Hip Openers: Tips, Benefits, Anatomy & Poses


Hip openers are an crucial component of a powerful and balanced yoga practice. While hip opening poses have numerous terrific positive aspects, they are generally difficult and uncomfortable to practice, in particular for newcomers. These poses are not only terrific for physical well-being, hip opening asanas also encourage emotional release and pressure relief. If you comply with some standard practice strategies, you can conquer these difficult poses and reap all of their astounding positive aspects.

What are hip opening yoga poses?

A hip opening pose is a yoga posture that stretches the muscle tissues about the hip joint and pelvis, like the buttocks, hamstrings, inner thighs, groin, and abdomen. These muscle tissues are generally tight from sitting at a desk all day, which can lead to reduced back discomfort and other difficulties. By stretching and strengthening these muscle tissues, you will be capable to move more freely and comfortably via your poses, as properly as have more mobility and variety of motion in everyday life.

Most hip openers are practiced low to the floor, but you can perform hip openers lying down, standing, or sitting. Most people today obtain the deepest hip openers when supported by the ground, as they are capable to unwind deeply into the stretch and to hold the pose for a longer time. Experienced yoga practitioners generally execute them following other poses that warm up the muscle tissues and prepare the joints for movement.

Anatomy of the hip bones

The hip joint is created up of two bones—the femur (thigh bone) and the acetabulum (hip socket). These bones meet at a ball-and-socket joint known as the hip joint. The hip joint enables you to rotate your leg inward and outward, move forward and backward, bend your knee, and lift your foot off the ground.

The pelvis is created up of 3 bones: the ilium, sacrum, and pubic arch. Together, they kind an oval-shaped bowl that connects the legs to the spinal column. The bones of the pelvis kind the acetabulum or hip socket. The head of the Femur bone is shaped like a ball. The acetabulum is the socket into which the femur fits. This tends to make the hip a ball-and-socket joint. The hip joint enables for flexion and extension, abduction and adduction, and internal and external rotation.

Muscles of the hips

There are various muscle tissues that surround the hip joint. Some of these hip muscle tissues work collectively to stabilize the joint. Others work independently to provide balance and strength. These are grouped into the following 4 groups:

  1. Quadriceps, Hip Flexors and Psoas muscle—Located at the front of the leg and hip, this group of muscle tissues aids extend the leg and straighten the thigh.
  2. Hamstrings—Located at the back of the leg and hip location, these muscle tissues help with bending the knee and extending the leg backwards.
  3. Groin, internal rotators and hip adductors—Located along the inside of the leg, this group of muscle tissues stabilizes the hip joint and supports the body when balancing and .
  4. Gluteal muscle tissues and external hip rotators—Located on the outer side and back of hips, these muscle tissues assist assistance the weight of the body when walking, operating, jumping, climbing stairs, and so on.

Yoga hip openers will target one particular or more of these groups. For a balanced practice and for the most powerful method to releasing tight hip muscle tissues, pick out poses that stretch the muscle tissues of every single group.

Tips when making use of hip openers in yoga

  • Always warm up with other poses prior to performing them. It’s greatest to spot hip openers at the finish of your yoga sequence. Sun salutations, cat and cow, the warrior poses, and downward dog are terrific selections to warm up the reduced body.
  • Practice hip opening poses often to see the quickest progress.
  • Do them gradually and make positive you do not overdo it. Hip stretching need to be practiced gradually, mindfully and cautiously. Find a stretch exactly where you really feel some discomfort, but no discomfort. Do not push oneself previous your limits.
  • Be extremely mindful of your knees and do not let them twist or torque in the poses. Make positive that any rotation movements come from the hips so the knees keep secure.
  • Do not force the pose. If you really feel discomfort, discomfort, or other intense feelings, quit straight away.
  • If you really feel as well significantly weight or stress on your knees or hip bones, place a fold in your yoga mat or place a blanket below you.
  • Use a yoga block, bolster, or other props to assistance your body weight so you can unwind into a deeper stretch.
  • Ask your yoga instructor for suggestions on how to modify the pose for more or much less of a hip stretch.
  • You need to really feel the stretch in the middle component of the muscle, rather than feeling it at the ends. If you do really feel the stretch at or close to the joint, you are most likely pushing as well really hard and could trigger an injury.
  • If you have arthritis or had earlier hip injuries or other complications with your hips, seek advice from a doctor or physical therapist prior to performing any hip opening workouts or stretches.

The positive aspects of hip openers in yoga

Hip openers are important for any yoga practice. Excessive tightness in the hips can lead to complications like reduced back discomfort, a misaligned spine, poor mobility and other typical injuries. Hip opening yoga poses increase circulation, flexibility and variety of movement in the hips, legs and back. They are also effective for enhancing posture, strengthening balance, minimizing pressure, and advertising mental wellness and general wellness. In addition, they lower the danger of injury, in particular in the reduced back, by enhancing flexibility. They are an superb complement to other types of exercising, such as operating, cycling, dance, and aerobics. A fantastic quantity of hip flexibility is needed for right alignment to execute numerous of the sophisticated yoga postures, so tight hips can limit the progression of your practice.

Why do hip openers release feelings?

Hip-opening poses activate Svadhisthana, the second or sacral chakra, positioned inside the pelvis along the spine. This chakra power center is about self-expression and creativity, and is positioned close to the bladder, womb and ovaries. It is the supply of sexual power and passion. The element connected with the second chakra is water, for the reason that just as water moves, we are also meant to flow with the existing of life, rather than fighting against challenges that come our way, or struggling to keep afloat. Water represents the feelings, and when we open our sacral chakra, we open ourselves to really feel our feelings.

The muscle tissues about the hips are recognized to hold on to and shop powerful damaging feelings, such as anger, worry, anxiousness, be concerned, and grief. When we hold on to these damaging feelings, they take more than our lives and have an effect on every single aspect of our life. By practicing hip openers, we let our body to let go of these feelings and cost-free ourselves from their grip. When you really feel powerful feelings bubbling up in a hip opener pose, take a moment to notice and be mindful of what is going on inside you. What is this emotion telling you about oneself? How does it make you really feel? Can you recognize exactly where this emotion came from? Most importantly, let oneself to really feel, breathe, and release what ever emotion you are experiencing.

Basic hip opening yoga poses


The following poses are some of the most typical hip opening poses you will obtain in yoga classes. If you are a newbie student, you could want to familiarize oneself with and practice these asanas prior to attending a yoga class. These are also some of the most accessible and easy yoga poses to assist stretch and open the hips.

  1. Pigeon Pose
  2. Wide-Legged Forward Fold
  3. Supine Figure-4 Stretch
  4. One Leg Downward Dog
  5. Supine Bound Angle
  6. Prayer Squat
  7. Warrior 2 Pose
  8. Happy Baby Pose
  9. Goddess Pose

Complete list of hip opening yoga poses

You can obtain pictures, step-by-step guidelines, modifications, cautions and contraindications of all the 36 hip opening asanas in our yoga pose directory.



Originally published in www.yogabasics.com