Between the beta test of Flat Mat Regionals and class planning for RollerCon, things have been busy here in Flat Mat land. And even though I teach yoga–and a slower flow at that!–when things get crazy, sometimes it can be hard to slow down and practice. I’ve been sneaking in short practices wherever I can, enough to pause for a little bit and get grounded again.
With that in mind, I want to introduce you to one of my current favorite poses: twisted supine pigeon. I shared this during the sequences for Week 2 of Flat Mat Regionals, and I want the rest of you to experience the magic of this hip stretch, too! It’s great because it’s easily incorporated into a quick yoga practice, as you take supine pigeon and then roll onto your side.
More importantly, it’s also fantastic as a derby stretch, because it hits tensor fascia latae (TFL), one of the outer hip muscles that gets a lot of use during plow stops and crossovers. I often stay longer while I’m stretching the left side–after years of skating left, that’s the one that has a lot less mobility for me! Feel free to do the same on your tighter side; though we want to stretch fairly evenly, we’re looking for balance in the body in the long run.
- This is a great stretch for tensor fascia latae (TFL), which is the muscle toward the front your outer hip that connects to your iliotibial tract (IT band). With all those plow stops, this muscle needs some serious TLC. (I hear it’s a fan of Crazy Sexy Cool.)
What to watch for:
- Keep the supine pigeon position of your legs as best as possible while rolling onto your side. It’ll help you set things up more easily.
- Hold your ankle rather than opening both arms into the twist. As you start moving your knee forward (if you choose to do that), you can gently pull on it to deepen the stretch.
- Depending on your body, you might feel this in different places: piriformis (as in supine pigeon); side of your waist; TFL; or the entire length of your IT band.
When to practice this pose:
- As part of your warm-up stretches – move from supine pigeon into this one
- Post-practice or after a bout
- Anytime, really! This pose doesn’t require any warming up