Build strength and find freedom in those hips with this lower-body focused power yoga practice!
This empowering yoga flow will have your quads + glutes burning and your hip joints releasing, all while deceptively challenging your core as well. Though this workout is coined a power flow, this practice moves at a comfortable pace, giving all practitioners the opportunity to find their alignment and explore the depths of their postures. With that being said, I do not break down the proper alignment/technique for each posture, so it will be helpful to be somewhat familiar with the yoga poses; this practice is best suited for those who are beginning to strengthen their practices, as I offer modifications for practitioners to explore various levels of depth in their hip-releasing postures. Of course, experienced practitioners can benefit from this practice as well, exploring new transitions, finding creative ways to make this flow their own, and adding any other movements that would more fully challenge their practice(s).
The greatest take-away from this practice, for me, is to move intentionally. I know I talk about moving intentionally in all my practices, but when working with mobility, it’s important to not only be able to listen to your body, but to understand your body’s signals and have the foresight of when to back off from exploring and when to push a little further.
In order to build functional strength, we have to challenge our muscles utilizing the full range of the respective joint — but that doesn’t mean we immediately start working the full range. For many, full range mobility in a joint is something that we have to work up to. No one can walk into a gym and start lifting 500 lbs without consistent + persistent training; for those that can lift 500 lbs (wow, that’s impressive!), they again, don’t just start tifitng the heaviest weight possible—they warm up properly first. These same concepts apply with mobility: with consistent and persistent training we can achieve full range of the joint, supported with the strength of the surrounding muscles. However, if we immediately begin working the full range (for those that are hypermobile and naturally have the ability to work full range), or pushing our joints’ limits (for those that physically cannot work full range) without first warming and repeatedly engaging the surrounding muscles, we risk preventable injury.
With all that being said, I encourage you to take the integration and warming portions of this practice mindfully, only squatting and lunging as low as your joints initially allow. Of course, the levels of depth can change over the course of the practice as your muscles warm; however, even if you have the ability to sit all the way down in your first chair pose, I encourage you to try not starting in full depth, and explore what it feels like when you gradually allow your muscles to engage and warm.
As a hypermobile individual, I understand that it’s hard to not dive right into the fullest expression of a pose; if I can do it without warming up, why do I need to warm up? While I still struggle with reminding myself to move more intentionally at times, I have learned from personal experience with injury, as well as through my professional experience in teaching, that giving my body the time it needs to fully connect with the physical demands I’m placing on it allows me to move with greater strength and control, in addition to helping me cultivate a greater internal and external awareness.
I hope that you find empowerment and release in this practice, and that it challenges you beyond your physical limits. Leave a comment below letting me know what felt amazing + what challenged you!