The hips are one of the areas of the body that can benefit greatly from yoga. The hips are complex ball-and-socket joints that can become stiff, tight, and painful due to sedentary lifestyles or certain physical activities. Regular yoga practice can help to improve hip flexibility, strength, and mobility, leading to healthier and happier hips.
The Hips are also the home of our Sacral Chakra, which processes emotions like fear, sadness, frustration, loss and worry. Emotions can easily be stored in the hips, so healthy movements in this area can help release stored emotions and energy.
Certain exercises and 'hip-opening' stretches target specific muscles within this area, improving circulation, energy, and motion. Stress causes our bodies to tighten up; we feel it in the hips. Movement can become crucial to nurturing and relieving emotional tension in this area.
Here are some yoga poses that can help you achieve healthy and happy hips:
Pigeon Pose is a great hip opener that targets the outer hips, glutes, and hip flexors. To practice Pigeon Pose, begin in a high plank position, then bring your right knee towards your right wrist and place your right foot towards your left wrist. Your left leg should be extended behind you. Slowly lower your body towards the ground, keeping your hips square. You can use props like a block or bolster to support your body. Hold for several breaths, then switch sides.
Butterfly Pose, or the Cobbler variation as in the imaga, is a seated pose that stretches the inner thighs and hips. To practice Butterfly Pose, sit on the floor with the soles of your feet together and your knees bent outwards. Bring your feet towards your pelvis, and gently press your knees towards the floor. You can use props like blocks or blankets under your knees to support your hips. Hold for several breaths, then release.
Low Lunge is a pose that stretches the hip flexors, quads, and hamstrings. To practice Low Lunge, begin in a high plank position, then move your right foot between your hands. Lower your left knee towards the ground, keeping your right knee bent at a 90-degree angle. Place your hands on your right knee, or reach your arms towards the ceiling. Hold for several breaths, then switch sides.
Squat (Garland Pose), also known as Malasana, is a pose that stretches the hips, groins, and ankles. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart to practice Garland Pose. Squat down, bringing your hips towards your heels. Keep your chest lifted and your hands in prayer position. You can use a block or blanket under your heels for support. Hold for several breaths, then release.