Yoga is extremely beneficial for the human heath, since it can bring not only great physical health but mental and emotional stability as well. Due to our stressful lifestyles, we are constantly facing numerous health threats and the back usually suffers the most. Flexibility and mobility is very important for maintaining a straight up physique, so keeping our backs, spine and hips in excellent shape is a must.
Tight Hips Risks
– Muscle Imbalance – the front of the hips is very important because this is where the hips flexor are located. By continuous immobility and sitting around, we expose the hips flexors to tightening and deprive the hips from their natural movement. The hips can also become weaker as a result of the frequent static lifestyle we lead.
– Back Pain – when the glutes and hip extensors are overstretched, the pelvis becomes withdrawn and pulled ut of place. Ultimately, it ends up in a very unnatural position, where it is tilted and the hips are getting tighter.
– Poor Balance and Posture – the pelvis is normally stabilized by the hip flexor, so when the muscles are inactive and weak the body suffers from irregular posture.
To fix and prevent all these issues you need to stretch out those hip muscles during working hours as well.
This is where yoga comes to the picture. Yoga is excellent form of workout and certain poses can help you restore the hips mobility and the overall body flexibility.
Here are the best yoga poses you can try out:
1. Thread the Needle Pose
Lie on your back and place feet flat on the floor with the knees bent. Cross right ankle over left knee in a pose that looks like a ‘4’.Press back on the floor and keep hips steady as you pull left knee towards your chest, Place right hand between legs while doing this.
Place hands under left knee and pull knee deeper into the stretch. Focus on remaining open in the right knee so you can stretch that hip, too. Breathe and hold for at least 30 seconds on each side.
2. Happy Baby Pose
Start by lying on your back and bring knees up to your chest, Place hands on the inside arches of your feet and spread knees wider than the shoulders. Keep back flat on the mat as much as possible. In this position, push feet into your hands and pull feet towards your head until you feel pressure. Remain in position for at least 30 seconds.
3. Butterfly Pose
Sit on the floor and bend your knees. Put hands next to your body. Bring the soles of your feet together, while keeping the knees open. Push open knees to the floor as much as possible by activating your leg muscles.
To get a deeper stretch pull your feet closer towards you. You can also fold them forward and walk by keeping hands in front of you. Proceed with exercise for at least 30 seconds.
4. Frog Pose
This exercise is pretty intense so beware of hurting your knees or ankles.
Begin by getting on all fours and place hands under your shoulders, while your knees are on your mat. Use blankets instead of a mat for a more comfortable position.
Begin widening your knees slowly and gradually. Stop when you feel stretching in your thighs. Keep ankles parallel with your knees,. Keep feet and calves on the floor at all times. Bend forward on your forearms. Hold position for 30 seconds.
5. Half Pigeon Pose
Start by doing a runner’s lunge, where your right foot is forward, while your hands are on both sides of the mat next to each foot. Most of the body weight should be in your hands. Start sliding your front foot towards your left hand, and lower the knee over to the right in the meantime.
Place the outer part of the right calf on the mat, and keep it parallel to the front of the mat. Slowly, begin lowering your back knee and shin so they meet the ground. Open up the hips as much as possible. If you are in for the milder version of this exercise keep your arms straight and your hands flat on the floor.
If you wish to increase the stretch bend forward on your forearms, until you lay over your front leg. The stretch you should feel is on the outside of the right hip and in the glute. Hold posture for 30 seconds and switch sides to repeat.
6. Double Pigeon Pose
Start by sitting on the mat and crossing your legs. Keep left leg crossed in front. Take the left ankle with your arms and pull it overthe right knee. Stack the shins with your left leg on top.
If you have tight hips, lift right knee off the floor just a little, and open your knees so the feet will naturally lower. To intensify the pose, place your hands forward into a deeper stretch. Hold pose for at least 30 seconds and then switch sides to repeat.
7. Low Lunge
Start off by positioning your body into a runner’s lunge. Keep right foot forward and hand on the mat on both sides of the front foot. Pull knee back slowly and set shin to the floor, while raising your chest and arms up. You can rest on your thigh by using your hands.
Activate the abs during this pose and keep back straight to do the pose right. To intensify the stretch, extend the arms overhead, and lean forward just a little bit. Hold pose for 30 seconds and then switch sides to repeat.
8. Crescent Lunge
Again, start in a runner’s lunge pose, but this time keep the knee raised. Bring hands slowly of the mat and keep them to front thigh. Lower hips as you open them square to the front of your mat.
Now, lift arms overhead and tighten the abs in the process. Extend the back leg and go on sinking and squaring off the hips to create a deeper stretch,
Hold position for at least 30 seconds and then switch to repeat.