Caught up in the motions of our day-to-day motions or lack thereof, we may not necessarily notice when tension arises in certain parts of our body. Underutilized muscles can tighten up or weaken, causing soreness, stiffness, and less flexibility.
One of the areas prone to tension and weakness is the hips. When you spend so much time sitting in one position at work, in your car, or at home, it can affect your posture and overall comfort level. The good news is that you can stretch yourself out with a few yoga poses.
Even if you don’t have time to drop by a yoga studio or hit the gym, you can make some time to do these positions at home. They are all meant to loosen and stretch the hips, allowing for better movement and strength.
This is a gentle pose that is great for beginners. Begin by kneeling with your big toe tips touching. Spread the knees so they’re hip-width apart or until you can fit your torso in between the thighs.
Inhale and bend forward, extending your arms in front of the body and touching your forehead to the mat. Continue to inhale and exhale deeply. A cushion can be placed above the ankles (under the buttocks) if you are feeling some discomfort.
You don’t have to be a goddess to appreciate this asana. Goddess pose works by opening up the hips and pelvic area. The lower you can squat, the better!
The alignment with this pose also benefits the spine and you may notice a difference in your posture too with regular practice of this one. Click on the video by Yoga Glo to see how it’s done, and make sure to line up your feet properly.
Reclined Bound Angle PoseTipHero
Lie on your back on your mat with your legs extended. Slowly bend the knees and pull your feet inward so that the soles are touching. Bring them as close as you can to the pelvis. Allow your knees to fall to the side. Rest your hands on your abdomen or at your sides. If you need support, place a cushion or rolled up towel under the thighs.
Much of the emphasis is placed on the hips with the warrior set of poses (this is Warrior I), but your entire lower body will get a good stretch. Make sure to pay attention to the bend in the knee when doing this one so you don’t create an imbalance or injure yourself. You don’t want your knee to bear the weight. Watch and learn!
Bridge pose is awesome for the lower back and hips. Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the mat. Raise your hips and torso off the mat but leave your shoulders on the ground. Either place your arms at your sides or clasp your hands underneath you.
You can support/modify the lift by placing your hands on your lower back, using only your forearms to keep steady. Your upper arms should stay on the mat. Hold the pose for 15 seconds up to a minute as a beginner.
Sometimes referred to as cobbler’s pose, butterfly opens the hips and you will also feel the stretch in your groin region. Once your body gets used to this pose, it will be easier for your knees to lay flat when you sit. Do not strain yourself when doing butterfly pose.
Watch this video to learn how to do it correctly.
This photo is of a woman doing a full camel, but if you need to work on becoming more limber first, go with a modification. To do a modified camel pose, start by kneeling with your knees hip-width apart. Place your hands over your kidneys, palms down. Your left hand should go over the left kidney and the right over the right.
Slowly push your hips forward to help arch your spine backwards, going back only as far as is possible/comfortable. Remember to breathe. Stay in the pose for 30 seconds up to 1 minute.
You can still try for full camel by touching each ankle, or rest your hands on yoga bricks until you can reach your ankles comfortably.
If you have never practiced yoga before or are a little bit out of shape, remember to start slowly with these movements. Holding the pose for a few seconds at first is fine.
This will help you avoid injury and strain when practicing. And as always, check with your physician before starting a new physical activity.
Were you looking for ways to stretch your hips? Would you like to try any of these yogic stretches?