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
Sitting for long hours in the same position
Wearing high heels
Carrying heavy bags on one side of the body
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
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
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
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 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.