[Pose Of the Week] Loosen Up In Shoelace Pose (Intermediate)

Increase hip flexibility, relieve back pain, improve circulation, and more with Shoelace Pose…

Shoelace Pose (Padukabandhini Asana) is a beginner-to-intermediate level yoga pose that forms the base for several related poses, such as Cow Face Pose, and is most commonly found in Yin Yoga sequences.

Shoelace Pose offers a deep stretch for the hips and legs, and it can be helpful for those suffering from low back pain or limited hip mobility. It increases hip flexibility, releases tension in the lower back, stretches the glutes, hamstrings, and inner thighs, and improves circulation throughout the lower body. This pose is also thought to stimulate digestion, as well as the gallbladder and urinary meridians and the Root and Sacral chakras.

Shoelace Pose is a great warmup or cooling pose for other hip opening poses such as Tree Pose, Lotus Pose, or One-Legged King Pigeon Pose.

When practicing this pose, you may wish to place a folded blanket between the knees for comfort, and if you have limited flexibility, you may place a bolster between your legs and your chest for support as you fold forward. To modify the pose, you may sit on a cushion or block, or leave the bottom leg stretched straight out in front of you in Half Shoelace Pose. For a slightly different stretch, you can bend to the side instead of forward to target the muscles in the side body.

This pose may aggravate sciatica or knee or back injuries. If you suffer from these conditions, try Supine Pigeon Pose instead. Those who are pregnant should skip this one after the first trimester.

How to Do Shoelace Pose:

  • From a seated position, knees bent, feet flat on the floor, bring your left foot to the outside edge of your right hip, sliding it underneath your right knee.
  • Bring your right foot to the outside edge of your left hip, stacking the knees on each other.
  • OR:
  • From all fours, place one knee behind the other, take your heels as wide as is comfortable, then sit back between your heels.
  • Ground both sitting bones and eventually fold forward from the hips, allowing your spine to round.
  • You are looking for sensations along the hips and in the buttocks and maybe a gentle stretch along the spine.
  • Hold for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • To come out of the pose, use your hands to gently press the floor away and slowly roll up your spine. Place your hands behind you and lean back to release the legs.
  • Take a few moments to integrate the effects of this pose before performing it on the other side.
Learn more at EkhartYoga.com

(Image Source: Christy Collins, photographer, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.)


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