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10 Hip Opening Asanas For Better Flexibility

Hips are an important part of our body. It bears our weight, provide support and it is the bridge that connects upper and lower part of our body. Hips are important for maintaining balance, stability and mobility of our body.


Hips are also the storehouse of emotions. When we feel stressed or there is tension in the body hip muscles tighten up and pelvic floor is locked. This makes our daily activities like walking, sitting, running, standing, exercising difficult.


Causes for tight hips

There can be many causes for tight hips

  1. Sitting for long hours in the same position

  2. Wearing high heels

  3. Pregnancy

  4. Carrying heavy bags on one side of the body

  5. Hip injury

  6. Arthritis

  7. Imbalanced muscles around the hip area.

Yoga stretches for tight hips

Whether the tightness in your hip is because of long sitting hours, unhealthy lifestyle or it’s genetics, Yoga practice can help release tightness from hip loosen up hip joint. Practicing these asana can help open, and lubricate the hips, improve posture, increase range of motion and unlock emotional stress.


There are many hip opening asanas in yoga. Butterfly pose, bound angle pose, Pigeon pose, lizard pose, frog pose, high lunge, low lunge, Garland pose, Cow Face pose, happy baby pose are some of the best asanas for stretching hips and release tension from the muscles.


1. Butterfly Pose


Butterfly Pose 1

Butterfly Pose 2

This is a gentle hip opener and also good asanas for beginners. Sit on the floor with your spine straight and bring the soles of your feet together in front of you. Let your knees drop open to the sides. Use your hands to hold on to your feet or ankles.

Inhale and lengthen your spine. Now move both your legs in up and down motion from the pelvic joint. First move slowly then go fast as you feel the hip muscles easing up. Do this asana for 1-2 minutes.


2. Bound Angle Pose or Baddha Konasana


Bound Angle Pose or Baddha Konasana

This is a simple yet effective hip opener that can be done by anyone, anywhere. Sit on the floor with your spine straight and legs stretched in front of you. Now, bring the soles of your feet together in front of you and let your knees drop open to the sides. Use your hands to hold on to your feet or ankles.

Inhale and lengthen your spine. Exhale and fold forward from the hip joints, keeping the back straight. Hold this pose for 30 seconds to a minute.

To release, inhale as you come up to sit tall again.


3. Malasana or Garland Pose


Malasana or Garland pose

This is a deep hip opener that also stretches the groin muscles. Stand with your feet about hip-width apart and toes pointing outwards. Bend your knees and lower your hips down into a squat.

Bring your arms between your legs, rest your elbows on the side of your knees. Inhale and join both the palm together and push the knees apart with your elbows. Bring your palms together in front of your chest.

Hold for ten seconds, exhale and straighten your hand out and bring both the knees together.


4. High Lunge or Utthita Ashwasanchalan Asana


High Lunge or Utthita Ashwasanchalan Asana

High lunge is a great pose to open up the hips and groin. It also strengthens the legs, ankles and feet.

Stand with both feet together. Place your right foot forward keeping 2 feet gap between both the legs. Keep toes of both the legs pointed forward. Inhale, lift your torso and bring both arms overhead, palms facing each other. Exhale and bend your right knee, push your hip down and straighten your left leg to the back.

Hold this pose for 10 seconds before returning to low lunge position. Repeat on other side.


5. Crescent Moon Pose or Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)


Crescent Moon Pose or Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)

This is a deep hip opening asana, which also stretches the front part of the body, especially the chest and shoulders. This asana also stretches the groin and inner thigh muscles.

Stand with both the feet together, step your right foot forward keeping 2-3 feet gap between both the legs. Both the foot should be pointed forward. Inhale and raise both your arms up. Join the palms together. Inhale and stretch your spine and arms back and open your heart. Exhale and bend your right knee, press your hip and tailbone down, straighten your left knee at the back and keep the knee on the ground. Hold for ten counts, then switch sides.

Repeat this pose twice with both legs.


6. Lizard Pose


Lizard Pose

This is a deep hip opener that also stretches the muscles of the groin, thighs and hips.

From a low lunge position, lower your elbows to the floor and keep your forearms on the ground and parallel to each other. Step your right foot forward another few inches so you can begin to lower your left hip down towards the floor.

Your elbows should be under your shoulder and thigh should be touching the body. Relax your core and feel the stretch in the groin and pelvic.

Hold for ten breaths then inhale as you come up to standing and repeat on the other side.


7. Frog Pose


Frog Pose

This is an advanced hip opener that also opens the pelvic and stretches the muscles of the groin, and hips.

Start in a tabletop position with your palm just below your shoulder and knee just below your hip. Inhale and slowly move your left and right knee outwards. Feel the stretch in your inner thigh and groin. This is a deep hip opening asanas, so stretch your knees slowly and gradually. Stop to take a breath, exhale and again move your knees outward.

After opening your knees press your hip down and turn both the feet and ankle towards the side. Now try to keep your forearm on the ground and feel the stretch in your inner thigh, hip and groin.

Stay in this pose for as long as you can and slowly come up.


8. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana or Pigeon Pose


Eka Pada Rajakapotasana Pigeon Pose 1

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana Pigeon Pose 2

This is an intermediate level asana that helps stretch the muscles around the hips and thighs.

Start in a downward facing dog position. Bring your right leg forward between your hands. Now bring your right knee down and place it on the floor. Your shin should be parallel to the front edge of your mat.

Slowly lower your left leg down until your thigh and calf are resting on the floor. Keep your foot flat and toes pointing outwards. Press your hip down and keep your back straight.

Feel the stretch in your groin, thigh and hip. Inhale and while exhaling relax your thigh muscles.

Stay in this pose for ten to twenty seconds then repeat on the other side.


9. Gomukh Asana or Cow Faced Pose


Gomukh Asana or Cow Faced Pose

Gomukh Asana or Cow Faced Pose 1

This is an intermediate level asana that helps stretch the muscles around the hips and thighs.

Sit straight with both the legs stretched out in the front. Fold your right leg in such a way that your right knee is facing forward and your right foot is touching your buttock. Now fold left leg in similar way and place it on top of your right leg.

Both your knees should be stacked on top of each other.

Now take your right arm behind your back and try to hold your left hand, if you are not able to do that then hold a belt or scarf with both the hand. You can also use a yoga strap. Now pull your left hand with the help of right hand and feel the stretch in your shoulder, chest and triceps.

Stay in this position for few deep breaths then release and come back to normal position.

Repeat on other side.


10. Anand Balasana or Happy Baby Pose


Anand Balasana or Happy Baby Pose 1

Anand Balasana or Happy Baby Pose 3

Anand Balasana or Happy Baby Pose 2

This is a beginner level asana that helps stretch the muscles around the hips and thighs.

Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Inhale as you bring your knees in towards your chest, then exhale as you grab hold of your ankles and pull your knees down towards the floor. If you can’t reach your ankles, you can grab hold of your shins instead.

Gently rock side to side and front to back, massaging your lower back with each movement.

Stay in this pose for a few deep breaths then release and come back to normal position.


Conclusion


These were some of the best hip opening asanas that you can practice to improve your flexibility. Remember to start slow and gradually increase the intensity of the stretches. Don’t forget to warm up before starting and end your session with pranayama.

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