Story by: Inspire Yoga, May. 08, 2019
From an anatomical perspective, the hips are the site of coordination between movement in the back and legs. Our bodies are made to move, when we are waking we are biologically designed to have our muscles active, either by running, walking, standing or squatting.
Or all these movements require fluid hip joints. However, what happens when we spend most of your lives slouched in a chair, either at our desks, in front of the TV, in the car or at a meal? The last 50 years have dramatically changed our lifestyle, due to automation very little physical labour is required causing a predominantly sedentary lifestyle.
This is certainly less energy consuming and more comfortable in the short term but the inactivity is causing our muscles to waste away resulting in long term health ramification for the entire population.
The first sign that you are sitting for too long is that you will feel a tightness in around your hips, this is due to a combination of poor posture where the back is rounded and tight hamstrings pulling on the pelvis.
Here are the most effective yoga poses you can do to reverse the effects of a sedentary lifestyle and bring back better mobility and flexibility around your hips.
Take full and deep breaths throughout your individual yoga practice, hold each pose for one minute as you start and repeat the entire sequence 3 times for optimal results.
Start by strengthening your legs and glutes as you ground down in this wide squat. Hold the pose to ensure there is a muscular layer of protection around your hips before any deep stretching.
Keep the back leg strong to stabilize the pose as you explore how comfortable you are to put weight on your hip flexors when you feel ready gently arch your back for a deeper and more balanced stretch.
It looks deceivingly simple but when practised in correct alignment this pose helps to lengthen your hamstrings, engages your core and provides a 90-degree flexion about the hips to retrains the body how to sit and thereby dramatically improves posture.
This asymmetrical pose is a quintessential deep stretch to the hips, glutes and piriformis muscle, it will help you ascertain which side feels tighter, breathe deeply and close your eyes to direct more healing energy to the side that needs it more.
This hip opening and inner thigh stretch are excellent to release lower back compression. On a psychological level, it helps to release anger and improves patience, learning to be calm and relaxed in this pose will facilitate a deeper stretch.
If you experience hip pain and generally don’t exercise it is recommended that you start with a beginners sequence to bring an evenness in your strength and flexibility back into the body. If you have had a hip injury or despite being active you suffer hip pain you would see the most benefit from personalized attention in private yoga classes to correct any misalignments around the hips and pelvic girdle.
Psychosomatically the hips are the seat of suppressed emotions, if you find that the tension persists despite stretching, it may be time to look a bit deeper to the emotional baggage you are holding and carefully release what is energetically holding you back through breathing and meditation.