The Top Yoga Poses to Open Your Hips

The Top Yoga Poses to Open Your Hips

Yoga is an expansive practice for your mind, body and soul. There are many poses that have a multitude of benefits, whether it is to strengthen, lengthen, or stretch different parts of your body. Here at Frequency, we know that the hips are one of the most important joints in the body; responsible for supporting our weight, balance, and mobility. Tight hips can lead to pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion. Practicing yoga is an excellent way to open up your hips, increase flexibility, and improve overall mobility. We want everyone in our community to take their hip health seriously, so in this article we explore the top 5 yoga poses that are effective in opening and strengthening the hips.

1. Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)

Pigeon pose is a classic yoga pose that is effective in stretching the hips. It is especially useful in opening the outer hips, which tend to be tight in many people. Start by kneeling on the floor with your right knee forward and your left leg extended behind you. Slowly lower your torso over your right leg, keeping your hips square. Make sure to keep an eye out for your back foot and that it remains straightened.

A great way to modify this pose is to come to Half Pigeon instead, in this case your heel will not be in line with the knee, and instead can come closer to your hips. Also, you can bring one yoga block vertically underneath your chest, and one yoga block horizontally under your forehead. Play around with the placement and height of the blocks, adjusting as necessary.

Hold for several deep breaths, then switch sides. 

2. Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)

Bound Angle Pose, also known as Butterfly Pose, is another effective yoga pose for opening the hips. Sit on the floor with the soles of your feet together, bringing your heels as close to your body as possible. Use your hands to gently press down on your knees, encouraging them towards the floor. Hold for several deep breaths, then release.

If you'd like to modify this pose, you can bring a yoga block underneath your knees on both sides, to allow for extra support. As you continue to breath and get deeper into the pose, you can either change the height of the blocks or remove them.

3. Malasana Yogi Squat

Malasana Yogi Squat is an excellent yoga pose for opening the hips and stretching the groin muscles. Begin in a standing position, with your feet shoulder-width apart, or mat width distance (shorter side of the mat). Squat down, keeping your feet flat on the floor and your heels close to your body. Bring your hands together in prayer position and use your elbows to gently press your knees open. Hold for several deep breaths, then slowly rise back up to standing.

If you would like to modify, and make this restorative, you can place a block horizontally underneath your sits bones, to sit on.

4. Wide-Legged Forward Fold (Prasarita Padottanasana)

Wide-Legged Forward Fold is a yoga pose that helps to stretch the inner and outer hips, as well as the hamstrings. Begin in a wide-legged stance with your feet parallel to each other, facing the long-width of your mat. Hinge at the hips and fold forward, bringing your hands to the floor or using blocks for support. Hold for several deep breaths, then slowly rise back up.

5. Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana)

Cow Face Pose is a widely popular pose to open up the hips. This asana is great for everyone, whether you sit at a desk all day or do a lot of movement. Start in a table top position, bring your right knee closer to your wrists, between both palms. Then, let your left knee come behind the right, so that they are crossed. Once you are properly set up, send your hips back onto the mat (or onto a block if you need to modify).

Ground through your sitting bones. As you inhale, lengthen your spine and stretch your arms out to the sides, palms facing forward. Internally rotate your right shoulder so that your palm faces to the wall behind you. Sweep the arm behind your back, walking your hand up between your shoulder blades, palm facing outwards. Then, stretch the left arm up and bend the elbow, reaching down for the right fingertips, hooking the fingers together if they can reach.

Stay and breathe, allowing to melt into the pose. Then, switch sides. 

Keep Your Hips Healthy and Flexible!

Incorporating these top hip-opening yoga poses into your regular practice, or warm up stretches, can help to open up your hips, improve mobility, and reduce pain and stiffness. Pigeon Pose, Bound Angle Pose, Malasana Yogi Squat, Wide-Legged Forward Fold, and Cow Face Pose are all effective in stretching the hips and increasing flexibility and mobility.

As with any yoga practice, it's important to listen to your body and only move within your own comfortable range of motion. By practicing these poses regularly, you'll be on your way to happier and healthier hips!