Hips are a tight spot for many yogis. Sitting a lot will cause tightness in the hip flexors and rotators and weakness in the gluteal muscles. Sometimes tight hips will also cause low back pain. Open your hips through various ranges of motion by practicing these five poses. Be sure to modify the poses as needed to protect yourself from injury.
Do the follow five poses a few times a week to open your hips up. You will feel great!
1. Target: Outer Thighs
Pose: Happy Baby Pose
Lie on your mat and pull your knees to your chest. Place hands on outsides of feet, opening your knees wider than your torso. Press your feet into hands while pulling down on feet, creating resistance. Breathe deeply; hold for at least 30 seconds.
2. Target: Inner Thighs
Pose: Reclined Bound Angle Pose
Lie on your mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Bring soles of feet together and let knees fall out to sides. Place one hand on your heart and one hand on your belly. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Hold for at least 30 seconds.
3. Target: Outer Thighs
Pose: Thread The Needle
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place left ankle right below right knee, creating a “four” shape with left leg. Thread left arm through the opening you created with left leg and clasp hands behind right knee. Lift right foot off floor and pull right knee toward chest, flexing left foot. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on opposite side.
4. Target: Hip Flexors
Pose: Low Lunge
Start in a runner’s lunge, right leg forward with knee over ankle and left knee on ground with top of your foot flat on the mat. Slowly lift torso and rest hands lightly on right thigh. Lean hips forward slightly, keeping right knee behind toes, and feel the stretch in the left hip flexor. Hold here, or for a deeper stretch, raise arms overhead, biceps by ears. Hold for at least 30 seconds, then repeat on opposite side.
5. Target: Internal Rotation
Pose: Hero Pose With Block
Kneel on your mat with thighs perpendicular to the floor and tops of of your feet facing down. Place a yoga block between your feet. Bring your inner knees together. Slide your feet apart so they are slightly wider than your hips, and press the tops of your feet evenly into the mat. Slowly sit down on the yoga block. Use your hands to turn the top of your thighs inward. Allow the backs of your hands to rest on your thighs. Hold for at least 30 seconds.
To see seven additional hip-openers, visit the original page at Prevention.
Image Source: adrian valenzuela