Share Pin Email
feature image
Live Fit

A Yoga Sequence for Deep Hip Opening

Find release through awareness and use of the hips. Try this sweet yoga sequence to go inward and invite new spaciousness into the body and heart.

768
Author Image
Contributing Writer
SHARE:

It’s said that our relationships are stored in our hips. What exactly does that mean? If we have tight hips are we bad lovers? Do our tight hips tell us something about our ability to communicate and let people in? Perhaps. Or perhaps we run too much, or our parents have tight hips.

While we can’t scientifically pin down a correlation between tightness in the hips and our success in relationships, we do know that when we are in stressful situations (“fight or flight” occurrences), we engage our emotional muscles, and we tighten our hips. On a psycho-spiritual level, the hips are the seat of our sexuality and our individuality, both of which are deeply enmeshed in our connectivity to others.

In thinking about relationships with others, we must also think about the relationship we have with ourselves, which is, of course, not solely relegated to our ego self coming to terms with our unmasked self.

The tighter our hips, the tighter the lower back; with tension amassing in these regions, the psoas is prone to shortening, making it harder to walk, sit, stand, and practice.

The following yoga poses will massage, open, and lubricate the hips for maximum comfort, and ultimate transformation.

Downward Dog Split

Make sure that the hands are planted firmly into the floor, the navel is drawing into the spine, and you are reaching the bottom heel into the ground. This will begin to stretch out the backs of the calves and the hamstrings while beginning to warm up the hips.

Downward Dog Split Variation

Open up the hip by bending the lifted knee, while rooting the bottom heel toward the floor. This will begin to open the hip flexor to prepare it for some of the deeper postures.

Runner’s Lunge

Bend the front knee to 90 degrees and make sure that the toes are visible, so that the knee is stacked over the heel. Lengthen and engage the extended leg. Release tension in the neck by positioning it straight, as an extension of the spine.


Related: The Workout Method that Helped Me Be a Runner Again


Crescent Lunge

Bring the back knee to the floor and sweep the arms overhead. Draw in the lower belly to protect the spine. Begin to sink down into the hip while simultaneously engaging the abdomen.

Lizard

From a lunge position, inch the front foot out to the side, coming into a wide lunge with the hands placed on the inside of the knee. Take the back knee off the floor, if available, and either stay up on the hands or bring the forearms down to the ground for a deeper stretch. Remain in the pose for five to 10 breaths, continuously aiming the back inner thigh up toward the ceiling, and the chest forward through the arms.

Lizard Lunge Twist

From lizard, bring the back knee to the floor and bend the knee, so the toes reach up. Extend the opposite arm back and take hold of the ankle. Begin to twist the spine, so the chest opens towards the sky. This pose can be done on the hands or forearms depending on level of flexibility.

Downward Dog

Ensure that the feet are hip-width apart, the belly is moving in and up toward the spine, and the  palms are flat with the index fingers pressing into the floor. Breathe for five breaths.

Pigeon

Bring the right knee forward and place it on the floor just behind and slightly to the right of the right wrist, with the shin on a diagonal and the right heel pointing toward the right hip bone.Take the attention to the back leg and roll it inward so that the leg is in a “neutral” position. You want to have your hip bones square toward the front of the mat.

As you roll the left hip bone forward, draw the right outer hip back and in toward the midline of your body, and extend the arms forward in front of the body any amount before relaxing down.

Pigeon Variation

Stay in pigeon and bend the back knee until you can grab the ankle. Keep the back leg rotating inwards so that you can feel a stretch in the front of the thigh. If there is space, without strain, reach for the ankle with both hands, engaging the abdominal muscles and resisting the temptation to sink into the lower back.

Shin to Shin 

Sit up tall and align the right knee on top of the left ankle and the left knee on top of the right ankle. Rotate both hips outwards. If the top knee is lifted above the bottom ankle, place a pillow or block under the lifted knee for safety and support. If the knees are comfortably resting on the ankles, slowly begin to fold forward.

At this point, come back to Downward Dog, and repeat entire sequence to the left side.

Bound Ankle Pose

Sit comfortably and let the knees open to the sides, drawing the soles of the feet to touch and the heels in toward the pubis. Open the feet like a book, and hinge at the hips to fold forward any amount.

Half Split

Extend one leg straight, bend the back leg and begin to fold forward over the extended leg. Try to keep an elongated spine. Use the hands to hold some of the body’s weight so the hamstring isn’t bearing too much weight. Carefully fold forward, breathing deeply.

Split

If  and only if it is possible to go farther, start to come into a full split. This is a challenging posture because it works on both the psoas and the hamstring. Draw in the belly to protect the muscles in the legs. Engage the quadriceps of the front leg while relaxing the opposite hip flexor to square off the hips. Use the hands to hold some of the body’s weight and then allow gravity to assist in opening up your muscles. Breathe deeply.

Repeat to the other side. Pause in downward dog for a few breaths, and then roll forward onto the belly to continue with the sequence.

Frog Pose

Lay on the belly, propping yourself up onthe forearms. Bend the right knee and catch the right foot, so the fingers are facing forward.

Breathe into the opening in the shoulder. Press the top of the foot down towards the floor. Lift up through the chest and press the foot down gently, lifting the back knee slightly off of the floor.

Camel Pose

Stand on the shins, with the knees placed about hips-width apart. Press the hips forward and begin to arch the spine back. Reach for the ankles. Without gripping your glutes, engage the legs firmly. Use the abdominal muscles to avoid collapsing the back.

