Even if you can't quite get to the full pose of Frog, spending some time in Tadpole will most definitely help tightness in your hips. I have the cutest model for this pose for you today!
Benefits of this pose
- lovely pull along the inside lines of the legs, which is where the Liver, Kidney and Spleen meridian lines run (acupressure points for these energy lines)
- works deeply into the groin, and adductors
- there is a slight backbend, so good for the low back, especially after sitting hunched over a sewing machine or cutting fabric for long periods of time
- if your arms are outstretched, this stimulates the upper body meridians: the Lung, Heart, Small and Large Intestine energy lines; also a lovely stretch across the shoulders for same reasons as previous bullet
- aids in digestion
- helps to relieve cramps, both menstrual and digestive
Getting into the pose
It's best to get onto a yoga mat or a quilt, even a couple of quilts, or a folded quilt beneath your knees. This provides padding and helps the knees gently slide apart as gravity works its magic! Brady has a quilt I made for Brianne 11 years ago (before he was born!) doubled up and then his Halloween quilt I made him folded under his knees for extra padding.
Tadpole or Half Frog
Spread your knees apart as wide as they will go with just a slight tugging feeling. Keep your toes together. Stretch your arms out in front of you, draping your chest towards the ground. You can roll another quilt up under your chest if you like to rest on, or, if you have just eaten or want to relieve cramping in the lower abdomen, allow your belly to hang suspended. This is great for aiding digestion but also helps relieve cramping. Stay here for 2-3 minutes.
If you'd like to go into the full frog, go to this next stage first. Raise your hips so that they are directly over your knees. This increases the backbend in your lower back. See if your knees may like to come further apart. If you are okay here after several breaths, then proceed to full frog. You can't quite see how Brady is resting his forehead on his right forearm, but you can see his left arm fully extended.
Turn your feet out, Charlie Chaplin style. Allow the knees to slide apart, letting gravity do the work. Your job is to surrender to that pull, relaxing into this intense tug. However, as Bernie says, you want to feel sensation. Do not make it sensational!
If your nose gets squished (ask me how I know this) or it is too intense to rest on your chin, then rest your forehead on a forearm. Just be sure to switch arms part way through. The tug you get along the backs of your arms, into your shoulder blades, and in the lower back to some degree, is quite delicious. And then there's the pull into the groin and hips. Lovely. Stay here for 3 minutes or more, breathing slowly in and out through your nose, keeping relaxing as much as you can to get into the connective tissues.
Now. How to get out?!
Easy. Just slide forward onto your tummy. Extend one leg at a time by tucking your toes under, lifting the kneecap to straighten the leg and pushing into the heel. Do the other leg. Be still and feel. It can be fairly intense. You may want to groan as you come out! But. Notice. Breathe. Then maybe rock over the pelvis a few times, or bend your legs at the knees and wave the lower limbs back and forth windshield wipers style to release.
Remember you can find tons and tons more information on Frog and all things Yin Yoga at Bernie Clark's website, Yin Yoga.