A simple seated hip opener that gently stretches the hamstrings, pelvic floor muscles, groins, and gluteus maximus muscles. Baby Cradle Pose also helps to release tensions at the lower back and hips due to long hours of desk work.
- Begin sitting with your legs in Easy Pose (Sukhasana or cross legged).
- Reach down, grab the outside of your left foot and bring it into the crux of the right elbow.
- Wrap your right arm around the outside of your left ankle.
- Reach around your head with the other arm and clasp your fingers together.
- Cradling your leg and rocking it side to side, create a stretch in your left hip and IT band, along the side of your leg.
- As you inhale, lengthen your spine and roll your shoulders back. Take 8-10 breaths then switch sides.
- Stretches and Strengthens: The Baby Cradle Pose a seated hip opener stretches the hamstrings, quads, abductors (groin), gluteus maximus, and pelvic floor muscles. The stretching and strengthening of these muscles helps to support the hips and lower limbs preparing for more challenging yoga poses.
- Lower Back: With the stretching of the hips, the tensions and stiffness at the lower back are released. It can therefore be practiced by students even with severe back pains as the posture is safe for the back.
- Flexibility: The knees, hips, thighs, and lower back are flexed in Baby Cradle Pose (Hindolasana) improving in the range of motion while reducing the tightness of the said muscles. Flexing the groin muscles (abductors) builds flexibility strengthening the entire legs.
Any persons with injury to the hips, knees, lower back, and spine, should take precautions with this pose.
Students with arthritis of the hips, knees, and spine should practice this, seated on a cushion or even a chair and with complete guidance from a yoga teacher.
If Baby Cradle causes your lower back to round a lot, or doesn’t feel good for your knee, then try a seated figure 4 stretch instead.
- Fold your feet on the ground (one leg on the other).
- Cross your right ankle over your left thigh, while keeping the right foot flexed.Lean back, lengthen your spine.
- Try to press your knee and bring it towards the ground.
- Find a position where you’re able to maintain a gentle curve in your lower back