Tight hips? These yoga poses for flexible hips could come to rescue. But before we get into those poses, let’s take a short look at the importance of maintaining and improving hip flexibility.
Why do our hips tighten?
Numerous factors like prolonged sitting hours, sedentary lifestyle, and age impact our flexibility. Top up – incorrect posture and inappropriate exercise regimens! These unhealthy habits lead to stiff, aching hips, triggering joint immobility. Regular practice of y
oga helps to combat the ill-effects of these daily habits while promoting joint flexibility. With a regular Yoga practice, we can restore and rejuvenate our body, mind, and soul. That is what these 6 yoga poses for flexible hips precisely do.
So what is the fuss about hip flexibility?
The more flexible our hips are, the better our upper and lower body coordination will be. And, when we are strong, balanced, and flexible, our entire body will remain in harmony. A good hip flexibility is also essential to keep knee and lower back aches at bay. It also supports the right posture, keeping you confident and healthy.
Let’s take a look at some of those yoga postures that could soothe our tight hips.
6 Yoga Poses to Improve Hip Flexibility
Thread the Needle Stretch
Image Credits: Vimeo
This posture is the first pose of our hip opening sequence. It warms up our hips as well as our entire body, preparing it for the rest of the series. If you experience any soreness on the outer portion of your bent knee, rest your rotating leg higher than your shin to lift away the tension. This is beneficial for tendonitis and lower back pain.
Lie on your back, arms resting on either side of your body. Bend your knees. Cross your right ankle over your left knee. Grasp your left thigh using your hands or a strap and slowly pull the left knee closer to your chest. Hug the knees until you feel a stretch in the hips. Hold for 30 seconds, breathing deeply. Ensure that your back and head is flat on the floor.
Inhale and release the leg. Repeat on the other side.
Ananda Balasana – Happy Baby Pose
Image Credit: Wikimedia
It stretches the inner groin and lower back while calming the mind. Engage the core and keep breathing as the hips yield into the stretch.
Release your feet on the floor after completing the previous posture. Inhale and as you exhale, hug your knees to the chest. Hold your feet, from their outer sides, with your palms, arms resting in front of your shins. Roll your shoulders away from the ears, bringing the shoulder blades close to each other. Exhale and pull your knees close to your armpits, stacking your ankles above knees. Elongate your lower back, bringing the tailbone closer to the floor. Hold the posture for 60 seconds.
Inhale, hug your knees to the chest, and release.
Modifications: If you have trouble holding your feet with your hands, loop the middle arch of each foot with a yoga belt and hold the other ends using your palms.
Supta Baddha Konasana – Reclining Butterfly Pose
Image Credits: Wikimedia
The seated version and the reclining version of this posture are awesome hip openers. In fact, it is one of the most popular yoga poses for flexible hips. Just make sure that you place your heels at a comfortable distance from your groin to avoid unwanted pressure on your knees.
After completing Ananda Balasana, release your feet to the floor. Bend your knees outward and join the soles of your feet. Allow your knees to fall close to the floor. If your hips are extremely tight, use a yoga belt. Loop the belt with the buckle, pull tightly, and cross it over the hip bones to lock around the outer edges of the other feet. Looping the belt this way will prevent the knees from flapping up.
Rest your arms over your head, forearms perpendicular to your shoulders and fingertips pointing away from you. Close your eyes and breathing deeply, hold the posture for one minute.
Agnistambhasana – Fire Log Pose
Image Credit: Vimeo
Feel the burn in your hips as they loosen up with this posture. It is also beneficial for stimulating your abdominal organs and stretch your inner thighs and groins.
After completing Supta Baddha Konasana, join your knees. Turn to your right and sit with your legs stretched out. Lift the flesh away from under your buttocks so that you are sitting only on your sitting bones. Bend your knees and stack your right over the left. Adjust your alignment in such a way that your knee is perpendicular to your hip and ankle of the respective legs.
Inhale and lengthen your spine. As you exhale, fold forward from your hips, bringing your chest close to the floor. Rest your arms in front of your shins. Hold the posture for one minute. Breathe deeply, bending forward with each exhalation.
Inhale, walk your hands back, and straighten your torso. Exhale and stretch out your legs. Repeat on the other side.
Modification: If this is too intense for your hips, do not fold forward. If you feel that your knees are under pressure, widen the space between your legs and rest the top foot inside your lower knee.
Upavishta Konasana – Wide Legged Seated Forward Bend
Image Credits: Wikimedia
This posture has a couple of variations, all of which work equally to open the hips. But the complete forward fold with extended arms is the best one for tight hips. Feel free to use props wherever required to relax into the posture and hold it longer as you experience the stretch on your inner thighs, groin, and hips.
From Agnistambhasana, extend your legs to the sides, separating them as wide as possible. Lift your buttocks away from the floor to balance yourself on the sitting bones. Flex your feet toward your body. Inhale and lengthen your torso. As you exhale, fold forward and rest your arms in front of you. With each inhalation, push your tailbone back and extend the chest forward. With each exhalation, deepen your forward fold.
In the final posture, if your body allows, rest the chest and forehead on the floor. Hold the posture, without compromising on your breath, for one minute.
Modification: Maintain a microbend on your knees if you have extremely tight hamstrings.
Bhekasana – Frog Stretch
This posture stretches the entire body, especially the hips and hip flexors. It stretches and strengthens the lower back and is beneficial for digestion.
From Upvistha Konasana, join your feet. Lie down on your abdomen, hands stretched out backward. Separate your legs as wide as your hips. Inhale and bend the knees, allowing the soles to rest close to the buttocks. Exhale and as you inhale, lift the chest up and hold the ankles of respective hands, flexing the toes towards you. Hold the posture, breathing deeply for one minute.
To come out of the pose, slowly release the feet, stretch out the legs, and lie down on the abdomen.
Consistent and repeated practice is the basis for learning and mastering a posture. While it’s good to have a well-planned exercise regimen in hand, you should also practice consistently to reap the benefits of the plan. Along with these yoga poses for flexible hips, practice Supple Hips class in Track Yoga to improve your hip mobility. Give your hips the flexibility and ease it deserves.