Yin Yang Yoga Practice for Tight Hips
Throughout the years, I have had many clients ask me what yoga poses to so for hip relief. Many people spend hours sitting during the day due to work, commuting or a sedentary lifestyle. Competitive or casual athletes also tend to have tight hips from various forms of exercise. Either way it's fair to say there is a good amount of the population have tight hips.
This *yin yang yoga for tight hips practice can help increase flexibility in the hips, over time. There are two important reasons to increase flexibility in the hips. One is improved flexibility for everyday movement and the other is to release old, stuck emotions. Increasing range of motion can help with walking, bending down to pick something up or even getting into and out of a chair or the car. These are all actions that need the hips to help complete the movements in a more fluid manner. Increasing flexibility in the hips also allows old emotions to release and become unstuck. Many times someone will not even realize an emotion or tension is stuck, until working in hip opening poses.
This yin yang yoga for tight hips practice will target the energy and emotions that get stuck in the hips. The energy will surface and work out of the body through the breath and movement work. During the yin part of practice, watch for emotions to come up, notice and let them go. No need to judge or try to analyze the feelings, just let them pass. It might sound difficult to be indifferent to the emotion but using the breath can help keep the mind focused. The yang portion will help bring attention to the tight areas (front, inner and/or outer areas of the hips), while moving the breath throughout the body from pose to pose.
Practice these poses one after another or use some transitioning poses (child's pose, downward facing dog, etc.) in between. **During the yin portion (longer held poses) make sure you go to your edge. This means only go as far as feels comfortable. Feeling the pose with no burning or twinges of pain.**
Yin Yang Yoga for Tight Hips
*Downward Facing Dog (Adho mukha śvānāsana): From hands and knees, press into the palms and raise the hips up toward the sky. Spread the fingers. Press into the earth with the fingers and base of the palms as you press the heels down. Knees can be more bent if needed to prevent pulling on the low back. Take a few breaths here (use as a transition or rest pose when needed).
Three Legged Downward Dog (Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana): Inhale the right leg up behind you, reaching the foot up high, opening the hip. Option to bend the knee to intensify the opening through the front of the hip and quadriceps.
Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana): With right leg lifted, inhale the leg back to the center, squaring off the hips. Exhale the leg forward, stepping in between the hands. Bring the top of the left knee and foot down to the mat. Inhale the arms to the front knee or up above the head. Take a few breaths here.
*repeat the sequence on the left side.
Triangle (Trikonasana): From downward facing dog, inhale the right leg up behind, exhale stepping the foot in between the hands. Spin the back heel down so the outer edge of the foot is parallel to the back of the mat. Inhale up to Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II), exhale. Inhale straightening the front knee and reaching forward with the front hand. Exhale tipping the torso, bringing the right hand to the shin, ankle, a block or the mat; left arm reaches up toward the sky. Breath here for a few breaths and make your way back to downward facing dog. Repeat on the left side.
Swan/Pigeon (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana):Step the right leg forward from downward facing dog. Walk the right foot toward the left wrist, bringing the right knee down toward the floor. Flex the right foot and adjust the leg so the right hip and top of the left thigh are as close to the floor as possible without creating stress on the knee. If there is any stress or discomfort on the knee or hip, place a block or rolled up blanket under the right thigh for support. Walk the hands toward the body, in line with the shoulders. Stay here for a few breaths. If you want to take it farther, walk the hands forward bringing the torso down toward the floor. Stay here for 1-4 minutes. Use your breath the help stay in the pose and keep the mind calm. Acknowledge any feelings that arise and let them go. Continue to side two and repeat the process.
Frog (Bhekasana): Come to hands and knees. Walk the knees out wider than the hips, keeping the ankles in line with the knees, turn the feet out to the sides (or you can place the tops of the feet on the floor in line with the knees). Exhale gently sinking the hips down to your edge. Stay here or walk the hands out, reaching forward but keeping the hips working back (in the same line as the knees not back behind). Hold for 1-5 minutes.
Supine Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana): Some to laying on the back. Inhale the knees into the chest. Exhale reach arms out to the sides in a "T". On the next exhale, release knees over the one side. Gazing up or toward the opposite hand. Hold for 1-2 minutes. Repeat on twist on the other side.
Reclined Butterfly/Bound Angle (Supta Baddha Konasana): Hug knees in toward your chest, exhale releasing the feet toward the mat. Walk the soles of the feet together, knees dropping out to the sides. Place your hands on the belly or near the sides, palms facing up. Close the eyes or soften the gaze. Focus on breathing here while allowing gravity to help pull the legs down gently. Hold for 2-5 minutes.
Corpse Pose (Savasana): From laying in reclined butterfly, extend the legs onto the mat. Let heels come out to hip distance and let toes drop out to the sides. With arms near your sides, turn the palms to face up, rolling the shoulder blades slightly under. Inhale, scanning the body and noticing any areas of tension. Use your exhale to release those areas. Relax here for as long as you like.
*Yin poses are held for longer periods of time in order to reach the connective tissues (facia) throughout the body. Yang poses are a more fluid form of yoga, where poses are held for a few breaths and transitioned from pose to pose to create more fluid movement.
Disclaimer: The information on this website (Alt Yoga Vibe) is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for medical treatment or hands on instruction. If you are experiencing any severe pain or symptoms, please consult a healthcare practitioner.
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