The hip joint is the largest joint in the human body. It carries a lot of physical and emotional stress. The hip joint is where the top of the femur meets the pelvis, it is a ball-in socket joint. Back pain and knee pain can often be associated with tight hips. Because the body is all connected and because emotional stress has such a big impact on our bodies it is important and extremely beneficial to pay close attention to hip opening asanas. Yin poses are beneficial for all bodies, especially those who are active like runners, people who stand the majority of the day such as mechanics or cashiers, even those who work at a desk can all benefit from hip opening postures.
Here are a few of the top hip opening poses. It is very important that the body is properly warmed up for coming into any deep stretch. So please keep this in mind if you are practicing at home.
- Start in a seated position, draw the knees into your chest with the heels close to your sitz bones. Place the soles of the feet together and allow the knees to open to the side. Benefits include stretches the inner thighs, groins, and knees, soothes menstrual discomfort and sciatica.
- Sit in Staff Pose, bend your knees and placing your feet on the floor. Cross one leg on top of the other, stacking the knees. Try to bring the heel of the leg that I on top away from hip and bring the bottom heel closer to your hip. Sit evenly on the sitz bones. This stretches the ankles, outside of hips and thighs.
- Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose), facing sideways on your mat, then step your feet apart anywhere from 3 to 4 feet (depending on your height: taller people should step wider). Feet are parallel. Put your hands on your hips, and press the outer edges of your feet firmly into the floor. Inhale and lift your chest, Exhale and, keeping the length of the torso, lean forward from the hip joint. Place hand or finger tips to the floor and release the upper body, relaxing the neck. Benefits release tension in the hamstrings, hips, inner tights and lower back. Relieves sciatica, and reduces stress.
- Starting in a table top position, making sure hips are in line with the knees. Gently slide the knees out towards the edges of the mat. Keep the hips in line with the knees. Flex the feet and allow the elbows or chest to rest on the mat. You can us a block or cusion underneath your elbows for those with extra tight hips. This allows for extra leverage, until you are ready to deepen your posture. This is a very intense and deep stretch. It stretches the groin, inner thighs. Relives stress and anxiety as well as aids in digestion.
These hip opening poses releasing stress which is one of the main benefits. The psoas, is a muscle that connects the lumbar spine to the femur bone, and is triggered when we feeling stressed. Tightness in the hips can cause lower back strain from too much effort in the spine. When hips are open, this creates more range of motion and aligns the joints for more stability in the body.
As you can see practising these asanas are beneficial for everybody. When adding the benefits of the far infrared, this will help to quickly increase flexibility, detoxify as well as distress. You can find these and other great hip opening poses in a Deep Stretch Relaxation class. This class is available at Oxygen Yoga & Fitness locations.