Yoga Poses for Opening the Hips
One of the primary benefits of a regular yoga practice is releasing built-up tension within the body. Everything from stress to poor sleep and lack of movement during the day can lead to an uncomfortable amount of tension stored in various areas of the body. Sure, you probably already know that you can carry a significant amount of tension in your shoulders, neck, and lower back. But did you know that your hips could also be sneakily storing built-up tension and wreaking havoc on your ability to unwind? Many yoga practitioners point to the hip area as the primary location for storing negative emotions and holding onto unpleasant memories. Thankfully, there are several yoga poses that can not only improve the mobility of your hip flexors, but also help you find some much-needed relief from all of that built-up tension.
This pose promotes deep relaxation while also offering an opportunity to let your hips open and release with only the force of gravity. Simply lay down on your mat and bring your feet together with your knees bent. Allow your knees to fall out to the side and let gravity continue to pull them closer to the ground with each inhale and exhale.
This exercise allows you to gently open your hips even further and can also be used for an easy spinal massage. While laying on your back, bring your feet up until you can hook your peace fingers around your big toe. With bent knees, slowly pull your legs back down towards the ground until you reach your level of comfort. You can take this pose even further by gently rocking back and forth and creating a massage sensation on the spine.
Down Dog Split Variation
This option is slightly more of an active approach to opening the hips. Begin in a down dog pose and bring one leg straight up into a down dog split. Then you can rotate your hips to the side and allow your straight leg to fall to the side while opening the hips and providing a deep twist for the spine.
This can be an intense pose that will deeply open the hips while promoting improved hip flexor mobility. Begin on all fours and slowly allow your knees to slide out to the side. If you can, lower your torso down until your elbows are resting on the ground in front of you. You can completely relax and allow gravity to continue pulling your knees further out to the side while your hips lower down to the ground.
By incorporating these poses into your yoga practice, you can start to feel an added sense of relief for your hip area and may even release tension that you didn’t even know was there. Adding deep hip openers into your routine will leave you feeling more refreshed and mobile than ever before.