You may recall this pose from yoga class but did you know Windshield Wipers Hip Release can also be done in Thai Yoga Massage? I feel this gentle belly-down twist is sooo under-rated. It is such a simple move, yet relieves the low back, massages the quads, stretches the pelvic floor and improves the range of motion of the hips! That’s a lot for one little pose.
AND it gives us great insight into the asymetries of our body. This version will feel different to the receiver than it does in a yoga class when they perform the action on their own. Much of this is because we often tend to limit our own range of motion without realizing it. As a Thai Yoga Massage practitioner, look at this as a diagnostic tool, observing both the asymmetries themselves and how those asymmetries change as you work through several repetitions of this posture. This will help you to see whether restrictions are bound in the hips, knees or low back. This knowledge will help you to better plan your next move to increase your partner’s ease and relaxation!
How to do Windshield Wipers Hip Release:
- With your partner on their belly, stand by their feet.
- Lift the feet to bend the knees as you walk toward their knees.
- One side at a time, use a gentle lift and a nudge from your foot to move your partner’s knees a little bit wider.
- Use a side lunge to keep yourself stable as you gently take your partner’s feet to one side then the other, respecting any resistance you might feel.
- Keep this up, noting the movement it creates in the low back and hips, for at least six repetitions before lowering their feet back to the floor.
Benefits: Opens the low back and hips, stretches the pelvic floor, provides a gentle spinal twist and minor massage of quadriceps.
Cautions: Respect your partner’s comfortable range of motion to avoid hurting their knees.
This is SUCH a great pose, whether on your own or in a massage. To do the Windshield Wipers Hip Release on your own, lie on your belly with your knees slightly apart. Bend the knees and take your feet from side to side. This will feel different depending on how close together or far apart your knees are. Experiment to find what feels best for you.
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