Hip openers have a number of amazing benefits, not least the fact that they feel good. Flexible hips are essential to any yoga position, including standing in Mountain, sitting down in Lotus, or finding stability in any Warrior variation. These hips are essential for your ability to move, run, bend, walk, sit, stand, and pick up anything from the ground. It is important to keep your hip joints flexible and limber and the surrounding muscles strong.
The hip joint is a ball-and socket joint that allows your leg to move in any direction. Standing, extend your leg into Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (Extended Leg-to-Big Toe Pose). Rotating your hip socket head allows you to cross your ankle and place your other leg in Eka Pada Utkatasana, or One-Legged Chair Pose. You can also extend your leg forward in Natarajasana, which is Lord of the Dance Pose.
This movement is due to the action of muscles, ligaments and tendons, some deep within your body, that pull, push and support your leg bones. This range of motion is essential for a strong asana practice. These hip openers will help release tension and keep your hips moving smoothly.
Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)
- Adho Mukha Svanasana is a Downward-Facing Dog Pose. Place your right foot between your hands and align your right knee with your right heel.
- Your left knee should be lowered and your top left foot should touch the ground. Keep your hips parallel to the front of your mat. Slide your left foot back until your left front thigh is stretched and your groin feels relaxed.
- Take a deep breath and lift your torso up. Next, raise your arms above your head. This joint will move smoothly and your everyday functioning will improve.
- To maintain length, draw your tailbone toward the ground and lift your pubic bone towards your navel.
- For a moment, hold the position. Lower your hands to the ground and then turn your back so that your toes are under. Inhale and return to Downward-Facing Dog Pose. Repeat the process on the opposite side.
This pose can be used to improve balance. Place your front foot against the wall, and then move your fingertips upwards.
Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
- Bring your legs to the floor, bringing your knees to your hips. Rotate your thighs inward and align your hips with your knees.
- Inhale. Inhale. Lift your sternum, arch your back and draw your shoulders back. Reach your fingertips toward your heels, or the blocks next to your ankles.
- Allow your neck and head to extend backward. Pay attention not to compress your neck.
- For up to one minute, you can stay in this position. You can exit by bringing your chin up to your chest. As you slowly return to your original kneeling position, engage your lower belly.
Keep your spine lengthened by bringing your tailbone towards your knees. This will create space between your lower vertebrae. To keep your neck space, tuck your chin a little.
Dhanurasana (Bow Pose).
- Place your belly down on the mat.
- Bring your feet towards your buttocks by bending your knees.
- Take a deep inhale and lift your head, shoulders, chest, and neck.
- Reach back and grasp the ankles or outside of your feet. Rotate your shoulders forward and move your elbows towards each other.
- Inhale and lengthen your tailbone. To create resistance, hold your ankles firmly and press them away from you body.
- For 5 deep breaths, keep your head up. Release your ankles to exit the pose. Your legs and torso should be lowered to the mat.
A strap can be used around your feet to help reach your ankles if it is difficult to reach them. To give your legs a lift, you can place a blanket under your pelvis or under your thighs.
Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby Pose).
- Place your back on the ground. Bring your knees towards your torso by bending your knees.
- Grab the outside edge of each foot.
- Your knees should be slightly wider than your torso. Next, bring your knees in towards your armpits.
- Place your ankles above your knees so that your shins touch the ground. Flex your feet.
- To create resistance, gently push your feet into your hands and then pull your hands back.
Loop a strap around each arch to reach your feet.
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana ("One-Legged King Pigeon Pose")
- Tabletop is best viewed from the shoulder.
- Place your right leg forward, and tilt your shin so that your right foot is in front your left knee. The outside of your right forefoot is on the ground.
- Straighten your left leg straight up and release your shin, knee, and thigh.
- Your right foot should be just in front your left hip. Flex your right foot. Square your hips.
- To bring your torso up, place your hands on the mat. You can also walk away from the mat and let your forehead touch the floor with your hands.
- For at least one minute, hold the pose. Press your left foot away from the mat to release it. To rotate your right knee into Tabletop, lift your body slightly and press down on your mat. To exit the pose, tuck your left toes and lift your left leg. Next, bring the left knee to the right.
To ensure your right hip does not rest on the ground, place a blanket or pillow under it. This will support your body and prevent it from moving to one side.
Upavistha Konasana, Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
- With your legs straight ahead, sit in Dandasana (Staff Position).
- Take your feet apart and spread your legs wide to the sides.
- Flex your toes and point your feet up. So your quadriceps and knees are facing the ceiling, root down with your thighs.
- Exhale and lengthen you spine. Inhale, and move your hips forward.
- Do not curve your spine. Keep your back straight.
- To get out of the pose, move your hands towards your body and then sit up.
This pose can be done with your knees bent, or supported by rolled-up blankets.
Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose)
- Place your head on your stomach.
- Place your feet on the ground with your big toes touching.
- Your knees should be free from one another and your legs should fall to the sides towards the floor.
- Press your soles together. Move your heels closer or further from your groin until your feet feel comfortable.
- Place your hands on your stomach, stomach, or heart. Or, extend your arms outwards from your sides and place your palms on the ground, palms facing up.
- For at least one minute, you can rest in this position. You can then come out by putting your hands underneath your knees and pressing your thighs together. To get out of the way, roll to one side and then push yourself off the ground.
Do not force your knees towards the ground. Place pillows, bolsters or blankets under your knees to support them.
The first Oxygen Mag article was 7 Yoga Poses to Tighten Tight Hips.
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