you can return to neutral,
coming back to your downward facing dog. On the next inhale, you can let the left leg
lift up to the sky. And on the exhale, you can step the left foot
in-between the right and left hand. The right toes can pivot out to face the long
side of the mat and on the inhale, you can open up windmilling the arms out, bringing
them parallel to the earth for warrior two, Virabhadrasana B. You can make sure here that
the left knee is working to stay exactly over the left ankle, and that you have both hips
facing the long side of the mat. Let’s take a look at our different joint positions. At the luncheon. At the lunging leg we have flexion at the
hip. Our quadriceps and our iliopsoas are contracting
here to make this flexion possible. At both hips, we have lateral rotation, which
we will discuss further in our next video. At the extended leg we have extension at the
hip joint which is made possible by the gluteus maximus. At the lunging leg we also have flexion of
the leg which is made possible by the hamstrings and gastrocs. You’ll notice that at the back leg, which
is extended contraction of the gluteus maximus allows for stretching of the ipsilateral psoas
major. If you’d like to palpate your psoas muscle
again you’re welcome to do so. Bringing the right hand to the hip bone and
then coming in an inch and then down two inches, palpating the belly of the psoas as it crosses
over the pubic bone on its way to the lesser trochanter of the femur, you can bring your
hand parallel to the earth once more. And on the next exhale you can lift out of
the lunge bringing both legs straight. With the inhale, you can let the right hand
extend out over the edge of the mat. And on the exhale, you can flex downward to
reach for the knee, the calf, or the ankle. Find whatever grip is comfortable for you
as you make your way into Trikonasana or triangle pose. Here we’re working to make sure that the bend
stays only in the side plane. You can let the left hip open up slightly
to the sky, and you can take the gaze up to the left fingertips as you let the left shoulder
rollback. Taking a look at our joint positions, we’ll
notice that we have lateral rotation of our right hip and medial rotation of the left. There is lateral flexion of the spine and
there’s a deep stretching sensation along the right hamstrings as well as the left side
of the upper body. If you’d like to exaggerate the hamstring
stretch, you can play with thinking about contracting the psoas major on the right side,
noticing how this draws the ischial tuberosity or sit bone down further towards the back
of the mat to open up a deeper hamstring stretch. On the next exhale, you can take the gaze
back down to the, to the left toes. And on the inhale, you can lift out of the
bend bringing both hands parallel once more with the exhale, put a bend in the left knee,
lengthen through the inhale. And on the next exhale let both hands windmill
back around to surround the left foot, stepping your way back to a high plank holding through
that plank and with the exhale, lowering down elbows hugging the ribs inhale, rolling out
onto the tops of the toes, heart shining up to the sky. On the exhale, tucking the toes under, letting
the hips rise to a downward facing dog. We’ll take the same poses on the other side
for balance with the next inhale, letting the right toes lift up to the sky. And on the exhale, letting the right foot
step in-between the two hands, letting the left toes pivot out to face the long side
of the mat. On the inhale, both arms open out, coming
parallel to the earth. As the body turns to face the long side of
the mat, shoulders rolling back, maybe closing the eyes, taking a couple of full rounds of
breath as you continue engaging and contracting the different parts of the body that are working
here Paying attention to the quadriceps as they engage to help you lunge A little bit
deeper into that front leg. Noticing the gluteus maximus as it helps you. To get a little bit further with that extension
in the back leg. On the next inhale, you can lift out of the
lunge bringing both legs straight with the exhale, reaching out over the edge of your
mat and then letting yourself bend towards your side, bringing the right hand to meet
the ankle, calve or the foot. You can let the gaze turn up to the left fingertips,
rolling the left shoulder up towards the sky Maybe closing the eyes in your triangle pose. Continuing to notice how if you think about
moving the pelvis towards the back of the mat, which involves a subtle contraction of
the psoas muscle, You can really exaggerate the stretch that you get in the right hamstrings
here. Use the inhale to lengthen. On the next exhale, you can turn the gaze
back down to look at the right toes. And on the inhale, lift out of out of the
pose, bringing both hands parallel once more. With the exhale, find your way back into your
warrior two and exhale. You can bring both hands to surround the right
foot. Stepping your way back to your high plank,
lowering down, letting the elbows hug the ribs, inhale, rolling onto the tops of the
toes. The heart shines up to the sky and exhale. Tuck the toes under. Hips lift up into a downward facing dog. When you’re ready here, you can drop the knees
down towards the earth and you can let the knees spread apart towards the sides of the
mat. Rolling, letting the hip sink back towards
the heel and letting the forehead come down to the earth, the shoulder, sinking back into
a child’s pose. Taking rest for as long as you’d like.

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