Who has tight hips? Or maybe the better question is who doesn’t have tight hips? Everything from sitting to running to handling emotional stress contributes to stiffness in the pelvic area. No matter why your hips are tight, yoga can help. And what’s so powerful about hip openers is that when you create an opening in your body, you also create an emotional release.
On the physical level, hips include connective tissue and some of our biggest muscles––the glutes––and the psoas muscles in the front of the pelvis. The psoas is the only muscle that starts in the front of the body and finishes in the back body. Often, lower back pain is caused by tight hip flexors. The psoas, or hip flexors, are strong muscles that are easy to over-develop and grow tighter each time we go for a jog or sit in a chair for a few hours. For a healthy spine and back, it’s vital to keep these muscles supple.
The outer hips house the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus and the piriformis. When these muscles aren’t kept consistently open, they can impact the sciatic nerve, causing debilitating pain. Spending a few minutes each day to keeping your hips healthy and happy will keep you happy and healthy as well!
On an internal level, the hips are where the Svadisthana or Sacral Chakra is located. Svadhisthana is known as “Great Goddess” and relates to emotions and dreams, the feminine, the water element, the sense of taste, the adrenal glands, and the color orange. What does that all mean? The second chakra is where our energy for creativity, pleasure, new ideas, and sexuality resides. The hips are often referred to as “saddle bags” and emotionally, it is where we tend to dump unresolved emotions, past trauma, and pain. In other words, it’s where we store our emotional baggage. Nobody needs to lug that stuff around, right?
Just as it takes time to create our tight hips, it takes patience and persistence to open our hips. The hips are about all types of relationships––creative or business partners, children, and romantic partners. Issues surrounding trust and personal boundaries can manifest not just in tight hips but problems with reproductive organs and elimination. Asanas that address both the external and internal include forward bens like baddha konasana (butterfly), Paschimottanasana (seated forward fold), and Virasana (hero’s pose).
Check out this week’s classes, specifically designed to keep your hips healthy!
Journey To Lotus - Dana Hanizeski
Hips - Denelle Numis
Holy Hips! - Rob Loud
Jiva With a Twist - Jill Pedroza
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