Leap Day Hip Opening Yoga: A 6-Minute Sequence

4 min read

Monday (February 29) is Leap Day, a day that only comes around every four years and is worth acknowledging.

Women were allowed to ask men for their hand in marriage during Leap Day. If the man refused to accept, he had to buy a dress, or in some upper-class European societies, 12 pairs of gloves, to cover the shame of having no engagement ring.

The people who are born on this day are called “leaplings” and “leapers,” with special talents. However, couples in Greece consider the date to be unlucky, and 1 in 5 plan to avoid marriage during leap years.

The frog, which is a common symbol for Leap Day, is a fun fact.

In honor of Leap Day, we’ve created a hip-opening yoga sequence that ends with Frog Pose.

Goddess Pose

Start in a wide-legged position on your mat. Turn your heels in and toes out at a 45-degree angle. Your hips should be lowered between your knees as you bend your knees to the side. Bring your hands up to your inner knees to provide support.

Lift your sternum and press your knees apart with your hands on the inner knees. You can move your hips and groin from side to side while you do this.

Goddess Squats

Straighten your legs, circle your arms overhead, and then lower yourself back into Goddess Pose.

Repeat the exercise 7 or 8 more times, extending your arms on your inhale while squatting on your exhale. Then, hold the Goddess Pose with your hands together at your heart for five rounds of breathing.

Wide-Legged Forward Fold

Exhale, bring your hands up to your hips, and turn your heels out. Inhale, lift your chest a little, and exhale; fold your legs forward, bending the knees if necessary.

Release your hands on the floor or a pair of blocks. As you lengthen your spine, keep your legs engaged and press evenly down on the inner and outer edges of your feet. Breathe in and out several times.

Wide Side Lunges

Slowly walk your hands toward your right leg from your Wide-Legged forward fold. Start by bending your right knee and turning your right foot out. Turn your left toes upwards, and lengthen your left leg.

The bottom knee can be bent as much as you like or as little as your knee joint allows. You can bring your sitting bone to your heel by bending your knees halfway in the direction of your feet or bending each knee halfway.

To move from side to side, inhale and straighten your right foot while pressing down with your hands. This will bring you back into the Wide-Legged Fold Forward. On your exhale, walk your hands to the left. Turn your left toes out and your knee. Then lunge. On an inhale, press back through the center and lunge to the right on your exhale.

Repeat from side to side four or five times. Rest in a wide-legged forward fold.

Frog Pose

Fold your mat in two and place a towel or blanket folded on the floor near the folded edge. Start in the top position with one knee on the mat and the other on the blanket.

Slowly, start to spread your legs apart. Turn your feet out and flex them firmly, then lower the inner edges of the toes. Continue to widen your knees and lower your forearms.

Keep your spine straight, and try to keep your outer hips aligned with your outer legs. As you breathe, press down with your elbows. Lightly draw in your lower ribs. Hold for ten deep breaths.

Press your hands up and pull both knees in. Once your knees are under you, relax in a Child’s Pose.

Frog Pose can be a killer while doing it, but doesn’t it feel so yummy after? Feel free to take a moment and move through your hips when you’re done, and let us know what you think in the comments below!

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