Seated Hip Openers (King Pigeon, Bull’s Seat, Ankle to Knee)

Welcome to Yogea Asana Lab. This section features three seated hip openers — King Pigeon (Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana); Bull’s Seat (Gomukasana); Ankle to Knee (Vamadevasana). Hip openers are key in tension releasing and emotionally unblocking routines as they release toxic residue and unresolved thought patterns and conditioned beliefs that tend to harbor in the pelvic and lower back area. Hip openers facilitate a smooth and unimpeded breath and provide direct access to the pool of latent creativity that they help unleash. Standing hip openers are optimal for the opening warm-up series. Because seated hip stretches require increased flexibility they are best placed in the winding down section of the practice, when the body is warm enough to fold easily. The first hip opener King Piggeon is fairly deep as it requires a squared hip alignment. It stretches the psoas, the groin, the hamstrings and the gluteus. The second one — Ankle to Knee provides a deep stretch of the hip flexor and requires an ankle to knee placement as the shin and thigh bone fall at a right angle. Both sit bones are firmly rooted, as the spine is erect and the pelvis is buoyant. Once the pose is set and easily attained a forward bending action becomes possible. The third — Bull’s Seat facilitates a deep gluteus medius stretch and requires the grounding of both sitting bones into the floor and a stacking of one knee on top of the other, and potentially a forward bending action with a straight spine. In all the seated hip openers the emphasis goes toward dropping both sit bones into the floor, toward evening and squaring the hips, toward releasing the tailbone into the Earth, while shooting energy through the crown of the head. All three poses stimulate the lower abdominal processes of filtering and sifting and accelerate the dissolution of outdated belief patterns and accumulated toxic residue due to unresolved emotions. They are easier to practice in the evening than in the morning and are key to a tension releasing sequence at the end of a busy, hectic or sedentary day in the office.
Yogea Asana Lab is not a yoga routine and should be regarded solely as an educational platform to reinforce proper postural alignment and improve the quality of your practice. The approach is integrated as poses are grouped into different targeted categories. Each set of poses is demonstrated only on one side. The route of assuming poses and releasing through counter-poses is mapped clearly and slowly, allowing time for assimilation and grasping. The main objective is to guide you in and out of poses safely and smoothly, as well as to acquaint you with basic anatomical and energetic principles that weave the geometry of every asana. In turn, you will be able to perform the Yogea routines with clarity, precision and abandonment. As you follow the tips of proper alignment you will feel more stable, ready to deepen your practice and eager to transition gracefully from one stage to the next both on the mat and in life.

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