7 Yoga Poses to Open Up Stiff Hips
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.
- From your low lunge, right leg forward, walk your right foot to the left side of the mat and slowly lower your knee down to the right.
- Make sure your hips are squared, and the weight isn't shifting to either side.
- If you feel stable, slowly bring your forearms down, folding over your right leg. Or release fully down, resting your body over your right leg.
- Feel the stretch in the right glutes, stay for a few deep breaths, and repeat on the other side.
If this is too much, try Supta Kapotasana (reclined pigeon pose):
- Lie down on your back, keeping both legs bent.
- Fold your right foot over your left thigh.
- Holding on the the back of your left thigh, gently pull the left leg towards you.
5. Malasana (Yogi Squat/Garland Pose)
A seemingly simple squat, this is a great way to stretch both the inner and outer hips.
- Stand with the feet hip distance apart with toes slightly turned out.
- Then, lower your hips down to a squat and bring your hands to heart center.
- Use your elbows to push the knees away from you, creating a deeper stretch.
6. Mandukasana (Frog Pose)
This yoga pose is great for stretching out the inner thighs and releasing any tension in the hips.
- Coming on to all fours, in table top pose.
- Walk your knees to the edges of the mat, or wider if you're comfortable.
- Keeping your hips centered, slowly lower down on to your forearms, or extend arms forward and bring your chest towards the mat.
- Let your hips sink down and stay wherever you feel a deep stretch.
7. Balasana (Child's Pose)
Everyone's favourite yoga pose, after savasana of course. Child's pose seems super easy, but take your knees out to the sides and you will definitely feel it.
- Staring in a table top pose, keep your heels together and walk your knees to the sides.
- Sit your hips back towards your heels, and walk your arms forward, resting your body down in between the legs.
- Breathe into any tightness you feel in your shoulders, lower back, and hips.
If you have any questions at all, comment below and we'll get back to you asap.