The average person tends to hold a lot of tension or stress in the hips, creating tightness and pain that affects daily tasks. The sedentary lifestyles people live involve limited movements, sitting in hip-tightening positions for hours on end. People are not consciously making the effort to sit in hip-opening positions, and this has increased rates of back pain, misalignments of the spine, and overall discomfort.
According to yogis around the world, our relationships are stored in the hips. While there is no proof that tight hips indicate poor lovers or one’s ability to let love in, it is known that hip muscles tighten when excess cortisol levels are present in the body. If you put aside your relationship with others for a moment, consider that the relationship with the self is of the utmost importance. You should not hold on to tension anywhere in the body because it can impair your way of life. Use the following hip-opening yoga poses to lubricate the hips for maximum mobility and reduced pain.
This pose works to open up and elongate your psoas muscle, but you also feel relief in the outer hip. You should primarily feel a deep stretch along the front of the hip. From downward facing dog position, step your right foot between your hands and make sure the right knee is directly over the ankle. Gently bring the left knee onto the mat and place the top of your left foot on the mat. With both hands on either side of the right foot, hold this for several breaths. If you want to deepen the stretch, extend your hands above your head and sink your hips toward the floor. Repeat on the other leg.
Knees To Chest
This gentle hip stretch helps to bring both hips into flexion, working to soften hip sockets and relieve any tension. Start out by laying flat on your back. Bend both knees and bring them toward your chest. Interlace your fingers around your shins and bring your knees into the chest. Make sure to flex your feet and hold the position for five or seven breaths. Repeat two more times.
This backbend pose engages your gluteus muscles, while simultaneously stretching your hips and quads. One muscle of the quadriceps crosses the hips, so this pose is beneficial for melting away hip discomfort. Lay on your back and bend both of your knees so that your feet are flat on the ground, with your heels near your buttocks. Extend both of your arms toward your heels and slowly lift your hips of the floor, pressing down on the soles of your feet and engaging your gluteus muscles. Hold for five deep breaths. Repeat two more times.
Much like the low lunge pose, this pose works to open up the hip, stretching the front and side of the hip. Start in downward facing dog position and bring your right between your hands. Set the outside of the right leg on the mat and rest both palms on the ground beside you to maintain balance. Lift your chest and elongate the spine as you relax your shoulders and neck. The top of your left foot, along with your knee, should be on the mat. Hold this position for about five or ten breaths. Switch sides and perform the same movement with the left leg.
Bound Angle Pose
The great thing about this pose is that you can do it while watching TV or even when you’re reading a book. Sit on your butt and elongate your spine to sit up straight. Bring the heels of your feet into your groin so that your knees are out to the sides. Grab your feet and touch your soles together. Maintain length in your spine as you drop the outside of your knees as close to the ground as you can. This helps to avoid back pain and make your hip joints more supple.