My Favorite Yoga Pose: Stretching the ITB anf Piriformis Muscle

Copied from http://www.athleta.net/2011/08/03/before-bed-yoga/

Really stretches out the ITB and Piriformis Muscle

 

Gomukhasana – Cow Face Pose

Night-night notes: Make this first seated posture a time when you close your eyes, bring your awareness to your breath to slow it down, and make it your intention to transition from day to night. As you inhale, count up to four; as you exhale, count down from four.

Gomukhasana -  – Cow Face Pose

  1. From a kneeling position, cross your right leg over your left, the right foot ending up flat on the floor. You’ll need to shift your hips to the left, so that your left foot comes outside the right hip (so you’re not sitting on it).
  2. Take hold of your right ankle and gently pull it back towards your left hip. You want to stack your knees as much as possible, so you can also apply some gentle pressure with your palms to the outside of your knees to help do that. If stacking the knees is challenging, place a yoga block or blanket in between them. Try to position the heels equidistant from the hips.
  3. Your sit bones should be grounded on the floor. If this is difficult (and if you had trouble stacking your knees in the previous step), place some support (block or blanket) under your seat to elevate it.
  4. Do a few gentle shoulder shrugs to release tension. On your inhale, lift the shoulders up towards the ears and on the exhale let them drop down the back.
  5. Take your thumbs and press them into the arches of your feet. Keep applying pressure as you hold the pose, or move your thumbs up and down the arches if you prefer.
  6. Hold for 25-50 breaths, or 3-5 minutes, then switch sides (left knee on top).
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