Yoga for tight hips

 In Yoga

If, like me, you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk – typing, writing, studying – then chances are you suffer from stiffness in your lower back or tight hamstrings. This stiffness and tension can be traced back to a central problem… tight hips. A body that doesn’t move quickly seizes up. We are all aware of this and often deal with the consequences when we return to any form of exercise after a prolonged break. The hips add an extra element to this problem though, as our hips are the space in the mental body where we store all of our emotional baggage. This makes releasing the hips extra challenging, as we not only have to convince the muscles to relax and let go, but we need to persuade the mind to let go of attachments and emotions that we’ve been holding on to (sometimes for our entire lifetime).

A body that doesn’t move quickly seizes up. We are all aware of this and often deal with the consequences when we return to any form of exercise after a prolonged break. The hips add an extra element to this problem though, as our hips are the space in the mental body where we store all of our emotional baggage. This makes releasing the hips extra challenging, as we not only have to convince the muscles to relax and let go, but we need to persuade the mind to let go of attachments and emotions that we’ve been holding on to (sometimes for our entire lifetime). My hips are a mess

My hips are a mess, there is no happy, positive way to put it. But, I’ve long since learned that releasing the baggage they hold on to is a process, kind of like peeling an onion. You have to put in the work and just peel back one layer at a time… and let the tears flow freely when needed. With regular practice, though, the aches and pains slowly start to disappear.

Here, I share with you, my favourite yoga poses for releasing tight hips and relieving lower back stiffness.

Child’s Pose

(Balasana)

Child’s pose is my all time favourite pose. It provides a wealth of health benefits, including aiding in a good nights sleep, relieving anxiety, as well as releasing tight hips. Resting your forehead on a block or cushion can take pressure off the neck if your forehead doesn’t reach the ground in front of you. A cushion under the bottom can also help take pressure off the hips if you find this pose too intense.

Butterfly Pose

(Baddha Konasana)

Along with stimulating the digestion and reproductive organs, Butterfly pose releases tension and tightness from the hips and lower back. Place your bottom on a cushion or block to lift the hips up if you feel really tight through the legs while sitting on the floor.

Low Lunge

(Anjaneyasana)

One of the most noticeable areas of tightness that comes from sitting for long periods of time is the hip flexors or along the front of the thighs. A low lunge stretches and stregthens the legs, hips, spine and abdomen. This is one of my favourite poses to do after waking up, especially when included in a sun salutation to really release and stretch any stiffness out of my body after sleeping.

Happy Baby Pose

(Ananda Balasana)

I love happy baby pose. Mostly because it looks ridiculous. I always break out in a smile rocking gently from side to side in this pose, usually because I realise just how silly it must look. But, I also love happy baby pose because it feels amazing. The spine gets a massage against the floor, the hips and groin open and stretch deeply, and the it grounds us, which can be the perfect way to wind down after a chaotic day.

Got a favourite hip opener pose?? We’d love for you to share your favourites with us too!

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