How to meditate like a baby: hip mobility stretches, part 3

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Diving deeper into hip mobility for easier meditation

There’s so much instruction out there on how to meditate. Unfortunately, not much of it helps you if you can’t physically do what they say! Because so many folks have tight hips from living life in a chair, you probably know what I’m talking about.

You may be able to push, poke, and prod yourself into a position that looks right, but you won’t be able to hold it for long before your body cries out for relief.

I’d rather be enjoying my breath and feeling calm, wouldn’t you? That’s why I made this series. This is the 3rd of 4 videos that show you how to open your hips step by step for easier sitting meditation. This sequence slowly develops the mobility, muscular tone, and balance that hip joints love so much.

Here are the three stages of movement shown in the video:

1) Bearing weight on hands on a chair, reach behind you with one foot, send your hips back, and transfer weight to that foot and shin. Explore the movement forward up onto your front foot standing, then backwards and down to the ground onto your back foot.

2) Crawling forward and backwards on all fours, extending, rotating and flexing hip joints as needed within a range that works for you.

3) Side sitting to bring your foot around from back to front. Shift the weight of your whole upper body and use both hip joints to make an arc around your body with your foot.

4) Sitting upright, crawl forward and back with feet in front of the body. Your hips will need to walk with your feet.

We easily forget that our legs are functionally connected deep into our torso because we spend so much time sitting. When we use our legs in crawling, all of the fixed ideas about holding our belly in and keeping our spine straight melt away. We connect the thrust of our leg through the hip, into the belly and lumbar spine to the arms, hands, and head.

Remember watching your children crawling backwards and sitting for the first time? There’s this amazing moment when their butt drops underneath their head and they balance in sitting for the first time. I was lucky enough to witness that moment with my niece! You can have that kind of fun too.

This movement is so universal you can easily find it in silly stock photos of babies. In the first one, the baby is looking down and pushing to crawl backwards. Its lumbar spine extends in an arc as its feet reach back.

In the second, the baby is looking up and out. This causes his butt to go down to the ground as his lumbar spine starts to curl under himself, while his neck curves forward to support his outward gaze.

In the last one the baby’s bottom has come all the way underneath her. Her head is balanced and she can see out into the world. Her feet look ready to grab onto something, very alive just like hands.

Challenges with meditation are really personal. Each body, each person, each spirit is unique. There are some issues you just can’t solve without guidance and dialogue.

Want to join in an upcoming course? Send me an email at and I’ll put you on the list!

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