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“Very few of us have jobs that allow us to stretch parts of our bodies, such as the hips,” says yoga instructor Aysha Bell.
“Modern life equals desk jobs, driving, gaming, Netflix and chilling. This can contribute to the problem of the tight hip, [and stiffness] in our lower back and buttocks.”
Yoga helps strengthen the hip flexors, which in turn helps eradicate that feeling of tightness nibbling at your lower body. Bell also believes that yoga can help us discover connections between the physical, spiritual and emotional body.
“Having tight hips in the front is said to be a fear of future obligations and expectations, hips stuck in the back in the past,” she says. “Hips are strongly related to relationships, not just romantic, but work-related, friendships, and most importantly the relationship we have with ourselves.”
Whether you’re here for emotional exploration, or just for real, real If you want to feel some sweet liberation, Bell has served up a quick, five-minute hip opener workout.
“Not everyone has the ability to open their hips the same way. Our basic skeletal structure may be why we may never be a splitter or find some poses more challenging than others,” she warns. “So always push to 80% to protect the body.”
1. Calm Pose – Sukhasana
This is called “easy pose” because it’s meant to be a simple cross-legged pose. Using blocks or blankets under the thighs or placing a blanket or block under the buttocks can make this pose more appealing, depending on the tightness of the hips, lower back, glutes, and pelvis.
Sukhasana strengthens the back and stretches the knees and ankles. It also opens up the hips, groin, and outer thigh muscles (abductors). Sitting up straight with your spine aligned also reduces stress and anxiety.
How to do that: Start sitting cross-legged. Inhale, stretch the arms up, hands facing each other, stretching up from the crown of the head and through the ribcage, keeping your sit bones firmly in place.
Exhale and hinge forward, bring your fingertips to the floor and proceed to fold forward into Sukhasana, taking three to five breaths. Inhale to walk the trunk to the left, take three to five breaths, keeping the sit bones on the floor, inhale and consciously direct your breath to the hips.
Come back to the center, inhale deeply to bring your hands to the sky, palms facing each other, and exhale, placing both hands on your mat on either side of you. Switch the crotch of your legs and repeat.
2. Windshield wipers sitting or lying
There are several variations of this pose: you have the choice of recline or sitting. This is a great way to warm up the hips. It not only works on hip mobility but also affects the knees, psoas muscle, lower back, obliques and quadriceps. This community of muscles works together. There is little twist in the tailbone, sacrum, and lower back when practicing this pose.
How to do that: Sit or lie on your mat with your feet flat on the floor, about hip distance or slightly wider, and take a deep breath. Exhale to rock your knees to the left from the center. Inhale to the center, exhale to the right, keeping your palms on the mat on either side of your hips
Inhale and exhale extensively as you move the knees from side to side, consciously directing the breath towards the hips.
3. Bound Angle Pose – Baddha Konasana
Also known as Cobbler’s Pose or Butterfly, this pose strengthens and improves flexibility in the inner thighs, groin, and knees. It also strengthens the pelvic floor, psoas muscles and hip flexors.
How to do that: Start in a sitting position. Gently bend your knees and press the soles of your feet together so that your knees can sink to the sides to form a diamond shape, use blocks, pillows or blankets for support if this feels uncomfortable in the hips.
Wrap your hands around your feet. Inhale deeply and straighten the spine and stretch the ribcage upward, growing upward from the crown of the head. Exhale, pivot the body forward and hold the feet. Gently push on the legs to extend the hips open with your elbows or forearms, consciously sending breath into the hips.
Lengthen your spine and widen your chest. Pull your shoulders down and back. Stay in this position for up to one minute. To release the pose, gently pull the knees together with the hands, stretch your legs forward and lean back on your hands.
Low Lung Pose Hands on Hips – Anjaneyasana
A low lunge with hands on hips is a great stretch for your hip flexors, and a good one for beginners. It stretches the groin and thighs and also opens the chest.
How to do that: From the table top, step forward with your right foot between your hands. Keeping your left knee on the floor and your right knee directly over the ankle, grow tall through the torso and crown of your head, drawing the tailbone in slightly and taking the navel toward the spine.
Open your chest, stretch your arms up and back toward your hips, letting your shoulder blades fall along your back. Take a big inhale and a long exhale, straightening your left hip flexor.
Bend your back slightly, take five to seven breaths here. Place your hands on either side of your right foot, step to the plank or forward fold and transition to the other side.
Move celebrates exercise in all its forms, with accessible features that encourage you to add movement to your day – because it’s not only good for the body, but also the mind. We get it: Workouts can be a bit of a slog, but there are ways you can get more exercise without fear. Whether you enjoy hiking, biking, YouTube workouts or hula hoop routines, exercise should be something to enjoy.