Right after you finish leg day or a long run or a strong standing yoga series, you probably crave a solid lower body stretch.
The lower body is literally overflowing with muscles that support and mobilize it (and allow us to move about effortlessly in our everyday lives), so it’s challenging to target all of them when you stretch. But there are a few key muscles that tend to fatigue quicker than others and that really feel nice to relax and release with a soothing stretch.
Use These 8 Yoga Poses for a Rewarding Lower Body Stretch
While no props are absolutely essential to practice these poses, if you’re feeling extra tight, you may wish to grab a pillow or blanket to sit on top of to give you a little bit more mobility when you stretch.
1. Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)
This classic yoga posture gently stretches the adductors of the hip (or the inner thigh muscles).
Find a comfortable seated position and sit up tall through your spine
Draw the soles of your feet together and open your knees out wide
Slide your heels as close to or as far away from your pelvis as you’d like
Option to keep your back body lifted or option to fold forward over your legs
You can choose to keep an elongated spine as you fold or to round your back and release your chin to your chest—choose the option that feels best in this moment
Hold for a few long, deep breaths before slowly releasing out
2. Head-to-Knee Pose (Janu Sirsasana)
Another classic yoga pose, this posture is perfect for a lower body stretch because it simultaneously releases your hips, hamstrings, calves, and lower back.
Start in a comfortable seated position with your legs stretched forward in front of you
Bend your right knee and plant your foot onto the floor
Open your hip as you release your knee toward the right and draw the sole of your right foot into your inner left thigh
Option to keep your back body lifted or to fold your torso forward over your left leg
Again, you can choose to lengthen or round your spine
Hold for a few long, deep breaths and then slowly release and switch sides