Many of us physically have tight hips and it’s in these tight hips that hold lots of our emotions. It’s where we put emotions when we don’t know what else to do with them. Sometimes when we open our hips during yoga, we also release these negative emotions. It’s common for us to even cry when the hips are released, not because of pain but because of the emotions that we are letting go.
So here’s a few hip openers that you can do on a daily basis…
Low Lunge – Anjaneyasana
We can start off in Downward-Facing dog, exhale and step forward with the right foot. Make sure your knee is directly above your ankle and don’t let the knee pass the ankle. Drop your left knee down to the floor. Slide the left knee back until you feel a comfortable stretch in the left front thigh and groin area. Bring the top of your left foot to the floor.
Bring your hands to the back side of your hips with the fingers facing upwards. With each inhale, open the chest up and with each exhale push the hips forward and down. Do this for at least 3 full breaths and switch sides.
Open Lizard – Utthan Pristhasana
Continuing directly from our low lunge position, you can drop down to your elbows (if possible) and slightly push outward the bent knee with your hand and open your foot so that the exterior edge of the foot is on the ground. Stay here for at least 5 breaths and switch sides.
Pigeon Pose – Eka Pada RajaKapotasana
Again, starting in Downward-facing dog, inhale and bring your right leg up and exhale place your right knee behind your right wrist. Slowly bring the hips down towards the floor, keeping the hips squared and sliding the left foot back. Stay here between 5 – 10 breaths. Inhale straighten your right leg back up and exhale, come back down to downward facing dog and switch sides.
Butterfly (Bound Angle) – Baddha Konasana
Sit with your legs straight in front of you, exhale and bend your knees and pull your heels toward your pelvis as close as you can. Drop your knees down to the sides and press the soles of your feet together. Using your 2-peace fingers and thumb, grab your big toes of each foot, keeping the outer edges of the feet on the floor. Never force your knees to the floor, just breathe. You can either stay here or start to bring your torso forward towards the floor, keeping the spine long and neutral. You may stay in this pose anywhere between 1 – 10 minutes.
Garland Pose – Malasana
Start from Tadasana. Open your feet hips width distance apart. Slowly start bending your knees, pressing your heels into the floor and maintaining even weight on each foot. If your heels can’t stay on the floor, you may use a folded mat or blanket to place underneath your heels. Once your knees are completely bent, spread them and move your chest forward between your thighs. Bring your hands to heart center and push your knees with your elbows, opening your chest at the same time.