Lets Talk Tight Hips!
Hips for many of us are a constant source of ahhhh! It is one of the tightest areas of the body, and those of you who cycle or run and then sit at your desk… will feel very tight here!! Open hips are possible and here are some poses to help!
Tight hips are often a source of lower back pain, and can have a big impact on how comfortable we feel in our body. I am constantly working to stretch out this area especially at the moment as the weather starts to turn. So here are my top 5 ‘go too’ yoga poses to open the hips, create space and release tension in this tight area. Little note, these are hips openers, keep the sensation in the hips, and awareness of your knees. If anything doesn’t feel good in these poses ease yourself out and try a different pose!
1) Butterfly Pose – Baddha Konasana
In a seated position, draw the soles of your feet together and let the knees fall wide. If there is pressure in the knees you can take the feet slightly further away from you creating a diamond shape with the legs. If your lower back is very rounded and it’s difficult to sit up, sit on cushions. If it feels ok for the spine fold forwards, keeping soft through the shoulders and neck. Hold for 30 seconds or longer.
2) Shoelace / Cow Face Pose – Gomukhasana
Seated with both legs out in front of you, bend one leg and cross it over the straight leg so the blade of your foot draws down to the earth next to your other hip. Make sure knees are stacked and that the stretch is felt in the back of the hips, not the knee joint. Fold forwards here sticking your bottom out behind you as you fold. To intensify you can also bend the straight leg up towards the other hip, but again make sure this feels ok for your knees. Blocks or cushions under the hips in the full pose can help to modify. Hold for 30 seconds or longer and repeat on the second side.
3) Square Pose / Fire Log Pose – Agnistambhasana
Sat with your legs crossed in front of you, line your shins up horizontally in front of you. Walk the soles of the feet away from each other as far as possible, to find a tighter cross of the legs, trying to create a box shape with knees in front of hips and feet flexed under your knees. Fold forwards here sending the hips back. Keep the feet flexed, to intensify as long as the stretch stays in the hips not in the knees, you can bring the foot of the front shin to rest on the other knee for half lotus. Hold for 30 seconds or longer and repeat on the second side.
4) ½ Pigeon Pose – Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
From kneeling on all fours, slide your first knee forwards to the outside of the wrist, keeping the foot to the centre line of the body. Send the other leg back behind you in a straight line. Take a moment here checking that there is no pain or pressure in the front knee, you can use cushions under the hip of the front leg for more support if needed. If there is no compression in the front hip, and no sensation in the front knee, fold forwards softening the chest over the thigh. This should be felt quite strongly in the outer hip of the front leg. Breathe and hold here for 30 seconds or longer and then repeat on the second side.
5) Happy Baby Pose – Ananda Balasana
Laying on your back, bend the knees taking the soles of the feet towards the ceiling. Hold either the back of the knees or the soles of the feet as you lengthen the spine down to the earth and draw the knees down towards the armpits. Hold here in stillness or gently rock the hips side to side. For 30 seconds or longer.
Let me know how you get on, and remember – don’t push too hard, these stretches are supposed to feel good so find them, sit with them, and keep repeating them if you want to start to create more space here! To get blogs and information straight to your mailbox, sign up to my mailing list!