10 Super Easy and Gentle Yoga Modifications Anyone Can Do

Pigeon

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This pose is an essential hip opener in any yoga practice.

Assisted

  1. Begin in a tabletop position. Bend right knee and line knee up with right wrist. Draw right foot over towards the left side of your body and flex foot.
  2. Press into hands to lift hips and straighten left leg back behind you with toes untucked.
  3. Place a block underneath right hip (either widest or shortest side of block), then square hips and shoulders forward. Inhale to lift chest. Exhale to walk hands out in front. You can stay on your hands or deepen the stretch by lowering down to forearms. Hold for 8 breaths then switch sides.

Advanced

  1. Begin in the same position as you did for the assisted variation. This time, don’t use a block so that the hips can sink closer to the ground and achieve a deeper stretch.
  2. Square hips and shoulders forward and on an exhale, walk hands out in front of you. Lower to your elbows (or for the deepest stretch, lower all the way to your forehead with your arms out in front of you). Hold for 8 breaths, then switch sides.

Tip: If you experience any knee pain, come out of the pose and switch to this supine variation: Lie on back with knees bent and feet on the ground. Pick up right leg and cross right ankle over left thigh. Press right thigh open with right hand to feel the stretch through hip. Hold for 8 breaths and then switch sides.

Full Splits

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This pose requires flexibility in your hamstrings and hip flexors.

Assisted

  1. Begin in a low lunge position with right foot forward. Take hands down to frame right foot and place blocks underneath hands.
  2. Straighten out right leg as you inhale and walk hands with the blocks back a few inches. Back toes can either be tucked or untucked.
  3. Once right leg is straight, exhale to fold chest towards leg. Flex right toes back towards you. Keep slight engagement through right quadriceps and hold for 8 breaths, then switch sides.

Advanced

  1. Begin in a low lunge position with one block off to the side. Place hands on the ground to frame right foot. Pressing weight into your hands, begin to slide right foot forward, bringing you towards a full split position.
  2. Keep hips square and place a block underneath right upper thigh. Keep slight engagement in quadriceps and flex right toes back. Engage core and keep hands on the ground or place them on hips with a lifted chest.
  3. If you feel like you can go further, remove the block and allow your hips to sink all the way towards the ground. Hold for 8 breaths and switch sides.

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