Full Wheel

Lie on the back and bend both knees, with the feet firmly rooted into the ground, heels close to the seat. Bend the elbows and press the palms against the floor, fingers pointed towards the shoulders. Lift back up off the floor while pressing the hands firmly into the ground. Gaze toward the feet. Try to keep the knees pointing forward. Narrow the hips and lift the tailbone. Breathe into the heart center. Try this at least three times, keeping the toes pointing forward, and the neck relaxed.

Photos by Matt Roy

By

SHARE:

Comments (0)

A 3-Day Clean Eating Meal Plan

Reset your diet to feel healthy and energized with Sonima’s free six-page guide designed to keep you satisfied as you cut back on calories, sugar, and processed foods!

Get the Guide

Load More

Find us on Instagram

@LIVESONIMA
  • No one likes needles—until they've tried acupuncture! 
In this article (linked in our bio) we take a closer look at how this ancient Chinese practice works and why it's giving new meaning to healthcare. 
Curious? 
Read the full article in our bio link. 📍
.
.
.
.
.
#painfree #painfreeliving #acupuncture #acupunctureworks #acupuncturelife #mondaymotivation #mondaymornings #focusonwhatyouwant #healingenergy #bodytransformation #mindmedicine #mondayinspiration #mindbodyconnection 
#yogalifestyle #yogaliving #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #alternativemedicine #tcm #healthylifestyle
  • This weekend try these gluten-free Vegetarian Fajitas with guacamole! .

Our wellness expert Amie Valpone @amievalpone shares another healthy, detoxifying recipe to make your body feel good.

Simply sauté a few vegetables, mash avocado with fresh lime juice and garlic to make guacamole, and if you like, thin some hummus for a flavorful drizzle to add on top. 🌮
.

Find the full recipe and ingredient list on our website. Follow our bio link! .
.
.
.
.
#amievalpone #cleaneatingrecipe #cleandiet #detoxdiet #eatingclean #thehealthyapple #resetyourbody #antiinflammatorydiet #flightinflammationwithfood #eatingcleanrecipes #vegetarianrecipes #veganrecipes #veganfoodlovers #veganfood #vegetarianmeals #healthyrecipes #mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #healthierchoices  #balancedlife #balancediet #mindbodyconnection #vegetarianfajitas #veganmexicanfood #veganfajitas
  • Today is the second Thursday of November #gratitudemonth2019 - “Home is where the heart is.” 🙏🏽 On this Thankful Thursday we are grateful for what makes us feel at Home. 
Those spaces and places where we can relax and unwind. The faces of those who make us laugh and love. All the people that we share our joy and sorrow with, because home isn’t just a place, it’s the people who fill your heart. 💗

To really be present and enjoy your home, it’s  important to learn how to truly leave work at the office and create a more balanced, and conscious life with the ones you hold dear. ✨

This week we share an article to help you set boundaries and more clearly define your different roles, so that you can get the most out of the time you have in the home you love. .

Click on the link in our bio! 
We look forward to seeing your thoughts on Home for #thankfulthursdaysonima in our November #gratitudechallenge co-hosted by @malasbyemma 📿
.
.
.
.

#malasbyemma #gratitudegiveaway 
#nationalgratitudemonth #gratitudechallenge #gratefulheart #gratitudeattitude #gratitudedaily #thankfulgratefulblessed #thankfulheart #gratitudepractice #attitudeofgratitude 
#gratefulforlife #gratitudemonth 
#attitudequotes #attitudeofgratitude #yogalifestyle #yogaliving #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #homeiswheretheheartis #homesweethome #loveyourhome
  • It’s World Kindness Day! Feel good. Practice random acts of kindness today. 💞

Recently, a Harvard University study demonstrated that even witnessing acts of kindness can produce a positive physiological response in the observer. . . ✨Meaning, when you act with compassion you improve the health of others as well as yourself! 
Do one of these 3 things today:
.
🔸 Compliment a stranger .
🔸 Give abundantly: Pay It Forward .
🔸 Call on your inner child and spend some quality time with your children

Let us know how it goes in the comments below! . . . ✨Read the article linked in our bio for more ideas on other acts of kindness and for more details on the Harvard University study. .
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
#worldkindnessday #worldkindnessday2019 #randomactsofkindness #kindnessmatters #bekind #compassionateliving #compassionovercruelty #yogalifestyle #yogaliving #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #healthierchoices  #balancedlife #createbalance #createhealthyhabits #brainhealth #mindbodyconnection #introspection #meditatedaily #meditationinspiration #actsofkindness #lovewins
  • Today, Sonima is five years old! 🎂🎉 We are so happy to celebrate this day with all of you, and look forward to sharing another fantastic year of yoga, meditation, fitness, and food with all our friends and readers! 💜
.
.
.
.
.
.

#yogalifestyle #yogaliving #positivenergy #positivelifestyle #positivemindpositivelife #fitnesstransformation #workouttips 
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #healthylivingrevolution #healthierchoices #balancedlife #createbalance #createhealthyhabits #brainhealth #mindbodyconnection #fitnessgoals #healthgoals #wednesdaywisdom #mindfulness #happybirthdaytome
  • Today, take a few minutes to sit in silence and remember those who gave up so much to ensure that we can enjoy many of the freedoms we have. 
We are grateful everyday for our veterans. 
Thank you for your service. 🙏🏽🇺🇸 .
.
.
.
.
.
#veteransday #remembranceday #veterans #remembrance  #mondaymeditation #mondayquotes #motivationmonday #lifeisbeautiful #choosehappiness #attitudequotes #attitudeofgratitude #yogalifestyle 
#mindfulliving #livewell #livefree #livefit #sonima #livesonima #gratefulheart #gratitudejournal #gratitudeattitude #gratitudedaily #thankfulgratefulblessed #thankfulheart #gratitudepractice 
#gratefulforlife #gratitudemonth
Receive fresh content delivered to your inbox every week!