Do you ever feel a tightness in your hips and the need to really stretch out your pelvic area? Lack of flexibility in the hips joints and weak muscles in the pelvic and glutes is a common by-product of sedentary lives, as well as being a sign of aging with natural wear and tear. As well as affecting your general mobility, tight hips can contribute to many other physical problems and affect your ability to exercise. If you feel that tight hip twinge then it might be time to open your hips with yoga!
What are the benefits of supple hips?
You dont’ need to be a fitness expert or a medical professional to know that when your hips feel relaxed and supple you feel good. You move better, you feel lighter and less restricted and you can even feel more youthful with that extra spring in your step. Those who are prone to accepting that their joints get stiffer as they get older might want to consider the other benefits of supple hips too:
- Eases back pain
- Relieves the body of stress which can ‘pool’ in the pelvic regions
- Help facilitate other exercises, poses and movements
- Improves range of motion and mobility
- Increases agility
- Improves circulation
- Enhances stability of the spine for better alignment
- Improves posture
Happy Baby Pose
A great pose for opening the hips and creating resistance across the inner thighs; lie on your back and bring your knees up and into your body. Hold onto the soles of your feet from the outside or onto a yoga strap hooked over the feet. Open your knees a little to widen and bring these further up your torso. At the same time, extend the legs up so the ankles are over the knees, keeping the knees down, as you push against your hands. Your hips widen and your pelvis stretches out as you feel greater flexibility in your lower back. Hold the pose for around 30 seconds
A fantastic pose for really pushing the flexibility in your hips; get into position on all fours with your forearms resting on the floor. Turn your feet out to the side in a flexed position but keep the knees straight to the floor, with your palms flat down. Widen your knees, moving each knee out a little further until you can feel the stretch. Bend so that your thighs are at an angle of 90 degrees to your shins. Don’t droop your torso down but keep your ribcage in and stretch through your spine. You can also clasp your hands together if it helps you move into the stretch more easily. Take a few breaths before releasing the pose and repeat. Your whole pelvis will feel stretched in all directions and loosened up.
Next month we will look at yoga poses that can help you stretch and tone your thighs!