Our hips are vital for the movements we make every day. Genetics, constant sitting, driving and injury can all tighten or weaken hips, and that in turn, can cause problems such as back pain, anterior pelvic tilt, and lesser rewards from exercise and athletic performance. The good news is there are a few yoga poses that can open the hips and ease some pain and discomfort, while also helping to loosen hip joints.
This pose is one of the easiest poses to start with, because it isn’t very demanding. The last thing you want to do is force your hips to open or stretch; it can be extremely painful and make matters worse. With this pose, start off slowly and listen to your body as you do it.
- To start, sit on the floor.
- Bend your knees so the heels and soles of your feet are touching each other.
- Then use hold your feet and slowly open your knees to the sides and lower them.
- Your knees don’t have to completely touch the ground at first, but as your hips begin to loosen up, you’re free to gently push your knees down closer to the ground for more of a stretch.
- Then lean forward toward the floor for an intense impact that really opens your hips.
Legs Up On the Wall
This is another fairly simple pose that gets you warmed up for more intense poses. You don’t need any special equipment, other than a wall and floor space.
- Start by lying flat on the ground, with your legs propped up on the wall; make sure to be as close as you can to the wall.
- Start off with your legs spread out wide, either in a “V” shape or in the bound angle pose.
- You have the option to stop there or to take this pose a bit further by moving your feet down, lower and lower, until they can’t move any farther.
- Then slightly push down on your knees for a little more intensity if you’d like.
This pose is a bit more difficult than the previous two poses, so you may have to work up to it if you have issues with flexibility.
- Sit on the floor with your back straight.
- Bend your knees and bring them in, soles touching, just like in the previous two poses.
- Then grab your feet and bring them in as close to you as you can.
- As your hips being to stretch, hold the pose for a few seconds while taking deep breaths in and out.
This pose may be a bit more advanced than the previous two, but it’s still fairly easy to achieve.
- First, kneel on the ground and bend one leg in front of you while the other leg is stretched out on the floor behind you.
- Lean forward in an attempt to align your chest with your leg.
- For some people, this stretch is enough; however, if you need more, bend your back leg upward toward the ceiling and use one or both hands to grab and hold on to it.