Ever wondered why hip openers feel so damn good? Well, in the yoga world, it is believed that all our emotions are stored in our hips, and when we practice hip openers, we are releasing all of that built up emotional energy - resulting in us feeling like we're on cloud nine.
So whether you've got stiff hips or, like that woman from Mean Girls, you "just have a lot of feelings," - here are 7 super simple hip-opening yoga poses to try.
1. Badhakonasana (Butterfly Pose)
This is a great hip-opening yoga pose for beginner and advanced students, as you can adjust the intensity of the stretch depending on how far you push yourself.
- Sitting on the ground, bring the soles of your feet together and keep your back straight.
- Wrap your index and middle fingers around your respective big toes and bend your elbows, using them to gently press your thighs to the floor.
- Inhale, straighten your spine.
- Exhale, fold forward over your feet, bending from your hips.
2. Upavistha Konasana (Seated Wide Leg Forward Fold)
This yoga pose is great for stretching out your hamstrings, and for practicing your side splits.
- Sitting on your hips, extend your legs out to the sides.
- Option 1: Place your palms on the floor in front of you, keeping your arms extended, and keeping walking them ahead as you lean forward. // Option 2: If you can reach your toes, wrap your index and middle fingers around your big toes, and bend your elbows to pull yourself further down.
- Inhale, extend your spine.
- Exhale, fold your body forward towards the floor, keeping your legs and spine straight.
3. Utthan Pristhasana (Lizard Pose)
Lizard pose is an effective yoga pose to open your hips and stretch your hip flexors. You can also challenge yourself by practicing different variations of this pose, like adding a twist or a backbend.
- Start in your low lunge, right leg forward. Let your hips sink down.
- Walk your right foot to the right side of the mat, placing your palms in the center.
- Tuck your left toes, and lift your left knee off the mat.
- Slowly, lower your forearms down to the mat, elbows in line with shoulders
4. Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose)
An amazing stretch for the gluteus muscles, especially after leg day.