Stiff hips are very common. This tightness can cause low back pain, knee pain, poor posture, and difficulty walking. The causes of hip tightness can be from overuse or underuse. Many of us have jobs or commutes where we sit for long periods, causing a tightening of the hip flexors and rotators, while the gluteal muscles become weakened. Lower leg exercises like running and biking can also cause tightening as well as repeatedly carrying a backpack or purse on one particular side.
Emotions are thought to be held in the hips. The muscles in the hips are designed to engage quickly in times of danger or stress to help us either move quickly or stand our ground. According to yogic philosophy the hips are closely connected to both the root chakra and sacral chakras. The root chakra relates to our stability while the sacral chakra relates to our emotional wellbeing. Various traumas that we experience and subconsciously suppress can get caught in this area. Releasing the hips physically can actually help to release emotional residue as well.
Practicing yoga allows you to move in directions and stretch areas that would otherwise never get attention. In time,
Below are some hip-opening postures to try. Never strain or force. Gentle effort over time will eventually bring more flexibility. Be patient with yourself, modifying postures as needed. If one pose is too much, try another.
Move slowly and relax into the postures. As you ease in and out of the postures or hold a position, let your breath support your efforts. Breathe fully and slowly allowing it to calm you. Keep the breath smooth.
For details on these postures go to: HIP-OPENERS