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6 Yoga Stretches To Open Up Your Hips

Whether brought on by overuse or inactivity, tight hips can be quite a nuisance. They can cause pain, tenderness, swelling, decreased strength, muscle spasms, stiffness, and reduced mobility. 

To lessen and relieve the discomfort it causes, there are certain exercises for hip pain that can help. In this article, we’ll go over six yoga poses that will help loosen your hips and guide you in your journey to greater flexibility.

 

 

 

1. Yogi Squat (Malasana) 

This yoga pose elongates your spine and strengthens your back, all while improving balance, concentration, and focus. It also improves circulation and blood flow in the pelvis and regulates sexual energy.

  • Stand with your feet parallel and hip-width apart. 
  • Squat down with your elbows inside your inner knees and your hands in a prayer position in front of your chest. As you squat, your feet should be spread wide enough so that your knees remain in line with your ankles.
  • Stretch your spine by pressing your elbows against your knees and squeezing your thighs against your elbows. Use steady smooth pressure to achieve this position’s optimal benefits.
  • If you can, hold the position for 1 to 2 minutes to open up your pelvis while taking deep breaths.  

 

2. Pigeon Pose (Raja Kapotasana)

The pigeon pose stretches your hips and lower back, improves hip flexors and your lower back’s muscular flexibility as well as aids digestion. It may even help alleviate mental stress and anxiety.

  • Begin on your hands and knees.
  • Bring your left knee forward, placing it behind your left wrist.
  • Slowly move your left foot forward with the heel pointing towards the hip bone, keeping your shin in line with the floor.
  • Stretch your right leg behind you, allowing it to rest on the ground with your foot stretched out and the top of your knee and ankle resting on top of the mat. (Grab the inner arch of your back foot for an extra thigh stretch)
  • Extend your spine by pushing down on either side against a yoga block or the floor.
  • Hold for a few breaths, switch sides, and repeat.

 

3. Supine Figure-4 Stretch (Supta Kapotasana)

This reclined pigeon yoga pose is an easier version of the pigeon pose. It relaxes the lower back and hip muscles, opens the hips, and relieves muscular tension. It also promotes digestion, releases lower body stress, and enhances circulation in the hips, lower back, and lower body.

  • Lie down on your back. Bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Lifting your left leg, place your left ankle below your other knee and flex your right toes. This should give you a shape that resembles the number four. 
  • Apply gentle pressure by threading your right arm through the opening in your legs, clasping the shin or hamstrings with both hands for a deeper stretch.
  • Draw the left shin in towards your body while pushing the right knee away, keeping your back and head flat on the ground.
  • Hold for 30 seconds before returning to the starting position. Switch sides and repeat.

 

4. Mini Warrior/Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)

This yoga position stretches your hamstrings, quadriceps, and groin, relieves hip strain, strengthens your knees, improves balance, stimulates the core muscles for stability, and enhances mental focus.

  • Begin by going down into a lunge with your right leg in front of you. Make sure to form a right angle with your leg. Your knee shouldn’t slide past your ankle.
  • Keep your other leg stretched out behind you. Your left knee should be touching the ground.
  • Lift and straighten your torso. Place your hands on top of your right thigh while keeping them relaxed.
  • While in this position, try pushing your hips slightly forward while maintaining the alignment between your right ankle and right knee. As you do this, you should feel a stretch in your left hip.
  • Hold the stretch for at least 30 seconds. If you want, you can extend your arms straight up and close to your head for a deeper stretch. Switch sides.

 

5. Butterfly Stretch

This yoga pose stretches your hips, groin, inner thighs, and knees, strengthens your back muscles, improves your posture, and helps you maintain stability and balance. 

  • Sit on the floor with your back straight.
  • Bend your knees and allow the soles of your feet to come together. Push your knees towards the ground. As you do so, you’ll feel a stretch in your thighs and hips.
  • Hold the position for 15 to 30 seconds. Release and repeat 2 to 4 times. 

 

6. Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)

The bound angle pose is similar to the butterfly stretch but requires you to bend forward towards the end, allowing you to get a deeper stretch. It can increase flexibility, relieve menstrual pain and digestive issues, strengthen the core, and improve your posture. For greater comfort, practice with a rolled-up blanket/towel or a bolster to sit on.

  • Start by sitting on the floor with your legs crossed.
  • Uncross your legs allowing the bottoms of your feet to come in contact with each other.
  • With the bottoms of your feet still touching each other, try moving your hips closer to them. You can make this adjustment by using your hands to pull your feet closer towards you.
  • With your hands resting around your feet, exhale and push your body forward, bending slowly as you move. Try to touch your forehead to the floor just beyond your feet.
  • Stretch forward as far as you can. When you’re done, come up slowly on an inhale.

 

Wrapping Up

Yoga is a natural gentle exercise that can do wonders for tight hips and hip-related discomfort. Unlike medication, you don’t have to worry about side effects and contraindications. 

Why not give these positions a try? If you do them regularly and correctly, it may just give you the relief you’ve been looking for.