Our hips have over 20 muscles that cross over them, and when they are tight it makes everything from exercising to even picking something up off the floor more difficult.
The muscles that cross the hip are the adductors, which are a collection of inner thigh muscles and a collection of thigh muscles called the abductors along with hip flexors, deep lateral rotators, and more.
When your hips are tight, it causes the spine to work more than it should and increase the load on your back as well. Opening up your hips can help increase your range of motion, improve your circulation, help ease back pain and even have some mental and emotional benefits.
In yoga, the hips are thought to be connected to the second chakra.
The second or sacral chakra is said to be the centre of feelings, emotions, connection, intimacy and pleasure. So, by opening your hips you may feel a sense of openness, creativity or energy!
Here are poses that can help you open up your hips:
1. Happy Baby pose
a. Lay down on your back
b. Bend your knees up towards your chest to create a 90 degree angle
c. Reach and grab either the inside or outside of your feet
d. Spread your knees apart, then rock from side to side gently
2. Frog Pose
a. Begin in a table top position
b. Then slowly slide your knees outward
c. Allow yourself to breathe and do not slide down if it is causing pain
d. If you feel comfortable lower yourself from your hands to your forearms
3. Hip Pry
a. Grab on to a door frame or a pole in front of you with both hands
b. Sink down into a deep squat, using the door frame or pole to support yourself
c. Rock back and forth and open the hips
d. Make sure your heels remain on the ground the whole time
4. Low lunge
a. Start this in downward facing dog, then bring one leg through your arms between your hands
b. Bring the other knee down to the ground
c. Keep your front ankle directly under your front knee
d. If you want you can put your hands down on either side of your front knee
5. Half Pigeon
a. Start in a table top position, then bring one knee forward to your wrist
b. Slide the other leg back behind the body until it is straight
c. Your ankle should be in front of the opposite hip
d. Walk your hands down in front of your body and try to lay down, but do not go further if there is any pain