All Women's Talk

7 Yoga Poses to Open up Your Hips and Make You More Supple ...

By Michelle

It’s important to do yoga poses to open up your hips regularly. My yoga teacher always emphasizes the tension and stress that gets compacted into your hips throughout the day whether you work a standing or desk job. What’s more, the Muladhara chakra located in this area deals with self-esteem and feeling grounded. These are some yoga poses to open up your hips that I enjoy doing.

1 Pigeon

Pigeon is a hip-opener and hip flexer that helps you really work through any tension and stress you have built up in the pelvic area. Though I struggle with this yoga pose to open up your hips, I like how it challenges me to push beyond my limits. Moving from Table Pose, bring your right knee up to your right wrist. Keep your knee there while you bring your right foot as close as you can to touching your left wrist. Straighten the left leg back and keep the waist long as you bend forward, arms reaching forward. Voila, Pigeon Pose! Variations for this pose can include using a bolster or blanket under your right hip to help alleviate any painful sensation or using a bolster or block in front of you to rest your head on. Switch sides.

2 Double Pigeon

I find it funny because I struggle with Pigeon Pose yet find Double Pigeon very relaxing. Sitting down, stack your right knee over your left ankle and your right ankle over your left knee. Bending forward, start to walk the hands in front of you. A hand variation I like on this yoga pose is locking the hands behind your back. Your left arm should reach up and over your left shoulder as you hold onto your right hand or a belt that should should reach down and behind your back, creating a diagonal across your back. When you switch sides, make sure to reverse the hand variation.

3 Yogic Squat (with a Twist)

Yogic Squat is a good yoga pose for hip-opening, especially if you are pregnant. With your feet shoulder-width apart and toes slightly turned out, squat down as you bring your hands down in prayer pose to the heart center. Your elbows should be on the inside of your knees as they gently push them outwards. You can definitely feel it in the hips when you press out on your knees. If you want to add a twist as a variation, then extend your left hand to the ground as you gently push out on the knee and your right one to the sky as you turn your gaze above your right hand. Switch sides.

4 Figure Four

Figure Four Pose is a variation on Chair Pose that makes it a hip-opener. It’s also a balance pose so it’s a double-win! Bend your legs as if you are sitting in a chair. Then, bring your right ankle up to rest on the left leg, just above the knee. Make sure your right foot is flexed. The hip-opener comes in when you start to hinge forward so that your torso is resting against your leg. Your arms can either be in prayer at the heart or touching the foot and the knee of the raised leg.

5 Heron

Heron pose is one of my personal favorite hip-opening poses. Sit with your legs stretched out in front of you. Then, take bend your left leg in so that the left foot is next to the left hip. Bend your right foot so that it is in front of your right hip. Grabbing the bottom of your right foot with both hands, start to straighten the leg as best as possible. You may want to use a strap to help you get into this pose. Switch sides. The pose works the thigh, ankle, hips and abdominal organs.

6 Anjani Asana

Moving from Downward Dog, bring your right foot up between your hands in a low lunge. Lower your left knee to the ground as you hook your thumbs and stretch you to the sky, adding a slight backbend. You can add this variation into your Sun Salutes if you want to have a subtle hip-opener in the start of your practice. Your front knee should not go past your ankle.

7 Half Happy Baby

Rolling onto your back, lie with your legs straight. Bring your right leg into your chest as you hold the outer edge of your right leg and rock back and forth. By keeping your left leg straight in this pose, you can really feel it dig into the hip. Switch sides. If you want to move to a full expression of the pose, take both legs into the air at the same time.

Hip-opening yoga poses help dig into the stress and tension that builds up here. The release that accompanies each pose is incredible once you surrender yourself to the pose completely. What are some of your favorite hip-opening and hip-flexing poses?

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