The Ankle-to-Knee Prenatal Hip Opener

This yoga pose is easy to do, and has many more benefits beyond just helping the ankles, hips and knees.

Prenatal Yoga Ankle to Knee Hip Opener Pose

Ankle-to-knee pose is exactly what it sounds like—a pose in which you bring your ankle to meet your knee—but there is much more to this prenatal yoga pose than you'd think...and its benefits extend far beyond just your ankle and your knee.

"This is a passive hip opener that releases tension in the hips and low back. It can sometimes help with sciatica," Nicole Sciacca, the chief yoga officer at Playlist Yoga told us.

How can ankle-to-knee pose help relieve some of the achiness you may experience during pregnancy? According to Sciacca, it's a wonderful stretch that can open up several tight areas of your body.

"This will open the groin and outer hip/gluteal area," she says. "It can [also] feel nice for tight shoulders if your continue to lift the heart up toward the ceiling."

Pregnancy might make exercise a bit tougher for you and the customizable nature of this pose makes it a great option for women who struggle to perform at their usual fitness levels. "This is a great upright hip opener that allows the woman to manage the intensity," Sciacca explains.

Ankle-to-Knee Prenatal Hip Opener Sundraw Photography/Shutterstock

She breaks down the components to ankle-to-knee pose below:

  • Sit upright on your bottom.
  • Bend both knees and plant the feet on the ground.
  • Take one ankle and place it on top of the bent knee, making sure to keep that foot flexed (toes go straight up).
  • Energetically press the top knee away from you as you lift your chest. Manage the intensity by walking your hands closer to your hips and lifting your heart toward the sky. Be mindful that in pregnancy the hormone relaxin is released and can allow for added flexibility, so move cautiously.