Are your hips feeling tight? Try these yoga moves to loosen up!
When you’re feeling stressed or anxious, a lot of those negative emotions affect the muscles in your body. Your whole body can tense up without you even realizing you’re doing it! And did you know this tension can translate into the muscles in your hips, too?
Tight hips can cause more tension in your back and shoulders, which in turn can make it more difficult to sit, stand, walk, and exercise. For that reason, it’s important to address the tightness in your hips and get back to feeling more flexible again! Try the yoga poses below to massage and open up your hips.
Downward Dog Split
Make sure that the hands are planted firmly into the floor, the navel is drawing into the spine, and you are reaching the bottom heel into the ground. This will begin to stretch out the backs of the calves and the hamstrings while beginning to warm up the hips.
Bend the front knee to 90 degrees and make sure that the toes are visible, so that the knee is stacked over the heel. Lengthen and engage the extended leg. Release tension in the neck by positioning it straight, as an extension of the spine.
Bring the back knee to the floor and sweep the arms overhead. Draw in the lower belly to protect the spine. Begin to sink down into the hip while simultaneously engaging the abdomen.
From a lunge position, inch the front foot out to the side, coming into a wide lunge with the hands placed on the inside of the knee. Take the back knee off the floor, if available, and either stay up on the hands or bring the forearms down to the ground for a deeper stretch. Remain in the pose for 5–10 breaths, continuously aiming the back inner thigh up toward the ceiling, and the chest forward through the arms.
Shin to Shin
Sit up tall and align the right knee on top of the left ankle and the left knee on top of the right ankle. Rotate both hips outward. If the top knee is lifted above the bottom ankle, place a pillow or block under the lifted knee for safety and support. If the knees are comfortably resting on the ankles, slowly begin to fold forward.
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All images courtesy of Matt Roy.