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Yoga Hip Opener Pose Library

We frequently discuss poses that open or stretch the hips in yoga, however what does that actually imply? The hips are an advanced space, anatomically talking. Typically, once we discuss opening the hips we’re referring to the muscle groups across the pelvis, legs, decrease backbone, and sacrum. These embody massive muscle teams just like the hip flexors, hamstrings, glutes, adductors (internal thighs), and abductors (outer thighs), in addition to many smaller, deeper muscle groups together with the piriformis and the psoas.

Lots of people discover that their “hips” are tight as a result of spending a variety of time sitting, each at work and in automobiles. This tightness, which may trigger again ache and sciatica and have an effect on mobility, is actually in all of the muscle groups surrounding the pelvis. Folks consider hip openers are poses like pigeon, the place the femur is externally rotated, however one thing like eagle, the place the leg is internally rotated can also be a hip stretch.

In different phrases, virtually any yoga pose may be considered a hip opener since we’re utilizing the muscle groups across the hips in many various methods. The poses under provide quite a lot of approaches to stretching the hips that transcend primary exterior rotation.

Rookies' Poses

Kid’s Pose – Balasana: Kid’s pose is an effective place to start out an exploration into the hips. Unfold your knees as huge as is snug whereas protecting your toes touching. Let your torso drape between your legs and permit gravity to do its work. This can be a pose price staying in for a number of minutes since you’ll be able to actually really feel it deepen throughout that point. 

Cobbler’s Pose – Baddha Konasana: If you happen to discover your knees are sticking up excessive on this posture, a number of props will help. Sitting up on a folded blanket helps the knees to drop. Inserting a block (or block hack) underneath every knee will even enable for a extra passive stretch within the internal thigh.

Eye of the Needle Pose – Sucirandhrasana: A reclined model of pigeon (see under) is an effective choice for warming up the hips or if pigeon is just too intense. 

Garland Pose – Malasana: Nothing like a deep squat to get into the hips and counteract the results of chair sitting. That you must have your ft flat on the ground so you’ll be able to loosen up down on this pose. In case your heels do not come to the ground, roll up a blanket and put it underneath them. Be sure to have weight in your heels, not simply within the balls of your ft. 

Joyful Child Pose – Ananada Balasana: This pose usually feels good on the finish of yoga apply when you’ll be able to actually benefit from your heat muscle groups to get a pleasant stretch. Make sure you separate your knees huge as you pull them towards your armpits.

Reclined Goddess Pose – Supta Baddha Konasana: The reclined model of cobbler’s pose (above) also can profit from using props underneath your knees. 

Seated Vast-Legged Straddle – Upavistha Konasana: Simply as in cobbler’s pose, a folded blanket or two underneath the sitbones can go a good distance in making this place extra snug. When you’ve got hassle protecting your backbone erect on this place, attempt the blankets. If you happen to’re coming right into a ahead bend, hold the backbone lengthy and straight. Cease ahead bending once you start to really feel rounding in your backbone.

Standing Straddle Ahead Bend – Prasarita Padottanasana: That is a lot the identical stretch as upavistha konasana (above), however in a standing place. Use a block underneath your arms if they do not attain the ground. As you ahead bend, think about your pelvis as a bowl with water spilling ahead.

Warrior II – Virabhadrasana II: In warrior II, the hips factors are arrange dealing with the lengthy fringe of your mat. Each thighs externally rotate because the entrance knee tracks over the center of the entrance foot.


Cow Face Pose – Gomukhasana: A wonderful stretch for the outer thighs and hips. You possibly can sit up on a blanket right here is it makes the pose extra manageable.

Eagle Pose – Garudasana: Persevering with the outer thigh stretches with eagle. Standing on one leg provides to the problem right here. You should utilize your high leg as a type of kick stand that will help you stability and even do that pose in a chair if crucial.

Goddess Pose – Utkata Konasana: Opening the knees huge and protecting them aligned over your ft is the problem for this pose. Then it is a case of “how low are you able to go” as you inch the thighs towards parallel with the ground.

Half Moon Pose – Ardha Chandrasana: Half moon retains the alignment of warrior II with the hips open. As you carry your higher leg, take into consideration stacking the hip factors to take care of that openness. A block underneath your hand helps with stability.

Knee to Ankle Pose – Agnistambhasana: This pose can also be known as hearth log posture as a result of the shins are stacked like wooden in a fire. Because of this your shins must be parallel with the ankles on high of the opposing knees. If that is troublesome, use a prop like a blanket to fill the areas between knee and ankle.

Pigeon Prep: What we usually consider as pigeon pose is definitely a preparation for full pigeon (see under). This can be a traditional hip stretch that targets the piriformis amongst different muscle groups. The largest drawback with this pose is an inclination to let your self rock to the aspect with the leg ahead. This may occasionally really feel such as you’re going deeper, however you are shedding the integrity of the pose. Attempt to hold the 2 aspect of your pelvis degree, even when it looks like you’ll be able to’t some down as low. Using a prop underneath your butt on the aspect of the ahead leg will help you keep degree.


Lotus Pose – Padmasana: Full lotus is a reasonably intense pose for most individuals. Strive half lotus in case you are not fairly there but.

Lizard Pose – Utthan Pristhasana: A deep stretch each laterally and from entrance to again. There are quite a few methods to adapt this pose, together with utilizing blocks underneath your elbows, dropping the again knee, and staying up on the arms as an alternative of decreasing to the elbows.

One-Legged King Pigeon Pose – Eka Pada Rajakapotasana: The total model of pigeon provides a quad stretch and backbend, in addition to requiring open shoulders.

Aspect Lunge – Skandasana: A half squat/half lunge that comes with the hamstrings.

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