The importance of having open hips
“Open” hips are important for yogis, and for good reason: Maintaining flexibility and stability in the hip joints is crucial for lower-back health, not to mention for cultivating overall freedom and ease in our bodies.
Hip openers bring release in many areas that are tight and bring a sense of release to your body and to your mind!
Tight hips are one of the most common conditions in the Western Culture. This is due in large part to the fact that we sit in chairs for long periods of time, and because we generally do not sit in hip opening positions like a squat very often, if ever.
Tight hips can lead to a whole host of issues like lower back pain, misalignments in the spine, and can even lead to injury. The hip joints are actually very unique joints, known as ball and socket joints. This allows for a much greater range of motion than say the elbow joint or the knee joint.
Tight hips affect everything from your ability to get into a difficult pose like the Wheel Pose to simply being able to pick up something off the floor.
When your hips are very tight, they increase the load and cause that you start to overuse your spine.
In addition to the benefits of improved range of motion and circulation and decreased back pain, opening the hips can create an energetic shift or release as well.
But your hips are as well a storage ground for negative feelings and pent-up emotions, especially ones related to control in our lives.
Hip-opening can also create room for new ideas to come up and new pathways.
Opening the hips gives us access to freedom in the body and in our own unique expression — creatively, physically, sexually, and spiritually.
Interesting is that you can see your entire practice of yoga as a big hip-opening opportunity.
As there are over 20 muscles that cross the hip (the collection of inner thigh muscles known as the adductors, the collection of outer thigh muscles known as the abductors, the hip flexors in front, deep lateral rotators in back, and more), so any movement that stretches any of these muscles could be considered a “hip-opener.“
Therefore you could say that almost all poses are effectively a “hip-opener.”
But of course you have specific asanas that really focus on the hips.
Some poses that open the hips:
- Bharadvaja’s Twist. Bharadvajasana I.
- Bound Angle Pose. Baddha Konasana.
- Child’s Pose. Balasana.
- Cow Face Pose. Gomukhasana.
- Eagle Pose. Garudasana.
- Easy Pose. Sukhasana.
- Extended Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose. Utthita Hasta Padangustasana.
- Fire Log Pose. Agnistambhasana.
Working on opening your hips will help you to:
– loosen tight hips
– improve your range of motion
– improve circulation
– alleviate back pain
– release stuck emotions.
– balance your kidneys
– let your energy flow freely.
– stimulate your creativity
– make room for new ideas