Yoga poses are created to target a variety of intentions. Your hips can become tight and stiff due to lower leg exercises, sitting at desks and generally, from overuse as well as underuse. For those with naturally tight hips, or for those who have developed tight hips with activities such as running, biking and hiking, hip opening yoga poses can be a great option to prevent injuries as well as to boost your flexibility. Try out these hip opening yoga poses to make a remarkable change in your lifestyle. Take note that most of these poses can be started out from the downward dog position.
Low Crescent Lunge
This pose is designed to stretch your hip flexors as well as your thighs. In addition, your abdomen, chest and shoulders will also be opened up with regular exercise.
- Start with the downward dog position.
- Move your left foot forward until it’s positioned between your hands.
- Lower your right knee to the floor. Slide it back.
- Raise the pit of your belly and chest towards the sky. Move your arms to an overhead position in a sweeping position. Be sure that your throat is kept relaxed while your spine elongated.
- Hold the position for 5 breaths and return to the Downward Dog position. Repeat with your right foot forward.
Warrior Pose II
This is a great pose for beginners.
- Start with the downward dog position.
- Place your right foot between the hands and spin the hill down while keeping the foot at an outward angle.
- Reach with your left arm towards the back of the mat while reaching your right arm towards the front of the mat.
- Bend your right knee while keeping it in line with the right ankle.
- Hold the position for 5 deep breaths and repeat on the left side.
- Start at a standing position with your feet apart while your toes are pointing outwards.
- Bend your knees slowly and release your hips toward the floor.
- Keep your hips at a comfortable distance from the ground place your elbows inside your thighs and place your hands together at the middle of your chest.
- Hold the pose for about 5 – 10 deep breaths.
The Pigeon Pose
This pose may be a little uncomfortable for beginners but with some careful practice and perseverance, the pigeon pose will provide many benefits to opening up your hips.
- Start at the downward dog position.
- Move the shin of your right leg forward in a sweeping motion until it is positioned in front of your left shin. Your right shin has to be almost parallel to the front edge of your yoga mat.
- Stretch your left leg back and at the same time, pull your left hip forward. Be sure to elongate your stomach as you fold yourself over your bent leg.
- You can place a folded blanket or a thin cushion under your hip if it is difficult for your place your hip directly on the floor in this pose. Be sure to place the blanket or cushion right under your sitting bone for comfort.
- Hold the pose for 10 breaths and repeat on the other side.
The Square Pose
This is a pose designed to target a large group of muscles. Once again, beginners may find some difficulty in getting to the pose.
- Sit on the floor and place the shin of your right leg on top of your left knee.
- Pull your left leg towards your body to rest underneath the right leg. This will ensure reduced strain on your lower body.
- If you are unable to get your top knee to touch the bottom leg’s ankle, you can place a soft cushion underneath for added support.
Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
This is a great stretch for your spine as well as a hip opening movement.
- Start by sitting on the floor and drawing your right knee towards your chest. Place your right foot outside your left knee.
- Pull your left foot in to reach your sitting bone on the right side.
- Move your right hand to get in line with the middle of your sacrum and place your left arm wrapped around your right leg.
- Gently push down with your right foot and right hand to the ground while elongating your spine and twisting toward the right side. The movement should be initiated from your belly.
- Gently push your right knee into your left shoulder. You should be able to feel the stretch in the outer right hip area.
- Hold the position for 5 breaths and repeat on the other side.
Although this pose may look like something only a contortionist can pull, it’s surprisingly easy to get into.
- Start from the downward dog position and move your left foot between your hands to form a lunge position.
- Move both of your forearms to the floor. Your left arm should rest right inside your left leg. Be sure to keep your inner right thigh resisting.
- Reach back with your right heel and elongate your spine.
- Hold the position for 8 breaths and repeat on the other side.
Just like any other exercise routine, hip opening yoga routines will also have to be commenced with the approval of your physician and the assistance of an instructor if you are new to yoga. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or injuries. Be sure to keep the movements slow and breathing even and smooth throughout each pose. It is recommended that yoga is practiced with an empty stomach. As always, you have to remember not to strain beyond your capabilities in order to prevent injuries.2