With a two-pronged approach to your yoga practice, you can create a well-aligned pelvis and open hips. In addition, we tend to store unprocessed emotion in our hips, so learning to find balance in this area of the body gives you a sense of emotional freedom too. So, our hips need to be healthy and free not just for the physical body, but also for the emotional condition too.
In our modern lifestyle, we sit for hours. This shortens the hip flexors at the front of the hip and tightens the hip rotators. The outer hip and buttock work intensely to level and stabilize the hips. If you run, play sports, and practice asana, you can create overly tight muscles in the legs and groin, which will pull your pelvis out of proper alignment too.
Creating space in the psoas, rectus femoris, and sartorius will provide freedom in the pelvis and assist in alleviating pain that can manifest in the lower back. Strengthening the hip stabilizers like the gluteus medius will protect against hypermobility and related injuries to the bones, connective tissues and muscles.
Focus on building stability in standing poses like Mountain Pose Tadasana and Warrior/ Virabhadrasana. When you pay attention to alignment in these postures, you can tell where imbalances may lie and work to correct them. Balancing poses also utilize the gluteus medius and minimus to stabilize and will create more strength in the bone, muscles and ligaments. Awareness of how each posture feels in your body will help you find balance.
Classic hip openers like one-legged King Pigeon pose/ Eka Pada Rajakapotasana and seated twists will aid in releasing tight muscles. It’s vital to protect the cartilage and ligaments in the hip joint and preserve the joint’s integrity. Again, relying on correct alignment in these poses will provide maximum benefit. As you get more flexible in the hips, it becomes even more important to create strength in the hip muscles to help stabilize that mobility.
This weeks new classes offer a few different approaches to happy hips. Choose a more therapeutic approach with Deb Rubin’s Yoga Therapeutics: Lower Body Focus and Shy Sahar’s Correcting Pelvic Misalignments.
If you’re in the mood for more, get down with Ellen Kaye’s Align & Flow: Quick & Dirty Hips or fly with Kylie Larson’s Tittibasana Flow: Balance and Fly.
Yoga, which aims for balance and harmony at every level of life, can help us stabilize and revitalize our hips. Get happy today!
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