Leg Cradle Pose - Hindolasana

Leg Cradle Pose - YanvaYoga

Contents

Leg Cradle Pose or Hindolasana (Hin-dole-AA-sun-aa) is often used as a warm up for hip opening postures and leg stretches. A simple seated hip opener that gently stretches the hamstrings, pelvic floor muscles, groin, and gluteus maximus, it also helps to release tensions in the lower back and hips due to long hours at a desk. In Sanskrit, “hindola” means swinging cradle, and “asana” means posture or yoga pose.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Sit with your legs extended (Dandasana or Staff Pose). Press your hands to the floor to lengthen your spine.
Step 2
Bend your left leg and draw your knee to the side. Bring your hands under your foot, cradle your foot and lower shin. Turn your right leg in and extend out through your leg from the core of your pelvis.
Step 3
Lift the left leg up and bring it parallel to the floor. Extend the toes of your left foot. Keep your ankle square by spreading it evenly through both sides of your ankle. Draw your low back in and up. Press the thigh bone of your right foot into the floor.
Step 4
Hold your left foot in the elbow of your right hand. Wrap your left hand around the outside of your left knee and around your lower leg. Grab your right wrist with the left hand. Inhale, and move the left knee slightly away from your body.
Step 5
Exhale, and draw your shin and leg in toward your torso. Press the big toe of your left foot into your right forearm just above the elbow. Draw your lower back in and lift from the core of your pelvis through the crown of your head.
Step 6
Stay in this position for 30 to 60 seconds, then release and repeat the process on the other side.

Benefits and Contraindications

Benefits

Improves posture

Opens the hips

Improves spine and overall flexibility

Reduces stress and anxiety

Strengthens the inner thigh muscles

Calms the mind

Opens the hamstrings and groin

Contraindications

Arthritis

Injury to the hips, knees, lower back, or spine

Photo poses in different angles

Modifications, Props and Tips

  • Beginners should ensure the slow and rhythmic movement in baby cradle pose. Even if it is a beginner’s level asana, cradling your legs fast can result in cramps in the legs or hip region.
  • Try to bring your leg as close as you can to your chest. This is important for stretching and feeling the effects of the asana in the abdominal region. Place a folded blanket under the respective hip to lift the folded leg further up.
  • A practitioner is required to maintain normal breathing after reaching the final stage of asana.
  • If baby cradle causes your lower back to round a lot, or doesn’t feel good for your knee, try a seated figure four stretch instead, planting your feet on the floor and your palms or fingertips on the floor behind you. Lean back (keeping a long spine); cross your right ankle over your left thigh, keeping your right foot flexed; and walk your hands back until you find a position where you’re able to maintain a gentle curve in your lower back.

Frequently Asked Questions

Variations

Top Preparatory Pose

Top Follow-Up Pose

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Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings. After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva. To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics. Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga. At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.